German Friendship Cake

Introducing Jenny Drummond as my guest blogger. She is one of my best friends and a fellow lover of good home cooked food; she loves to cook and bake for her family. We met at university and shared a house where we loved to cook and eat together. Here is Jenny’s blog all about a sourdough cake:

It seems there is a friendship cake ‘doing the rounds’ and my Mum and Sister-in-law have both got one, which is how I came by mine. I actually did one a long time ago when I was a teenager and living in Germany, so it’s not just some recent fad. They are really tasty; mine was baked and eaten up today and not scoffed by me alone (promise).

If you’re not au fait with the idea, it’s like a chain letter but much nicer! It’s a sourdough cake and you keep the mixture on your worktop for 10 days. You stir it daily and ‘feed’ it every couple of days or so with flour, sugar and milk. Finally, you divide the mixture into 4 portions; three of which you give to friends to continue the chain. The ‘saved’ mixture is for you to bake after adding a few other ingredients. There are various versions, but traditionally it is with apple, cinnamon and raisins- like mine. I know that Vicky is not keen on eating much yeast* in her food, but if you try and limit your yeast intake normally a little of this would be fine.

If you would like to start your own, here’s how, followed by the instructions which you pass on along with the mixture. Remember, you must never store it in the fridge as that ‘kills’ it (it stops the yeast from working). A cup is normally 225g/225ml, but I literally just used a cup and measured it that way- as long as you use the same cup each time it works.

Starting your own Friendship Cake:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Third of a cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsps or 2 packets of active dry yeast

Method: Mix a tbsp of sugar with the water and add the yeast. Leave for 10 mins. Then mix the rest together.

Instructions/ How to care for you mix;

Day 1- Put in a large mixing bowl. Leave on your worktop covered loosely with a tea towel.

Day 2 & 3- Stir well

Day 4- ‘Feed’ – Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.

Day 5, 6, 7 & 8 Stir well.

Day 9- Repeat ‘feed’ as day 4. Divide into 4 portions and give away 3 to friends with these instructions. Keep the fourth portion.

Day 10- You’re ready to bake friendship cake. Add the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Half tsp salt
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 thirds cup of cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cooking apples, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 heaped tsps cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tsps. baking powder


  1. Mix everything together and put into large greased baking tin.
  2. Sprinkle with a quarter of a cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of melted butter.
  3. Bake for 45 mins at 180*C.

* Note from Vicky: Rather than use packet yeast it is possible to make your own sourdough starter ingredients from scratch. This method uses the natural properties of the flour rather like natural yogurt uses its own ‘probiotic’ properties to grow – Jenny has inspired me and I’m working on my own natural sourdough starter at home right now. I will blog about it soon.

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One Response to German Friendship Cake

  1. Matt says:

    That’s great!

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