Russian Zupfkuchen for Valentine


Of course, being married to a Russian man, I was very curious about a cake we call “Russian Zupfkuchen” (maybe one can translate it into “Russian Pull-Off Cake”). When I asked him about an original Russian recipe for this tasty chocolate and cheese cake, I was met with utter puzzlement: such a cake is not known in Russia. So, where does this cake come from and why is it called Russian?

A bit of research revealed  that Zupfkuchen is known in Germany for many decades. The name comes from the spots of chocolate dough, which are on top of the cake, and those spots are created by pulling off (in German zupfen) pieces of dough. Only in the 1990 the company Dr. Oetker brought a cake mix onto the market and – yes – just named it Russian Zupfkuchen, presumably because the dark dough pieces sometimes look before baking like Russian church towers….

So, and here is our Valentine edition of a Russian Zupfkuchen, where we did not pull off pieces of dough but instead cut out little hearts…


And, as is typical for Russian recipes, the measures are in glasses. Here, one glass = ca. 300 ml (which is a good sized mug).

You’ll need for the dough:

  • 200 g Butter, soft
  • 1/2 glass sugar (ca. 100 g)
  • 2 glasses flour (ca. 350 g)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder (ca. 30 g)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs

You’ll need for the filling:

  • 180 g Butter, melted and cooled down
  • 3/4 glass sugar (ca. 150 g)
  • 4 eggs
  • 500 g curd (Quark), low fat
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

Now you have to:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy.
  3. Add flour, cacao and baking powder and mix well. Eventually combine well by kneading the dough by hand.
  4. Take 1/3 of the dough and cover bottom and rim of a round cake form (ca. 26 cm diameter).
  5. Mix well all ingredients for the filling.
  6. Fill into the covered cake form.
  7. Roll out the rest of the dough (not too thin – at least 2 cm thick), cut out hearts and place them onto the filling.
  8. Bake at 180 degrees for ca. 50-60 min or until beaked through. When the cake is getting dark too early (which usually happens to me…), cover it with some tin foil.

Guten Appetit and приятного аппетита!

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