Bremer Klaben Cake – Specialty from the North

bremer klaben cake

The Bremer Klaben Cake has some history! As other dishes from the North this cake was made for the sailors when they were at see for a long time. It has a long shelf life because of its high butter and sugar amount. Nowadays the Klaben is a typical holiday cake. It contains raisins and candied fruit. Happy Baking!

Ingredients Bremer Klaben Cake

Dried Fruit Mix 
700g raisins (soak them for 1 week in brown rum)
100g candied lemon peel (Zitronat)
100g candied orange peel (Orangeat)
– How to Make Candied Peel – 
brown rum 54%, for soaking raisins, or to taste, alternatively apple juice with some rum flavor

Starter Dough (let raise for 30 min):
150ml whole milk
150g flour, preferably Weizenmehl 550 Type – All About German Flour
60g fresh yeast – amount of dried yeast as instructed

Main Dough (let raise 30 min):
450g flour, pref. 550 Type
300g butter
1 vanilla bean
zest of 1 organic lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cardamom
100g sugar
150g chopped almonds
fruit mix as described above
1 egg

Flour-Water Mix 
20g flour
20g water

Baking Instructions following the Video

All ingredients should have room temperature.
Pour milk into a bowl, add yeast and milk. Mix well until you get a smooth starter dough. Use a mixer, there’s no kneading needed.
Cover the bowl and let raise for 30 min. This dough is ready when you see some small bubbles.

With a sharp knife cut the vanilla bean open. Scratch off the seeds and add to the butter that is cut into smaller pieces.
Grate the lemon, add  to the starter dough. Add sugar, cardamom, butter and flour.
Knead until you get a smooth dough. During kneading add the salt.
The dough is done when it comes off easily from the edges of the bowl.
Let raise for 30 min.

Chop the candied orange and lemon if needed very fine. Combine with raisins and mix well.
Add the almonds and fruit mix to the dough and knead until everything is nicely combined,
Form the dough into a loaf.
Place into a greased deep baking form such as a lasagna form. Fill the form completely with the dough by pressing it towards the edges. In the video he is using a Springform Baking Tin size 28 x 18 x8 cm or 12x9x4 inches,  that also has a lid.

You can find such spring forms on Amazon.

Mix the water with flour until it’s a sticky mix. Brush this mix on top of the Klaben.
Pre-heat oven to 220 C or 430 F.
Place cake on lowest level and reduce heat to 170 C or 340 F.
Bake for 60 min.
Beat the egg in a bowl and brush it over the hot cake.
Let sit over night.

Wrap in aluminum foil and place at a cold location such as basement, cellar, just the coldest place you can think of. It must sit for 4-6 weeks. After that time period enjoy a piece of this historic sailor’s cake!

Video – in German – for Making the Klaben

Original Zenker Form that was used for the Klaben Cake – Find it here – 

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