Nutty Rosenkuchen {yeasted cake}

nutty rosenkuchen

I’m in Switzerland! We’ve returned to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, near Interlaken for two weeks of festive, snow filled fun after loving it so much last year. And boy have we had snow! We arrived by train, well 4 of them, from London late on Wednesday night, it was wet and drizzling. Pulling back the curtains on Thursday morning revealed a magical transformation, a winter wonderland! The snow is gorgeous, deep, soft and powdery.

A drive down deeper into the valley took us to tiny Stechelberg where we had a wander down the river, watching the paragliders and base jumpers. Jeez those guys have some nerve! Their parachutes added a flash of colour to the near monochrome landscape. Either side of the narrow valley the mountains rise up with vertical walls and jaggy peaks, which cut the sun off early at this time of year.

These steep sides are famed for their waterfalls, the most stunning is the Staubbachfall. Its unbroken cascade drops around 300 metres from the cliff top just on the edge of Lauterbrunnen town, forming a dramatic backdrop, especially around late morning and mid day when the sun illuminates it from behind.

Lauterbrunnen with Staubbachfall behind

In the snow near StechelbergI can’t get through winter without my beloved boots!

Lauterbrunnen valley near Stechelberg

This is near the end of Lauterbrunnen valley, not far from Stechelberg. The sun had disappeared behind the mountains, leaving a chilly shade behind.

The weather hasn’t always been clement enough for winter wandering, the snow has been pretty heavy at times. Yesterday was particularly bad, it snowed most of the day so I set to making this rosenkuchen. Kneading dough in a warm kitchen while the snowflakes fall gently and heavily past the window is just a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

cooling Rosenkuchen

I’d seen the recipe while flicking through some old swiss food magazines that were among the cookbooks in the kitchen. I had to translate the ingredients from Swiss/German, although I could work out many of the ingredients by the quantities! It is made very similarly to bread, yeasted dough which is kneaded and left to prove. This can be found in Swiss bakeries where it is simply shaped in individual spirals and called Hefeschnecken, Snail buns!

This isn’t a quick bake but it’s very simple and looks fantastic. Rather wonderfully, you can buy fresh yeast really easily here in most supermarkets. It is fantastic to use and smells amazing but you can sub it for instant yeast. I’m definitely going to use the dough recipe for other things, watch this space….

Nutty Rosenkuchen {Rosenkuchen mit Nussfüllung} recipe from Saison-küche magasine, November 1996

the dough

a large round cake pan, sides and base buttered and floured, I actually baked mine in a large Pyrex dish which worked perfectly.

  • 300 g plain flour 
  • pinch of salt {I used a 1/4 tsp}
  • 60 g cold butter, grated
  • 21 g fresh yeast, or 7 g instant, fast acting dried yeast
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 free range egg

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre then scatter the grated butter around the edge.

Place the yeast, sugar, egg and milk into another bowl or jug and whisk it briefly to dissolve the yeast. I warmed my milk a little in the microwave first but I don’t think it was necessary. You should start to see the odd bubble appear on the surface as the yeast starts working but no need to wait for it to froth up. Now pour this mixture into the well in the flour.

Use a wooden spoon to start to mix in the yeasty milk then switch to your hands to bring it together into a dough. Knead for around 5 – 10 minutes until the dough becomes soft and smooth. Place into a clean, roomy bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove somewhere warm for about an hour. You can leave it somewhere cold but it will take longer!

sprinkle the grated butter over the flour

While it’s rising you can prepare the filling.

nutty filling

  • 200 g mixed nuts
  • 100 ml milk
  • finely grated zest of a lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 100 g apricot jam

Chop your nuts nice and small, I did this by hand {which took forever!} but a food processor would do this more efficiently and finely. Place in a bowl with enough of the milk to saturate the nuts. Stir in the lemon zest and juice along with the apricot jam. Set to one side.

The Nut Filling

assembling the rosenkuchen

Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, knock it back. Roll it out with a rolling-pin, on a lightly flour dusted surface, to about a 5 mm thick rectangle. Trim off any excess to get straight edges if need be.

Spread the nut filling over the surface then roll up from a long side into a long cylinder. Use a sharp knife to cut 4 cm deep pieces, you should look to get 8 or 9 of them. Place one into the centre of your buttered and floured tin or dish, on its side so the spiral is facing uppermost. Position the other pieces around it in an evenly spaced flower shape. Don’t worry to much if you have to move them to squeeze the last piece in.

Roll up the nut filled dough

heat the oven to 180 c / gas 4 {or 177 c if you are using a Pyrex dish}

Now cover the tin or dish with a tea towel and leave to prove again for another half hour or so until the pieces are nice and plump.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Keep your eye on it towards the end to prevent it catching and burning on top.

Prepare the glaze while it’s baking.

lay the pieces into a flower shape

the glaze

  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • handful of flaked almonds {I toasted mine until lightly golden in a dry frying pan}

Stir the icing sugar and lemon juice together.

Once the cake has baked, remove it from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin then carefully turn out right-side-up on a wire rack. While it is still warm,  brush or spoon the glaze over the top of the cake then quickly sprinkle over the flaked almonds so that they stick.

Rosenkuchen mit nussfüllung

There you go, a bit of world food! Ten more days to go so I’m sure there’ll be more baking and plenty more photos to share……..

12 Responses

  1. bakearama says:

    What a stunning place – amazing how pretty winter can be in one place, and in others it just causes havoc!

    • It is causing havoc here now, it’s been almost non stop and the roads have iced up and then become covered in fresh snow. It’s interesting to see how they deal with it day to day!

  2. I’m sooooooooooooo envious. That just looks like the picture perfect place to spend time over the holidays! I’m curious, does kuchen mean cake? I remember loving the liebkuchen in Germany years ago when I was there. Love your photos.

  3. What a gorgeous place to spend the festive season! The recipe looks really tasty and if I had the time I would be giving it a go – instead I will salivate over your photographs!

  4. Jacqui says:

    Tastes great – I had a “small” piece! Jacqui

  5. Wow what beautiful landscape! And mmmm that looks good. I’ve never heard of rosenkuchen but I would love to eat some

  6. Dave says:

    Loving those photos, gorgeous snowy landscapes! And kudos to you for having guts to make a recipe from a cookbook in another language!!