Vegan Donauwelle (Snow White Cake)

reading time: 4 min

Hi sweet tooth,

I've got another recipe from my birthday party for you. This time it's a cake. A very special cake. Traditionally, Donauwelle (literally: Danube wave) is a pound cake with sour cherries, vanilla custard or buttercream, chocolate glaze and two layers of cake batter, one bright and one dark, with a wavy pattern like a Marble cake - hence the river reference.

I feel like a disturbingly large amount of recipe posts in the baking community start with "When I was little...", but this time I have to do the same: When I was little my parents would always make me a Donauwelle for my birthday! Ever since going vegan I never made or got one any more, but since I turned 25 last week my boyfriend made a vegan and wheat-free version for my birthday party! ♡

It turned out super decadent, delicious and even better than I imagined! I couldn't eat more than one piece a time because it is pretty rich and heavy, but I love the combination of chocolate, cherries and vanilla custard - yum!! And also, I love the alternative name "Snow White Cake" as the colour combination of black, white and red refers to the fairy tale of Snow White. I always loved that story...

Anyway - enjoy the recipe!

The recipe my boyfriend used for this pretty creation was taken from Cake Invasion - we translated the recipe into English and made a few little changes, according to my personal preferences.


adapted from Shia @Cake Invasion 

Preparation time: 60 mins
Main ingredients: vanilla custard, chocolate, spelt flour
difficulty level: moderate
makes: a 10 x 10 cake
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, wheat-free


340g wholegrain spelt flour (or a gluten-free flour blend)
40g cornstarch
180g raw cane sugar
1 package (15g) baking powder
1 package (8g) vanilla sugar
1/4 tsp salt
100ml sunflower oil
330ml soy milk (or any other plant-based milk) 
75g vegan dark chocolate
25g vegan dark chocolate shavings
1 glas (350g drained) sour cherries

500ml soy milk (or any other plant-based milk)
1 package (35g) vanilla custard powder
3 tbsp raw cane sugar
250g margarine  

250g vegan dark chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil


Preheat oven to 350°F or 175°C.

For the dough:

Add spelt flour, cornstarch, baking powder, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk to mix evenly. Add oil and soy milk to the mix and combine thoroughly. 

Divide the batter into two equal parts, then pour half of the batter into a greased 10 x 10 baking pan. Spread evenly. This layer should be around 1 - 2 cm thick.

Next, melt 75g dark chocolate using the double boiler method: Set a glass bowl over a pot of lightly steaming water, break chocolate into pieces and place into the glass bowl, frequently stirring as it begins to melt. Continue stirring until fully melted. 

Add the melted chocolate to the remaining batter in the mixing bowl, and mix well until the entire batter is slightly brown. Now carefully pour the chocolate batter on top of the other layer of batter and spread evenly, using a spatula. It's important that this layer is even.

Drain your sour cherries and distribute them on the batter, pressing down lightly. Bake for around 20 minutes. 

The cake is done when an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely on the oven rack. - In the meantime, prepare the custard filling.

For the filling:

Cook the custard, according to package instructions (basically: bring the milk to a boil, add the custard powder and stir until done). Let it cool completely.

If both cake and filling have cooled down, spread the vanilla custard on top of the cake. Make sure that the surface is smooth and straight. Then refrigerate the cake for about 2 hours.

For the glaze:

When the cake has been refrigerated for about 2 hours, prepare the chocolate glaze. Using the same double boiler method as before, melt the chocolate and mix with sunflower oil. Spread the chocolate glaze on to of the custard layer, and allow to harden before cutting.

And you're done! Enjoy your amazing cake! :)


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