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10 Most Labor-Intensive Desserts

        Lifestyle | Desserts

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Baumkuchen
Baumkuchen is German for "tree cake" because when it's sliced it looks like a cross-section of a  tree trunk.
Baumkuchen is German for "tree cake" because when it's sliced it looks like a cross-section of a tree trunk.
Hemera/Thinkstock

If we've learned anything up to this point, it's that layered desserts are especially time-consuming. And not only does this next layered treat take some time to create, it also requires a special device to make it.

To create baumkuchen (or "tree cake"), cake batter is either brushed or poured in layers over a continuously revolving spit in front of an open flame. In many ways the process resembles candle dipping: it's built from the inside out as layer upon layer is added. Each layer of cake must brown before the next is added, and as the cake turns on the spit the baker carves grooves into it to create a wavy shape, so it requires constant attention and a fair amount of time to make this cake. The whole process can take up to four hours from start to finish, including making the batter -- a traditional recipe calls for 1 pound (453 grams) of sugar, 1 pound of flour, 1 pound of butter and 30 eggs!

In the end, the layered cylinder produced from the baking process is cut into smaller cakes, which when sliced look like the cross section of a tree trunk, complete with rings. Baumkuchens have been known to contain up to 25 layers, weighing nearly 100 pounds (45.4 kilograms). They're very popular in Europe and in Japan.


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