A Quest to Find Baumkuchen

Tabitha and I With Our Cake

During a beach weekend two weeks ago, my dad and I drove to Huntington Beach to visit the Cake Box, a cake shop with incredible pastries and cakes.  My dad saw an article about the Cake Box in the Los Angeles Times. (http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-baumkuchen18-2010feb18,0,3829944.story.  It was a very interesting article, and you should read it for more information about baumkuchens and The Cake Box.)   The Cake Box is one of the two places in the United States that have a baumkuchen machine.  A baumkuchen is an extraordinary cake that looks like donuts that have been glazed on top of each other.  It had apricot glaze and chocolate icing.  One of these machines is at the Cake Box, and the other is somewhere in Chicago.

Baumkuchen Machine in the Corner at the Cake Box

When we walked into the Cake Box, we actually the saw the old baumkuchen machine.  It was a big, metal oven, with a cylinder over the top of the fire burners.  It looked sort of like a grill.

In the window of the Cake Box, I saw the beautiful cakes they make there.  One was a soccer ball cake that looked so real that I wanted to play in the grass with it!  We also saw lovely wedding cakes decorated with flowers and leaves.  When I have my wedding, I am going to the Cake Box!

I decided that I was going to get a meringue cookie.  It looked like whipped cream (which I like), and I had never tried one.  It looked really good!

A Picture of a Baumkuchen with 22 Rings!

After that, we looked at the pictures that they had in the store.  We saw one picture of a colorful baumkuchen with 22 rings!  My dad also showed me a picture of a gooey “croquembouche”.  A croquembouche is a pile of messy cream puffs, stuck together with sticky caramel, made to look like a cake.  It looked delightful, but we did not buy one.  Maybe next time.

What we did buy was what we came for:  a baumkuchen cake.  They had 3 or 4 to choose from.  Some had two rings, and some had three rings, and one had four.  We decided that four was a little too much, but we could eat more than two, so we took the three-ringed baumkuchen.

These Were Our Baumkuchen Choices

Can you see the layers that look like the rings of a tree?

We took it back to our borrowed beach house and saved it for dessert that night.  Dad cut it into thick slices, and inside you could see the layers that looked like rings of a tree.  Dad heated it up, and we then put it in a bowl with Mexican fried ice cream.  Dad said that the Mexican ice cream and the German cake were an interesting mixture.  It was a little dry, but the ice cream helped with that.  This cake was not very light or puffy.  It was dense and heavy, but it was delectable!   I loved the baumkuchen.  I could not taste the apricot glaze that they said was on it, but I loved it anyway!

As for the meringue cookie, I could handle half of it, but soon I had to throw the rest away.  I did not enjoy it.  It was just too sugary.


The Cake Box

The Cake Box

6054 Warner Avenue

Huntington Beach, California