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Danube Waves Cake - Three-Layered Cake with Cherries, Cream and Chocolate


Donauwellen - Three Layer Pudding Cake

Donauwellen - Three Layer Pudding Cake


Try a typical Austrian cake with great results. Donauwellen takes some time to make, since it has three layers and must be chilled between stages, but the results are rich and delicious. I have included optional instructions for a less-rich cake.

Makes one 13 inch x 9 inch cake, 12 - 18 pieces.

See larger image

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes


  • ***Cake Foundation***
  • 1 c. + 2 T. butter (250 grams)
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar (250 grams)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste or extract
  • 2 c. flour (250 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-2 T. cocoa powder
  • 2-4 T. milk
  • 1 1/2 c. cherries (canned and drained or frozen, thawed)
  • ***Filling***
  • 1 package US vanilla pudding mix, not instant - serves 6
  • 2 c. milk (500 ml)
  • 1 c. butter (225 grams), room temperature
  • 1 c. powdered sugar (100 grams)
  • ***Chocolate Coating***
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • Hot water, about 1/2 c. total


Cream butter and sugar and add eggs, one at a time, beating well, then add the vanilla. Add the flour mixed with baking powder and mix. Beat in enough milk to make the dough spreadable (brownie batter consistency).

Pour half into a greased, 9 x 13 inch pan.

Mix the second half with cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed for darker color) and about 1 tablespoon of milk so that the batter stays the same consistency. Smooth over top of white batter, you may swirl a little if you like.

Drop the drained, pitted cherries evenly over the top of the batter. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes. Cool completely in the pan.

While the cake is cooling, start the pudding. You may also make a cornstarch-based pudding from scratch, just make it thick enough to be a pie-filling. Make the pudding according to directions on the package, using two cups of milk. Cover the pan and let the pudding cool completely to room temperature.

Beat the room temperature butter with the powdered sugar until light and fluffy. The pudding and the butter must be the same temperature, or the emulsion you are creating will not work.

Mix the pudding by the spoonful into the butter mixture and whip until light and fluffy.

Spread over the cooled cake.

Melt the chocolate on the stove or in the microwave (short bursts, so that you don't burn it). Mix it with the powdered sugar and add boiling water to create a spreadable frosting. Spread on top of the butter cream (the frosting is thin, as for brownies). Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.

Cut with a wet knife and wipe off between cuts.

Note: To lighten this recipe, use one to two packages of pudding and prepare as for "pie filling" on package. Spread on cake with no additional butter and chill OR mix chilled pudding with two cups of whipped cream and spread on cake. Drizzle melted chocolate on top.

Traditionally, Germans use Chocolate "Kurvatüre" to spread on top of cake. You find this as "Candy Bark" or candy coating in the baking aisle of many supermarkets, but the quality is not very high. That's why I offer an alternative frosting recipe.

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