Vanessa Levis

What makes this cake so lovely is the semolina in it, which helps give the cake an interesting texture. This is a German cake. The original griestorte that I used to make was not nearly so high. It’s quite a thinnish cake but we’ve taken to things looking higher. Food is a little bit like fashion. We’ve used two sponges to make a more dramatic version but you can just make one sponge and halve it. Don’t be put off by the idea that it’s not so high.


Quantity Ingredient
6 eggs, separated
220g caster sugar
1 lemon, grated rind and juiced
2/3 cup fine semolina
4 tablespoons ground almonds
2/3 cup cream, whipped
250g strawberries or raspberries, sprinkled with 1 tablespoon caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease two 20 cm cake tins, line the bases with baking paper and dust with caster sugar and flour.
  2. Using electric beaters, beat the egg yolks with the sugar over a pan of hot water until thick and mousse-like. Remove from the heat, add the lemon rind and juice and continue beating until very thick and pale. Stir in the semolina and ground almonds.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold into the mixture. Pour at once into the prepared tin and bake for 40–45 minutes or until the cakes shrink a little from the sides of the tin.
  4. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. When cold, spread one cake with whipped cream, cover with the other cake and top with raspberries or strawberries.


  • Griestorte with fresh peaches or pears

    Peel, stone or core and slice two fresh peaches or pears, dip in water acidulated with lemon juice to prevent browning, remove, dry well and put in between the cake layers with whipped cream flavoured with a little honey. Dust the top of the cake with sifted icing sugar.
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