Fanni’s Strawberry Cake

Fanni's Strawberry Cake, Genevieve Davis
Fanni's Strawberry Cake. Photo courtesy of author Genevieve Davis.

Note from author Genevieve Davis: Renate, who is Fanni’s great niece, made us this beautiful dessert when we visited her in Vienna. Let me tell you, it is a sight to behold.


  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Slightly less than a cup of SIFTED flour [but if you scoop the flour out of the canister or bag, try 2/3 cup of flour]

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  1. Whip the yolks with sugar until it is creamy.
  2. Whip the egg whites until stiff.
  3. Fold into sugar and egg yolk mixture.
  4. Gradually add flour.
  5. Turn into a greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes or until done.

Here are three tests for doneness:
1. When the cake top is golden brown
2. When the cake springs back when tapped lightly with a finger
3. When a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Sweetened whipped cream
Fruit Glaze or Strawberry Jelly
Whole Strawberries

Topfen in English is “quark,” a cheese made by adding a bacteria culture to sour milk. Topfen, or quark as we call it, has a sour taste because it comes from sour milk. Maybe you can find Topfen at a gourmet or German specialty store. It has a rich, tangy taste, because it’s a soft cheese made from buttermilk.

Some alternatives to quark are thick yogurt or whipped cream cheese. You could also try mascarpone, which is already sweetened. Or you can try ricotta or cottage cheese, both made with rennet instead of friendly bacteria, thus giving them a stronger taste.

To Make Topfen

Give this a shot if you want to try your hand at making quark.
Turn your oven on to 150 degrees. Put the buttermilk into an ovenproof bowl and cover. Put the buttermilk into the oven and let it stay in there overnight, about 8 or 12 hours. You should have clotted buttermilk when it is ready.
Line a colander or sieve with cheesecloth. Pour in the clotted buttermilk. Cover with excess cheesecloth. Allow the whey to drain 30 minutes to a whole day, depending on how hard you like your cheese.

Fruit Glaze

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup fruit juice
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • ½ package gelatin
  1. Make a paste with cornstarch and a few spoonfuls of cornstarch.
  2. Mix sugar and fruit juice in a pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Sprinkle gelatin over the mixture and stir. Add a little of this mixture to the cornstarch paste until creamy. Add the cornstarch to the mixture gradually. Bring to a boil again.
  4. Cool and drizzle over fruit.

Final Steps

  1. Mix the topfen with the sweetned whipped cream.
  2. Pile that on top of the baked biscuitteig.
  3. Scatter the strawberries on top of the cream, or place in a circle or a heart.

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