Danube Wave Cake with German Flag

27. September 2020

Prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Serves: 16-20

Since I grew up most of my life in Germany, I got to know the Danube Wave Cake, in German, ‘Donauwelle Torte’, as a little child. It is a pretty traditional German cake and absolutely delicious! It combines a basic cake, cherries, buttercream and chocolate – what else is needed? This Danube Cake  recipe tastes like the original recipe, but looks different, with the German flag inside and out! Find the entire ‘making of’ in my Instagram Highlight. If you are looking for other great cake recipes, get inspired by:

Danube Waves Cake Recipe

The recipe for the Danube Wave, which by the way is also called ‘Snow White Cake’, I guess we are good in giving cakes awesome names, is usually baked the baking sheet. But this Danube Wave Cake is round and baked in a springform cake pan. I really love the look of round cakes, they look much more festive and can be decorated so much better. That’s what I love about baking: decorating. Just letting the creativity flow and to create something visually beautiful, where by no means the taste can be compromised of course.


German Flag Cake Ideas


When developing the idea for this cake, I thought it would be great to design a cake with the German flag on it, in this case, it’s not only outside, but also from the outside! Thus, I decided to go for the original Danube Cake recipe, but as a celebration cake in German style. This cake is probably best suitable for celebration the German Unity Day October 3rd or for the world cup or European football championship. The cake decoration for the German flag basically consists of chocolate ganache in different colors: black, red and yellow.

Donauwellen Cake with Pudding Buttercream

The Danube Wave Cake is actually a very simple, but super delicious cake. There are several components which make up this delicious cake:

  • Cake: for this Donauwellen recipe we are using a basic German cake recipe, which consists of a basic cake batter made out of flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, butter, eggs and milk. This is divided into two parts and one half is mixed with cacao powder and a dash of milk.
  • Cherries: in this German Danube Wave Cake recipe we are using pitted cherries, which are simple put into the cake batter. For the original recipe the light cake batter is spread out on a baking sheet, on top the chocolate cake batter and then the cherries are gently pressed into it.
  • German Pudding Buttercrem: I absolutely love this kind of buttercream! It is full of flavor, buttery but still light as it is made out of vanilla pudding. The first step is to make a vanilla pudding as usual out of milk and vanilla pudding mix or you can simply make it yourself with egg yolk, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla. Once the pudding is made, I recommend to cover it with cling film to avoid the creation of this pudding skin. The second step is to whip the buttercream until light and fluffy and when the pudding is on room temperature, add it spoon by spoon and whisk in between until it becomes a perfect German buttercream.
  • Chocolate ganache: This is my second favorite part of this recipe, this delicious and irresistible chocolate glaze. It is soft and so chocolatey. It is made out of dark chocolate which is cut into small pieces, when pouring hot cream over it the chocolate pieces melt and once combined it creates this beautiful chocolate ganache. This is then spread on top of the buttercream. For the original Danube Wave Cake recipe we would take a fork and create some wave looking shapes in the cake by combining the chocolate ganache and German buttercream. In this recipe we are painting the German flag with it, by using partly dark chocolate and partly white chocolate, which is then colored in red and yellow.

In terms of taste, this cake recipe definitely contains all the components of the original Donauwelle Cake recipe, but in a slightly different order. Let’s get started!

Print Recipe

Danube Wave Cake with German Flag

  • Preparation time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Servings: 16-20


Cake Batter

  • 1 1/3 cup (300g) butter, (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, (room temperature)
  • 3 cup (400g) flour
  • 1 tbsp (1 pack) baking powder
  • 1 cup (200ml) milk
  • 1 1/3 cup (300g) cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup (30g) dark cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk

German buttercream

  • 4 cup (800ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2x 1/4 cup (80g) cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp (2 EL) vanilla extract
  • 2 cup (500g) butter, (room temperature)

German flag decoration

  • 2 cup (300g) dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (150ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (150g) white chocolate


Cake batter

    1. Whip the butter (room temperature) until it becomes light and fluffy, add the sugar and beat until the butter mixture becomes a bit lighter. Whip in the eggs (room temperature) one by one and mix until well combined. Mix together the flour, cornstarch and baking powder and add to the dough alternating with the milk and combine well to a nice cake batter.
    2. Pour ¼ of the cake batter into a bowl, divide the remaining cake batter into two more bowls. Color ¼ of the cake batter with red food coloring and add the cherries. Mix half of the cake batter with cacao powder and milk and color the other half with yellow food coloring.
    3. Fill all cake batters into three separate 20cm (8 inch) diameter springform cake pans and bake at 160°C (320°F) for about 25 minutes.

German buttercream

    1. In the meantime, make the pudding, bring the milk to a boil, but put 100ml aside and mix with the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and eggs. As soon as the milk boils, add the milk-sugar mixture while stirring constantly with a whisk. Continue stirring until it thickens and then immediately transfer to a bowl, cover with cling wrap and let cool.
    2. As soon as the pudding has cooled down and is at room temperature, beat the butter (room temperature) until fluffy and add the pudding spoon by spoon and mix together until it becomes a beautiful German buttercream.
    3. Place the yellow cake on a cake plate and spread ¼ of the buttercream on it, place the red cake on top and spread another ¼ on it. Put the dark cake on top and cover the cake with the rest of the buttercream.

German flag decoration

    1. For the sides of the cake, cut parchment paper to the height and the circumference of the cake, place this piece of parchment paper on a larger parchment paper. Carefully melt the dark chocolate and spread it on the parchment paper, put it around the cake and let it cool.
    2. For the German flag, divide the top surface of the cake into three parts by using pieces of parchment paper. Heat the heavy cream and chop white chocolate into small pieces. Divide the whipped cream into three bowls and put the rest of the dark chocolate in one of them, stir carefully and spread over the top of the cake. Divide the white chocolate pieces in the other two bowls and mix in one with red and the other with yellow food coloring. Put on the cake as well, let cool and remove the parchment paper.
    3. When serving, it is best to cut the cake with a hot knife so that it can easily cut through the sides.

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