Japanese-style grilled honey baumkuchen (German honey cake)

Adam Liaw
Adam Liaw's Japanese-style honey baumkuchen (cake).
Adam Liaw's Japanese-style honey baumkuchen (cake).  Photo: William Meppem

The Japanese interpretation of this classic German cake is grilled in layers on a rotisserie. This version can be done in an ordinary cake tin and although it takes a little time the end result is worth it.


165g castor sugar

185g butter, softened

1 1/2 cups honey

1/4 cup milk

7 large eggs, separated

75g plain flour

75g corn flour

2 pinches salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 lemon, zest finely grated, juice reserved

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cups icing sugar, sifted 


1. Preheat your grill to 240C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm cake pan.

2. Using an electric mixer beat two tablespoons of the sugar with the butter until well-creamed and pale, then beat in the honey and milk. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time until just combined. Combine this mixture with the flours, salt, baking powder, lemon zest, cardamom and vanilla until just combined.

3. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until stiff and glossy. Fold in half of the egg whites into the cake batter, then the remaining half until just combined.

4. Evenly spread  1/3 of a cup of the batter over the base of the cake pan. Place under the grill for 1-2 minutes until the top is a deep golden brown. Repeat with remaining mixture in layers. When all the mixture is finished, set the completed cake aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Turn out the cake and cool completely on a wire rack.

5. Combine the icing sugar and a pinch of salt and enough lemon juice to make a thick, pourable icing. Pour the icing over the cake until covered and serve.

Also try Adam's magical bitter caramel and custard layer cake.