At the end of October, we popped by my father in law’s house to pick up the ‘bushel’ of apples. Waiting with the apples outside of his house was a plastic container of what looked like batter and a recipe attached. The recipe was for Herman – The German Friendship cake.

Since the 30th of October, Herman has lived on our kitchen worktop feeding and growing, as well as feeding us and our friends. I have made five batched of German friendship cake and passed on six ‘starters’ to friends and family. Herman has served us well. Today, I say goodbye to Herman. He’s been a very good friend, so this blog post is in his honor.

If you want to make your own ‘Herman’ see the recipe below.

Starter
1 cup flour
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 package dry yeast

Mix starter ingredients in a large bowl and let stand at room temperature undisturbed for 24 to 36 hours.

Friendship cake starter

Once the starter has, well started, the cake process takes around ten days.
Keep the starter batter on the kitchen work surface for the duration, do not refrigerate, or it will die.

On the first Day and fifth Day add:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar

On the second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth day stir well.

And on the tenth day, divide the batter into four equal parts. Give three away to friends and keep the fourth to make the cake.

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F and grease a large roasting tray or 13″x9″ pan.

To make the cake, add the following to the remaining batter:

2 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla

The batter will be stiff, but do not add any liquid.

Optional additions:
2 large apples – cored and roughly chopped
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple , well drained
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Topping

Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the cake batter.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour

Spread across the lined and greased roasting tray, sprinkle the topping and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. (check after 35 minutes).

I used apples in my first go at the cake. It created a moist, cakey bread like consistency.

Friendship cake with apples

I left the apples out of the second go and it was like a dense cinnamon bread. Both are very tasty and ideal for breakfast or a snack.

Friendship cake finished

Goodbye Herman. We’ll meet again, I am sure…

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