Thinking of cake usually something sweet comes to our mind but onion cake or onion tart is no dessert. Onion cake (Zwiebelkuchen) is a German fall dish that is usually combined with a very young wine from the recent harvest. The wine is called “Federweißer” if it is from green grapes and “Roter Sauser” if it is from red grapes.
An onion cake with Federweißer is basically a Fall tradition, especially in the area of Swabia. Often friends come together for this kind of meal. It is a great comfort food and the Federweißer tends to add to a good mood of everyone at the table. It is also something to bring to a party.
There are a lot of variations for this cake but I will show you the traditional, simple way to do it. However, that said I want to tell you a little bit about variations:
First of all, you can fry the onions before you add them to the cake filling. This way they are easier to digest and also taste better. You could also add shreddered cheese to the filling or/and add cheese on top before you bake the Onion Cake. Another way is to use Canadian bacon instead of bacon. Some people also add some shreddered apple to the onion filling. You could also add herbs like rosemary or thyme. You see, there are different approaches to this cake and I suggest after you tried this recipe you should play a little bit around with it and create your own version.
Onions are difficult to digest for many people. To help with bloating the recipe contains caraway seed. But that seed has a very strong taste and many people don’t like it so much. I leave it out and have some bean aid kind of product on the table. If onions are realy not your thing, you can as well substitute them by some cooked spinach and make it a spinach cake – also very delicious!
Onion Cake Dough
For the dough, I use a yeast dough. But there are other doughs to use, too. Salty shortcrust works very good, you can also use some puff pastry or what we call “Quark-Öl-Teig” – but that’s a recipe I haven’t covered, yet.
Onion Cake - Zwiebelkuchen
- 250 g flour (= 2 cups)
- 50 g Butter (a little less than 1/2 stick)
- 150 ml luke warm warm milk (=1/2 cup and a little more)
- 1 tsp. yeast
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 500 g onions (2 1/2 large onions)
- 50 g Butter (a little less than 1/2 stick)
- 300 g sour cream (1 1/4 cups)
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 3 ct. eggs
- 75 g bacon, cubed (1/4 cup)
- some butter, unsalted
- some caraway seed (optional)
- some salt & pepper to taste
Make the dough
- Add the flour to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the warm milk and the soft butter.
- Sprinkel the tsp. of yeast onto the warm milk.
- Mix shortly, then add the salt.
- Mix on high speed for 5 minutes.
- Cover with a tea towel and set aside to a warm place to rise.
Make the filling
- For the filling cutt and cube the onions. (Keep tissue nearby to dry your tears)
- Fry the bacon.
- Optional: Use the butter to fry the onions with the bacon. Otherwise mix onions, butter, and sour cream in a bowl. Add the fried bacon.
- Whisk the eggs and add the onion mix. Stir.
- Add the tbsp. flour and stir again until the mass is nice and smooth.
- When the dough has about double the size, you can roll it and cover a baking pan on the bottom and rim.
- Add the onion-egg mix.
- Sprinkle the bacon on top.
- Bake at 425°F for about 30 minutes. Check inbetween and make sure the center is fully cooked before you serve the Onion Cake.
10 thoughts on “Onion Cake – Zwiebelkuchen”
An old Julia Child idea was to make your own home made creme fraiche. Add just some store bought sour cream to heavy cream. I/4 cup sour cream to 2 cups heavy cream. Put in a closed impeccably clean jar
on the kitchen counter for 12 to 24 hours until it is very thick. Depending on your room temperature it may take less or more time. Refrigerate after it is finished. Save some when the jar is almost empty to make a new batch.
I want to try this next weekend, but I have a few questions.
#2 of the filling steps mentions to fry the bacon, and #3 mentions to add the fried bacon to the filling mixture. This doesn’t seem to have been done in the video. Your video appears to have the raw bacon spread on top of the filling in the cake pan prior to cooking. Which is correct? Was the bacon spread on top of the filling previously fried?
My other question stems from your comment about letting the cake stand for a little bit prior to cooking. Do it need to stand for a little bit, and how long is a little bit?
You can fry the bacon but don’t have to. It is up to you.
Letting the cake stand is in order to give the dough a bit of a second rise and the time very much depends on your room temperature. It can be anywhere between 30 and 50 minutes.
I want to make this dish and was wondering what kind of cheese would be a good addition. Your recipe looks so delicious and I can’t wait to try it!
I’m using cheddar cheese for it. You can use any cheese that melts well and that you like.
I made your Zwiebelkuhen last night and it was a big hit. Definitely five stars, we loved it In the recipe, the word “scramble” was confusing but I have many stories about confusing words I have used in trying to speak German. Thanks!
? You are right! My kitchen English has improved and I changed the word to whisk. I hope that will work better :-)
I grew up in germany My Mom used to make every year around the Feder weisser time she used cream fresch not sour cream but it is hard to find in the US with lost of fried bacon. I immigrated to the US in 92 and have not made it myself but after reading this I am graving some so I need to make some
Are the scrambled eggs in the onion mix scrambled as in cooked or just mixed well?
They are just mixed well. They cook thoroughly in the baking process.
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