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Easy Donauwelle- Delicious German Cake with Pudding and Cherries

Cooking Method
Difficulty Intermediate
Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 35 min Rest Time: 2 hour Total Time: 2 hrs 55 mins
Servings 10
Best Season Summer

Donauwelle, also known as Danube Wave, is a popular German cake that has its origins in the country's rich baking tradition.

This delicious cake is named after the Danube River and it is a layered cake that typically consists of a chocolate and vanilla marble sponge cake base, topped with a layer of sour cherries (I used cherries) and a vanilla pudding layer or whipped cream layer. The cake is further adorned with a distinctive wave-like pattern on its surface. It is this unique appearance that gives the cake its name, as it resembles the waves of the Danube River.

I made a super easy version with less quantities than usual in case you want to enjoy this with your partner or why not alone😅 because trust me, it is so good that it is easy to eat half of the trat by yourself 🤣 (although I don't encourage you to).

    For the sponge
  • 125 grams butter (room temperature)
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 2 Pieces eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 137 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 200 grams cherries or sour cherries (pitted)
  • For the pudding
  • 1 Piece vanilla pudding sachet
  • 450 milliliters milk
  • 50 grams butter
  • For the ganache
  • 80 grams dark chocolate (or milk chocolate)
  • 80 milliliters cream
  1. Making the sponge

    Start by beating the sugar and the butter together until nice and fluffy (2 minutes approx.) Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla extract and give it a good mix. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix well with the hand mixer until everything is incorporated (do not over-beat). At the end, add 1 tablespoon of milk and give it one more mix. Divide the batter into 2 bowls and add the cocoa to one of them. Beat it for a couple of seconds with the mixer in order to incorporate the cocoa, then add the 2 tablespoons of milk. Transfer the white batter to a 25x20cm rectangular tray (even smaller, I would recommend using 20x20 for this quantity, unfortunately I did not have a square one) lined with baking sheet, then add the cocoa batter on top and smoothen it with a spatula while spreading it evenly.  Add the cherries pressing it down gently to create that "waves" effect. Depending on the size of your cherries you might need to add less. Or more. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes at 180 degrees.

  2. Making the pudding

    Prepare the vanilla pudding as per the instructions on the package. I added 50ml milk less to my pudding as I wanted it to be thicker. I mixed the pudding powder with 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar and then added the rest of the milk (450ml) and simmered and whisked until it thickened. I covered it with plastic foil and then let it cool down. After it cooled down, I added the soft butter and mixed everything well. I spread this custard on the cooled cake. Set in the fridge for 1 hour minimum.

  3. Making the ganache

    Start by finely chopping the chocolate. Add it to a bowl. In a pot, heat the ream until it starts bubbling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, let it sit for 1 minute, then mix everything with a whisker until everything is glossy and the chocolate is completely melted. Pour the ganache while sill warm over the pudding layer (take the cake from the fridge) and distribute the ganache evenly. At this point the ganache should start setting as the vanilla pudding is cold. Optionally, you can make some waves with a fork just like I did in the video here or just leave it as it is. Refrigerate for 1 hour more until the ganache is set and then serve it. It is delicious, I'm telling you!