Festive, tarty, tender, and sweet–these are all words to describe this simple kuchen (pronounced koo–khuhn), which is a German word meaning “cake.” A simple cake batter topped with fruit and either custard or a streusel is what you typically find with a German kuchen. Call it cake or kuchen, either way it’s straight-up delicious!
Mitch and I stopped in our local library a few weeks ago to return a book and found the library was actually open. They had been closed for months due to Covid and you could only request books for pickup, so it was awesome to be able to meander around and pick up some books. Since we had some time to kill (we had just dropped the boys off at church for Wed. night programs), I had some time to look through and select an assortment of reading material. Some of those books included a couple local cookbooks. I enjoy looking through cookbooks–both for inspiration as well as entertainment. A lot of older cookbooks give very helpful tips that only a seasoned cook would be able to tell you. An example in one of the books: instant potatoes are a good thickener for stews. Who knew! Or here’s a household tip: instant coffee and a little bit of water makes a paste that when rubbed into scratches on furniture, makes it look new and beautiful. It’s helpful things like that that make looking at old cookbooks entertaining. And of course, the recipes are inspiring and sometimes just funny like the one for “Aggression Cookies” where you’re supposed to beat and pound out all your aggression into the cookie dough, and doing so will make the cookies taste better (literally what the cookbook says). 🙂 Such is the recipe I have for you today. It was found in the cookbook compiled from our local community back in the ’80s.
Kuchen is a simple, not-too-sweet cake base that’s topped with fruit and in this case, a crumb topping. It’s super easy to make and tastes great with a cup of coffee and/or a bit of whipped cream on top. It was the perfect after-school snack for my boys. There’s fresh cranberries on top of the cake batter. I used a food processor to chop them up. I only imagined cranberries rolling all over the place if I had used a knife. But definitely try it with a knife if you don’t have a food processor–might not be an issue.
The tartness from the cranberry paired with the sweeter crumb topping is a match made in heaven. Simple and delicious. And the crumb topping is a simple one–three ingredients: flour, sugar, and softened butter.
And look how festive! This time of year cranberries are in the limelight so use them in a recipe that’s both easy and delicious. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
So give this kuchen a try and let us know what you think. It’s an old recipe but is still as yummy today as it was back in the day. And pick up an old cookbook when you’re at the library next time–they’re the source for good food and good clean entertainment!