European cakes have a long and prestigious history, dating back centuries. Each country in Europe has its unique cake traditions, which often reflect the culture and heritage of that nation.
While European cakes can be quite complex and time-consuming to make, we’ve selected ten cakes you should try for your next big event. Lavender Bakery and Cafe lists ten European cakes you must try in this article.
From classic German chocolate cake to modern French Tarte Tatin, why not add a little European flair to your next celebration?
1. German Chocolate Cake – the Classic German delicacy
If you’re looking for a classic German cake, you can’t go wrong with a chocolate cake. This rich and moist cake is made with layers of chocolate sponge, filled with a creamy chocolate filling, and covered in a dark chocolate ganache.
While there are many different versions of German chocolate cake, the original recipe was created in 1852 by Samual Stuhr. The cake became popular in America after World War II when soldiers stationed in Germany returned home with stories (and recipes) of this delicious cake.
German chocolate cake is perfect for celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special occasion.
German Chocolate Cake is perfect for:
This decadent cake is perfect for chocolate lovers and those looking for a classic German cake recipe. Birthdays and anniversaries are the perfect occasions to bake this cake.
2. Tiramisu – the Italian Coffee-Flavored Dessert
Tiramisu is a popular Italian dessert with coffee-soaked sponge fingers layered with a rich and creamy mascarpone filling. The cake is then dusted with cocoa powder and refrigerated overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
This delicious cake is said to have originated in the city of Treviso in the Veneto region of Italy. The first recorded recipe for tiramisu was published in a cookbook in the early 1980s.
Tiramisu is perfect for:
This cake is ideal for coffee lovers and those looking for a quick and easy dessert. It’s also perfect for large gatherings as it can be made ahead of time. Just stick it in the fridge and enjoy it when you’re ready!
Check out Lavender Bakery and Cafe in Berkeley, California, for their delicious Tiramisu cake and other European-inspired desserts.
3. Sachertorte – the Austrian Chocolate Cake
Austria is well-known for its delicious chocolate cakes, and the Sachertorte is one of the most famous. This rich chocolate cake is made with layers of dense chocolate sponge, filled with apricot jam, and covered in a dark chocolate ganache.
Sachertorte is different from the other chocolate cakes on this list as it is not a layer cake. Instead, the cake is baked in a single layer and then cut into rectangular slices.
The Sachertorte was created by Franz Sacher in 1832 and has been a national favorite ever since.
Sachertorte is perfect for:
This rich chocolate cake is perfect for events like Halloween, Christmas, or any other occasion where you want to impress your guests with a show-stopping cake.
4. Tarte Tatin – the French Upside-Down Cake
Tarte Tatin is a French upside-down cake made by caramelizing apples in sugar and butter before covering them with a puff pastry crust. The cake is then baked in the oven until the pastry is golden brown and bubbly.
This delicious French dessert was created by accident in the 1880s by the Tatin sisters, who ran a hotel in Lamotte-Beuvron, France.
The story goes that one of the sisters forgot to add the dough to her apple tart and improvised by putting the pastry on top of the fruit instead. Now that’s a happy accident!
Still curious? Check out deconstructing Tarte Tatin to know more.
Tarte Tatin is perfect for:
This cake is perfect for Fall and winter celebrations. The caramelized apples make it a warm and comforting dessert, ideal for those chilly days.
5. Opera Cake – the Classy French Chocolate Cake
Sometimes the best things in life come in small packages, and that’s certainly the case with the Opera Cake. This French chocolate cake is made with layers of almond sponge, coffee buttercream, and chocolate ganache. It’s then covered in a thin layer of fondant and decorated with a coffee-flavored glaze.
The Opera Cake was created in the 19th century by the French pastry chef Antonin Carême. It’s said that the cake was named after the Paris Opera House, which was opened in 1887.
Opera Cake is perfect for:
This cake is great for those who want a sophisticated and elegant dessert. Weddings and Anniversaries are the perfect occasions to bake or order this cake.
6. Victoria Sponge – the Light English Cake Perfect for Tea
The Victoria Sponge is a classic English cake that’s great for any occasion. This light and airy sponge cake is made with eggs, sugar, butter, flour, and baking powder. It’s then filled with jam and dusted with icing sugar.
This simple cake was named after Queen Victoria, who was known to enjoy a slice of sponge cake with her afternoon tea.
Victoria Sponge is perfect for:
This cake is perfect for Birthdays, Afternoon Tea, and any other occasion where you and your guests only want a light yet tasty dessert.
7. Battenberg Cake – the British Marzipan Cake
Yet another British cake on our list, the Battenberg Cake, is a classic marzipan cake made with layers of sponge cake held together with apricot jam. The cake is then covered in marzipan and decorated with a checkered pattern.
This cake was created in 1884 to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Louise, to Prince Friedrich of Battenberg.
Battenberg Cake is perfect for:
This cake is perfect for special occasions like Birthdays, Christmas, and Easter. The checkered pattern makes it a fun and festive cake that’s sure to impress guests. If you’re planning a tea party, this cake is a must!
8. Danish Lagkage – the Danish Birthday Cake
The Danish Lagkage is a popular birthday cake in Denmark. This cake is made with layers of sponge cake, custard, and fruit filling. It’s then covered in whipped cream and decorated with fresh fruit.
This cake was created by the famous Danish chef Claus Meyer in the early 1990s. He wanted to create a healthy and delicious cake, and the Lagkage was born!
Danish Lagkage is perfect for:
This cake is perfect for Birthdays, as it’s both light and refreshing. The fruit filling makes it a great summertime dessert, but it can be enjoyed all year round.
9. St. Honoré – the French Dessert for Special Occasions
The St. Honoré is a classic French dessert that’s fit for special occasions. This cake is made with layers of puff pastry, choux pastry, and whipped cream. It’s then decorated with caramelized sugar and fresh fruit.
This cake was created in 1846 by the French chef Pierre Carême. It’s named after St. Honoré, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs.
St. Honoré is perfect for:
This cake is perfect for Weddings, Anniversaries, bridal and baby showers, and any other special occasion. The intricate decoration makes it a show-stopping dessert. Granted, St. Honoré is not the easiest cake to make, but it’s certainly worth the effort!
10. Cremeschnitte – the Delicious Croatian Cream Cake
Lastly, we have the Cremeschnitte, a delicious Croatian cream cake. This cake is made with layers of puff pastry and vanilla custard. It’s then dusted with powdered sugar and served chilled.
The Cremeschnitte is a popular dessert in Croatia and Slovenia. It’s believed to have originated in the Austrian Empire, but it’s been adopted by both countries and is now considered a national dish.
Cremeschnitte is perfect for:
Cremeschnitte is commonly served at weddings and other special occasions. The vanilla custard makes it a rich and decadent dessert, but it’s still light enough to enjoy in the summertime.
If you’re looking for a creamy, unique, and delicious cake, Cremeschnitte is a fantastic choice!
There you have it – ten amazing European cake ideas for every occasion! Whether you’re looking for a traditional cake or something more modern, I hope this list has inspired you to try something new.