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Danube Waves Cake – Donauwellen

Donauwellen Danube Waves Cake

Danube Waves Cake is the translation for Donauwellen, a German cake that has several layers and somewhat resembles the waves of the river Danube.

I like to skip the cake fork for this slice of heaven! That cracking sound when I bite through the chocolate and then the taste of delicious pudding buttercream, cherries, and marbled cake – pure bliss! Danube Waves Cake is one of our best PERIOD.

Video for How to Make Donauwellen

Making Danube Wave Cake

danube waves cake

I have to admit that this cake involves some work since it has so many different layers. It might be a good idea to make the bottom layers one day and the remaining layers the next day. This could mean you bake the cake in the afternoon and then finish it with the buttercream and the chocolate in the morning so you can serve it in the afternoon.

How To Make German Buttercream

German Buttercream is very easy to make and tastes wonderful! To make it, you only have to cook a pudding (vanilla pudding in the case of this recipe) and mix it with butter.

But it is important to mix these two things correctly, so here is what you need to know:

  1. The butter and pudding must have room temperature! If the pudding is too warm, it will melt the butter and the result is not very delicious/pretty.
  2. You must mix the pudding into the butter – spoon by spoon! If you dump it all at once, it will not combine very well and also not be very fluffy.

The Cake Pan Size

danube wave cake slices

If you want to make one single sheet cake, the cake pan ideally has the dimensions 39 x 26 cm with a height of at least 4 cm (15” x 10” x 1 2/3”). Now, these dimensions are not common for American baking pans so the best thing to do is, multiplying the width and length to get the area (150 sq inch). Then look for a cake pan with an almost similar area, like this one: https://amzn.to/3is2eaS

In the video, I used two of my square pans, both with a dimension of 9” x 9” which is a little larger but despite that, the cakes turned out great even though they were not as high as usual.

cherries chocolate buttercream cake

To get the cake out of the pans, I put a large board on each cake pan and then flipped the pan and board. The cakes came out upside down. Then I used a second board and put that on the cake and flipped it over again so I eventually had the cake on a board with the right side up. I then used a cake frame to continue with the next layers.
If you don’t have a cake frame but your baking pan is high enough, just finish the cake in the pan and later remove it either the way I just described or cut it in the pan and take them out slice by slice.

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Donauwellen Danube Waves Cake

Danube Waves Cake – Donauwellen

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
cooling 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Course Afternoon Coffee, Cake, Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine Bavaria, German
Servings 12 slices


Cake Pan as discribed in the text, i.e. https://amzn.to/3is2eaS


Cake Batter

  • 5 Eggs
  • 50 g Sugar to beat with egg whites
  • 125 ml Oil sunflower oil or vegetable oil
  • 150 g Sugar to beat with yolks
  • 250 g Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 125 ml Water
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 1 jar cherries, pitted or fresh or frozen cherries (350 g / 13 oz)

German Buttercream

  • 2 packages Vanilla Pudding Mix Cook & Serve
  • 1 l Milk
  • 200 g Butter


  • 300 g Chocolate dark
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil


Cake Batter

  • Pre-Heat the oven to 180°C / 350° F.
  • Seperate the eggs into whites and yolks.
  • Whisk the egg whites with slowly adding 50g Sugar.
  • In a different bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 150g Sugar and the Oil.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder.
  • Add the flour spoon by spoon, alternating with adding the water to the yolks until a smooth batter is created.
  • Fold in the egg whites.
  • Divide the batter in halves and add the cocoa powder and milk to one half, mixing it in carefully with a whisk.
  • Fill the light batter into the baking pan and even it out.
    Then, put the dark batter on top and even it out. You should now have two layers of batter on top of each other.
  • Drain the cherries. Now place the cherries in even rows on top of the batter and carefully press them into the batter.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes – watch the cake since ovens and cake pans vary!
  • Let the cake cool completely.

German Buttercream

  • Let the butter get to room temperature.
  • Follow the instruction on the package of the pudding mix, using the milk.
  • Once the pudding is cooked, place some cling wrap on top to prevent a skin on top of the pudding. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Whisk the butter, then slowly add the vanilla pudding with a tablespoon until you have a smooth buttercream.
  • Put the buttercream on top of the cake, even it out and place the cake into the fridge for the cream to set.

The Glaze

  • While the cake is setting in the fridge, prepare the chocolate glaze:
    Over hot water, melt the chocolate in a bowl.
    Add the coconut oil.
    Tip: Some people also add a little bit of Nutella.
  • Once the buttercream has become firm, put about half of the chocolate on top. Put the cake back into the fridge until the chocolate has become firm.
  • Put the remaining chocolate on top of the first chocolate layer, let it set for a minute or a bit longer. Then use a fork to create a wave pattern on the chocolate.
  • Keep the cake refrigerated until serving. Serve with some whipped cream and fresh cherries.


Cut the cake with a hot knife to prevent the chocolate to crumble. 
Keyword baking, Cake, chocolate, Oktoberfest, sweet
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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