Our Adventures With Herman The German Friendship Cake

Meet Herman the German friendship cake. He is raw, runny, yeasty smelling liquid. 

Herman Cake from Karen.jpg

He was given to me by Karen in a plastic box along with a set of instructions which read as follows: 

Herman Cake

Herman is a friendship cake which you cannot buy but can give away. Herman is alive and grows slowly but surely because of a yeasting process. It takes 10 days before you can eat him.

DO NOT put in the fridge as he grows at room temperature. You do not need a lid, just cover the bowl with a tea towel.

DAY 1:  Today Herman is given to you. Congratulations, you must have a friend. Pour him into a big bowl so he can grow. Cover him with a tea towel.

DAY 2:  Stir Herman 2 or 3 times each day using a wooden spoon. You can leave the spoon in the bowl.

DAY 3:  Stir Herman and talk to him.

DAY 4:  Herman is hungry! You must feed him with - 

  • 200ml of milk
  • 200g of self raising flour
  • 250g of sugar

DAY 5:  Stir Herman

DAY 6:  Stir Herman. He really appreciates your visits.

DAY 7:  Stir Herman.

DAY 8:  Stir Herman. Are you still talking to him?

DAY 9: Herman is hungry again! Feed him as Day 4. Having been fed, he now needs to be split into 5 equal little Hermans. Give away 4 of the little Hermans and a copy of these instructions.

DAY 10: Your remaining little Herman is absolutely starving after all that! This time feed him with - 

  • 150g of Self raising flour
  • 150g of Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 100g of fine chopped nuts, mixed fruit or chocolate chips
  • 2 Grated Apples (optional)
  • 100ml of oil (corn or sunflower)

Herman would now like to go to a hot resort, the oven will do. Preheat it to 170 degrees Celsius (which is between 3 and 4 on a gas mark oven). With everything mixed, pour him into a 7'' cake tin. Leave him at the resort for about an hour. After all this care, attention and nurturing ... eat him!!!

I'd never heard of a Herman cake before, but thought I'd give it a go. I found the fact that the mixture was left at room temperature a bit disturbing, but apparently that's OK. I put my germ OCD behind me and embraced the Herman journey...

Herman Cake Day 1.JPG

We stirred him on days 1, 2 and 3 as instructed and fed him on day 4. We continued to stir him on days 5, 6, 7 and 8...

Joshua stirring Herman.JPG

By day 9 he had grown considerably!

Herman Cake Day 9.JPG

Time to feed him again and split him on day 9 and split him into 5 parts. One we would keep and bake and the other 4 we would give away...

Herman Cake Day 9 Dispatching Herman.JPG

Day 10 arrived! We were ready to feed him for the last time and bake him! Joshua learned how to crack eggs for the first time...

Joshua adds eggs to Herman.JPG

We decided to go for the traditional Herman cake with apple, cinnamon and raisins...

Herman Cake Day 10.JPG

Off goes Herman to the hot resort...

Sending Herman to a hot resort.JPG

 And after an hour he was ready!

Herman Baked.JPG

He was delicious!

Herman Cake.jpg

I loved doing the Herman cake - even though it took up room on my work top and smelt a bit yeasty! It's something fun and different to do with kids.