Cherry Kuchen

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Kuchen (pronounced “koo-ken”) is the German word for “cake.” Traditional kuchen is sort of like a combo of cake and pie, usually topped with a creamy custard.  It is very popular in Germany, but is also the official state dessert of South Dakota.  In Germany, there is a tradition much like the British teatime where kuchen and other pastries is served on Sundays between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. and served with hot coffee or tea.  They call it “Kaffee and Kuchen” or “Coffee and Cake.”

Kuchen is topped with seasonal fruits like peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, figs, and almost any kind of berries.  The custard topping is optional, although most recipes include it.  The custard is simply made by stirring together egg yolks with milk, cream or sour cream.

This kuchen is made with fresh cherries from our local Farmer’s Market.  It has a buttery crust, the cherries are scattered on the crust then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and partially baked, then topped with egg yolks mixed with sour cream and baked again.

The kuchen is baked and cooled completely before cutting.  It can be served at room temperature but is also excellent served cold.  It’s easy to make and very versatile since fruits can be used seasonally.

Cherry Kuchen
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: German
  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons table salt
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Filling:
  • 1-1/2 pounds sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Topping:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. For Crust: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in the butter pieces until the mixture forms small even crumbs. Press a layer of the mixture on the bottom and halfway up the sides of an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Scatter the prepared cherries on the crust. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over cherries. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. For Topping: While crust and cherries are baking, whisk together the egg yolks and sour cream. Right after baking for the 15 minutes, remove from oven and immediately pour sour cream mixture evenly over the top. Return to oven and bake an additional 25 minutes or until the top starts to lightly brown. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares to serve. It can be served at room temperature or refrigerated until cold. It's great both ways!

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2 Responses to Cherry Kuchen

  1. July 9, 2024 at 1:00 pm #

    Yum! Sounds delicious, simple, & a wonderful way to serve a seasonal fruits dessert. Can’t wait to try it with peaches or mixed berries, which is our favorite summer fruit. Guess I will have to try making both!! Enjoy your summertime recipes & thanks for sharing. Blessings!

    • July 9, 2024 at 8:43 pm #

      Kim, I want to try it with peaches too!

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