“The German’s” Birthday Wish – Maulwurftorte (Mole hill cake)

 My husband doesn’t ask for much. So I often try make his birthday a little bit special, even though he could live without any birthday recognition or celebration. This year was a big year – it was the ol’ 30th birthday bash. We were trying to decide why 30 is such a milestone. And frankly, other than the appearance of crow’s feet and a growing appreciation for red wine and Netflix, we couldn’t determine its significance. You’re not half way to anything (retirement or death, statistically speaking),  nor are you at the peak of your carreer, fitness aptitude or so-called “life goals”. Tell me, what’s all the fuss about?

My conclusion: I think sometimes you just need a good reason to celebrate. We don’t do it nearly enough and people need to be celebrated – their value, their worth, the joy they bring to others, and the fact that they matter. I am thankful my German was born and am proud to call him “mein Mann”!

The birthday details were as follows:

  1. Argue for  bit (can I not just hold me tongue for ONE day??)
  2. Cut loose with a small group of friends by going to a “Bourbon, Bacon, and More” tasting event , including a 4-course meal.
  3. Eat Maulworftorte for breakfast on actual birthday.
  4. Open gifts (Hudson’s Bay flask).
  5. Nap.

I hope you enjoy the recipe below as much as we do. No I am not German. But, I do love German baking! Oh the accuracy, the science, the perfection. Lord have mercy – I love to bake!  (I have also included my own Paleo version here.)

Slice of Maulwurftorte

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Maulwurftorte [Mole hill cake]

For the cake:

  • egg whites, of medium eggs
  • 4 1/2 ounces soft  butter or margarine
  • 4 1/2 ounces sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • egg yolks, of medium eggs
  • ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 ounce cocoa powder
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ounces ground hazelnut kernels (We skipped this, as hubby is allergic to peanuts, but refrains from all nuts. Instead I added an additional 1 ounce of flour and 1 ounce of cocoa.)
  • 3 1/2 ounces grated dark bitter chocolate (I threw the chocolate in the Vitamix as I was running short on time.)

For the filling:

  • 1 sour cherry jar (drained weight, 12 oz)
  • 2-3 bananas
  • teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
  • tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350degrees and grease the base of 10 inch round form.
  2. Measure and weigh all ingredients.
  3. Beat egg whites very stiff.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip butter or margarine with a hand mixer until it becomes smooth. Gradually add sugar and vanilla sugar, stir until mixture has thickened. Add egg yolks one at a time, whisking with mixer at the highest setting.
  5. Mix together cocoa powder and baking powder, sift, add the hazelnuts and grated chocolate to the egg mixture in 2 stages and stir briefly using the medium setting on your mixer.
  6. Gently fold in the egg white mixture, being careful not to over mix.
  7. Put the cake mixture in the springform and smooth the surface.
  8. Place in oven for about 30 minutes.
  9. Let the cake cool before removing it from the baking tim.
  10. After removing from form place on cooling rack.
  11. When cool, scoop out cake with a spoon to a depth of 1 inch, leaving a rim of about 3/4 inch. To ensure a neat rim, cut round the cake with tip of a knife before scooping out the middle.
  12. Crumble the scooped out cake in a bowl.
  13. For the filling, whip the cream with sugar and vanilla.
  14. Drain the cherries and place on a paper towel.
  15. Peel the bananas, cut in half lengthways, sprinkle with lemon juice and arrange in scooped out cake.
  16. Arrange the cherries on top.
  17. Spoon the whip cream mixture on the fruit to form a dome.
  18. Sprinkle with the remaining crumbled cake.
  19. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

1 Comment

  1. Rachael
    November 25, 2014 / 8:39 am

    Sounds like a great birthday! Your German is one to be celebrated!

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