German Tree Cake with Dulce de Leche

Baumkuchen mit Karamell aus Südamerika namens dulce de leche

Today I am introducing you to a German treat with a Latin American twist: tree cake with the caramel dulce de leche. You may wonder why it is called tree cake. All the layers are supposed to represent the rings you see when you cut through the stem of a tree. If you buy this cake at a fair, the layers are not shown horizontally, but vertically. This makes it look even more like the real tree rings and hence the name. However, since you need a special construction with the cake roating on it to bake layer after layer, I decided to go for a simple version you can prepare with your oven at home.

Baumkuchen mit Karamell aus Südamerika namens dulce de leche

You need to know that each year my Colombian husband and me (German by passport) have a discussion as to how we are going to celebrate Christmas. Are we going to do it the Colombian way, the German way, are we going to do a mix, or should we do something completely different instead? I was stupid enough to suggest introducing a new tradition, a proper Christmas cake. But then all hell broke loose. On top of coming from different cultures, my husband is the classic vanilla boy whereas I am a pronounced chocoholic. There is a reason why there is a separate chocolate category on this blog! So I believe you can imagine that my chocolatey suggestions were ignored from the start. My husband wanted something with vanilla flavor and I could only think of super boring recipes, which to me didn’t say Christmas at all. So how were we going to solve this problem? I decided to give it a rest and see if I may find inspiration elsewhere.

So one day we paid a visit to a Colombian couple, who tried German tree cake (Baumkuchen) for the first time. Needless to say that they wanted to know all the details  of how it was made, how you eat it, etc., etc. I jokingly said that probably German tree cake would be even better if you fill it with the Latin American caramel called dulce de leche. Oh, those were some poorly chosen words, because the eyes of my husband started glistening, he demanded I give this a go. So I consulted recipes, checked how you can do it at home and decided to give it a shot. I mean, it the worst case it may go wrong, but so what? I quickly learned that it was actually surprisingly easy, the most important part being that you have an oven with a grilling function. Otherwise it will not work. The main difference to regular cake baking is that you need to watch your oven the entire time and that you will bake each layer for about one minute or two and continue until the batter is done. I also learned that it is better to have two layers of cake and one layer of caramel instead of alternating layers. And when I was done with the cake, my husband took a bite and got very big eyes. He professed this cake to be his new favorite and that we should consider this as an option for our Christmas cake. So people, if you need to combine a chocolate lover with a vanilla lover and don’t want to serve either flavor, go caramel! Especially if it is the Latin American version with sweetened condense milk named dulce de leche. I hope you have as much fun making this as I did!

Baumkuchen mit Karamell aus Südamerika namens dulce de leche

Tree Cake with Caramel from Latin America

Prep Time: 1hr Cooking Time: 40min Total Time: 1hr

This German tree cake is made with additional caramel from Latin America named dulce de leche.


  • Tree Cake
  • 200 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 150 grams of regular sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams of finely processed almonds
  • About 100 grams of apricot jam

  • 1 can (400 grams) of caramel made from sweetened condense milk named dulce de leche, see here how to make it

  • Decoration (optional)
  • I brushed rosemary in egg white and coated it in sugar, the same with red-colored marzipan for cranberries. Traditionally you will coat it in about 200 grams of chocolate and 1 tablespoon of coconut fat



For the tree cake butter a 20cm/8inch springform and turn on the hottest grill function of your oven. If you don't have a grill function, I don't think you can make this recipe.


Beat the soft butter for a few minutes, then add the sugar and cream again for about a minute. Separate the eggs and add one egg yolk a time. Lastly beat in flour and almonds.


In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, then fold into the prepared mix.


Spread about 1-2 tablespoons of the batter on the bottom of the springform and grill for about 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully as each oven is different. Once it is nicely brown, spread another layer of 1-2 tablespoons and grill again for 1-2 minutes. It becomes easier to spread the batter as it will melt slightly.


While your second layer of cake is grilling, heat the dulce de leche caramel gently and again spread about 1-2 tablespoons on your cake. Watch out, the caramel needs less time, once it bubbles, take it out, mine took 30 seconds only.


I recommend always two layers of batter and one layer of caramel. Continue grilling until your full batter is used. It is important to finish off with a layer of batter, so if you are reaching the end, skip another layer of caramel to be sure. Let the cake cool and then gently release from springform.


Heat the apricot jam and brush the entire cake including the edges with the jam. Let dry.


For the decoration either use the version shown here, which means brushing rosemary with egg white and coating it in sugar later on. Color some marzipan red and form small balls to represent cranberries. You can use fresh cranberries instead. Also coat in egg white and sugar.


Traditionally the tree cake is covered with a layer of melted chocolate which was mixed with a tablespoon of coconut fat.


The tree cake will keep for a long time if sealed with apricot jam and chocolate. Cover tightly and keep for a few weeks in a cool and dry place.

Baumkuchen mit Karamell aus Südamerika namens dulce de leche

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  • Reply
    Tuesday December 1st, 2020 at 10:43 AM

    Oh, das ist toll. Wir lieben Baumkuchen, und mit Karamell ist er bestimmt nochmal viel besser.

    • Reply
      Tuesday December 1st, 2020 at 10:44 AM

      Finden wir auf jeden Fall 🙂

  • Reply
    Tuesday December 1st, 2020 at 02:40 PM

    Wie schön. Und das klingt wirklich therapeutisch, da so vor dem Backofen zu warten.
    LG Ilka

    • Reply
      Tuesday December 1st, 2020 at 03:58 PM

      Ja, so war es auch 🙂

  • Reply
    Tuesday December 1st, 2020 at 03:47 PM

    Jetzt haben wir vorgestern gerade “normalen Baumkuchen” gebacken, aber es ist kaum noch was da. Ich denke, da können wir diese Woche nochmal mit deinem Rezept nachlegen.

    • Reply
      Tuesday December 1st, 2020 at 03:50 PM

      Unbedingt! Und berichte gerne wie es klappt, das Karamell ist wirklich mega schnell fertig, da muss man aufpassen.

  • Reply
    Tuesday December 1st, 2020 at 07:11 PM

    Liebe Jenny,
    das sieht unfassbar lecker aus, das probiere ich gleich am Samstag aus!
    Danke Dir!

    • Reply
      Tuesday December 1st, 2020 at 07:11 PM

      Dann unbedingt berichten, ja?

  • Reply
    Wednesday December 2nd, 2020 at 10:32 AM

    Die Tradition mit der Weihnachtstorte gibt es bei uns auch. Allerdings wird nicht lange diskutiert, sondern ich backe, was mir schmeckt und das ist dann meistens auch das, was der Rest auch mag. Aber dein Baumkuchen mit Dulce de leche klingt absolut traumhaft. Ein tolles erstes Türchen!
    Liebe Grüße

    • Reply
      Wednesday December 2nd, 2020 at 10:50 AM

      Meist ist es auch so, dass er trotz vorherigem Meckern auch Schokosachen isst, vielleicht sollte ich das auch öfter machen 😉

  • Reply
    Conny von food for the soul
    Thursday December 3rd, 2020 at 02:19 PM

    Liebe Jenny,
    dein südamerikanischer Baumkuchen sieht einfach köstlich aus und sicher schmeckt er auch so.
    Ich liiiieeebe Baumkuchen und von deinem würde ich sofort ein Stück nehmen.
    Viele Grüße

    • Reply
      Thursday December 3rd, 2020 at 05:15 PM

      Danke dir, ich schicke dir ein Stück virtuell zu!

  • Reply
    Friday December 4th, 2020 at 11:45 AM

    Das klingt einfach zu köstlich – und auch optisch würde der sich auf meiner Weihnachtskaffeetafel phantastisch machen! Tolles Rezept!
    Herzlichst, Conny

    • Reply
      Friday December 4th, 2020 at 11:50 AM

      Danke dir! Falls du ihn nachbäckst, berichte gerne!

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