I considered making a prank recipe for April Fool’s Day, but
honestly, I’m just the worst when it comes to practical jokes. They never work
out for me! I can never keep a straight face, or I give up mid-joke because the
whole thing feels dishonest. I’m just not a practical joker at heart. I know – it’s all in good fun. I’m just not great at it.
Now, playful? That’s
another thing altogether. I can do playful all day every day, especially where
dessert is concerned. That’s why I love this cake.
I’ve had Spiegeleierkuchen on my baking bucket list for years, and when I finally made it, I was a little disappointed. The cake portion was dry even though I’d taken special care to mix the batter properly. I ended up trying a few different recipes, but they all seemed to be a little on the coarse side. Perhaps that’s just one of the characteristics of the cake. In the end, I used a tried-and-true white cake recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour. This may remove some of the cake’s authenticity, but I found the texture to be much improved.
The vanilla pudding topping provides a sweet, creamy contrast to the lemon-scented white cake, and the apricot halves – aren’t they just a hoot!? They really give the cake a “fried egg” appearance, and also a satisfying fruity bite.
Do you pepper your fried eggs? I always do. I added a pinch of ground vanilla bean powder on top of each slice for a “black-peppered” appearance. If you don’t have powdered vanilla bean, then you could use a pinch of dark cocoa powder or even poppy seed.
How perfect would this cake be with a side of my Applewood Bacon Shortbread Cookies? Ha! Too much. I love it.
Even if you don’t make this as a playful April Fool’s Day treat, something about it feels entirely appropriate for spring. Maybe it’s the sunny apricots or the egg theme in general. I think it’d be cute on the Easter table next to a bowl of colorful Easter eggs.
(See more Breakfast for Dessert here!)
German Fried Egg Cake (Spiegeleierkuchen)
- 9×13 pan
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 3/4 cup 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs whites plus 1 whole large egg
- 1 cup full-fat vanilla yogurt or 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
Vanilla pudding and apricot topping
- 2 cans 15 ounces each apricot halves
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 packet .25 ounces powdered gelatin
- 4 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 10×10-inch square pan or a 13×9-inch pan by greasing it with vegetable shortening and lining with parchment paper that overhangs all four of the pan’s edges.
- Mix all of the dry ingredients on slow speed to blend. Add the soft butter and mix until evenly crumbly, like fine damp sand. It may form a paste, depending on the temperature of the butter, how much it’s mixed, and granulation of the sugar used.
- Add the egg whites one at a time, then the whole egg, beating well after each addition to begin building the structure of the cake. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
- In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt (or milk) with the vanilla and lemon extracts. Add this mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1 to 2 minutes after each addition, until fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 23 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Vanilla pudding and apricot topping
- Pour the juice from the canned apricot halves and place them on paper towels to drain while you prepare the pudding.
- Place 3/4 cup of the whole milk in a bowl. Stir in the sugar, vanilla and cornstarch until smooth and clump-free.
- Place the remaining milk in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the milk bubbles, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Place the pan back on the heat source and continue to cook and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens.
- Pour the pudding over the cooled cake. Place the apricots, evenly spaced, cut-side-down on the cake (I used 9 apricot halves on my 10×10 cake, but you may need a dozen for a 9×13 cake).
- Place the cake in the refrigerator until the pudding is set.
- Whisk together the powdered gelatin and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Let the mixture stand until solid. Place the mixture in the microwave and heat for 10 seconds, or until the gelatin is liquefied. Stir in the caster sugar until well incorporated.
- Use a pastry brush to distribute the gelatin glaze over the surface of the cake and apricots. This will give it a shiny appearance, similar to that of a fried egg.
- Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the glaze is set. When ready to serve, run a knife between the cake and the pan, and then lift the cake out of the pan with the overhanging parchment. Cut the cake into squares, each with an apricot in the center. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.