In Germany, this cake is often made for children’s birthdays but adults with a sweet tooth will also love a slice (or two, wink wink).
It’s referred to as “mole cake” because it’s like a mole hill that you’ll find in the backyard, a little mound in the earth with dirt scattered around – chocolate cake crumbs, in this case!
The special feature of this cake is the crumbly look. Inside you’ll find sweet and tart raspberries and bananas, topped with cream.
Moles don’t worry too much about calories, so you shouldn’t either!
The recipe is for a 10-inch springform baking tin.
- 7 oz soft butter
- 4 oz sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 1/2 oz ground almonds
- 3 1/2 oz all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 oz cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 9 oz frozen raspberries
- 1 banana
- 14 oz whipping cream
- 1/2 oz confectioners’ sugar
- pinch vanilla powder
- whipped cream stabilizer* (or 1 tsp. confectioner's sugar or cornstarch)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C (convection oven 350°F/180°C) . Grease the baking tin. Take the raspberries out of the freezer and place on the counter to defrost.
- Whisk butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the ground almonds, flour, cocoa, and baking powder.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and stir to combine.
- Pour into the baking tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- Now it’s all about “digging out” your cake: Carve it out with a spoon until there are about ¾ inches left at the bottom and edges. Set the crumbles aside.
- Whip the cream and gradually add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla powder (as well as the cream stiffener, if the cake is not going to be consumed that day).
- Drain the defrosted raspberries in a colander. Peel and slice the banana and distribute the slices evenly with the raspberries on the bottom of the hollowed out cake.
- Place the whipped cream on top of the fruit, with a peak in the middle. Sprinkle the crumbles evenly on top of the cream so it looks like a molehill on your table. Chill the cake until ready to serve.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
First, take your raspberries out of the freezer to defrost, and preheat your oven to 400°F. Position a rack in the middle of your oven.
Grease a 10-inch springform pan.
Step 2 – Combine Wet Ingredients
Using a large balloon whisk, whip the softened butter and sugar together until fluffy. This can also be done with a stand mixer or hand mixer if you prefer.
Add the eggs one at a time and fully incorporate between additions. Set the mixture aside.
Step 3 – Combine Dry Ingredients
In another large mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder until thoroughly combined.
Step 4 – Mix Wet Mixture with Dry, Bake, and Cool
Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, and stir together until fully combined with no lumps.
Pour the batter into your baking pan, and bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 5-10 minutes in the baking pan, and then go around the edge with a knife and remove the springform ring. Cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.
Step 5 – Scoop Out Crumbs
This step is kind of like what you would do if you were creating edible bread bowls to serve homemade soup.
Dig out your cake by carving the center out with a large spoon until there are about 3/4 inches remaining around the bottom and edges. Do this carefully- you don’t want to rip through the sides of the cake!
Reserve the chocolate crumbles for finishing the dessert.
Step 6 – Whip the Cream
Whip the cream, either by hand or using an electric mixer. This works best when the cream is chilled and all of your implements are cold. I like to chill my whisk and metal mixing bowl or mixer beaters in the freezer for a few minutes first.
As you whip, gradually add the confectioner’s sugar and the vanilla, as well as the cream stiffener if you are using it. Ensure that your sugar does not have any lumps before adding it to the cream – this will make it easier to blend in.
Continue to whip until peaks form, but don’t overdo it – you don’t want to make vanilla-flavored butter by mistake!
If it’s hot in your kitchen, place the whipped cream in the fridge to stay cool until you are ready to sue it.
Step 7 – Add Banana Slices and Raspberries
Ripe bananas are best for this step, but not so ripe that they are bruised or mushy. You want that sweet flavor, not the starchiness of fruit that is still green.
You can also use fresh raspberries instead of frozen, if they’re available. Just wash them first, and let them drip dry in a colander. Defrosted frozen raspberries should be drained in a strainer before adding them to your cake.
Peel and thinly slice the banana, and arrange the slices in a single layer inside the base of your hollowed cake. Then top with the defrosted raspberries, in an even layer.
Step 8 – Top with Cream and Make that Molehill!
Scoop all of your vanilla whipped cream onto the cake, with a peak in the middle.
Break up the cake crumbs that you saved earlier into smaller pieces with a fork or your hands if you need to, then scatter the whole bowlful on top of the cream so there aren’t any white spaces showing through.
Refrigerate before serving, to allow the cake to firm up a bit. This will make it easier to slice.
Want to take things down a notch? Try this simpler cake recipe that requires only two ingredients! Or if you’re hankering for another chocolate German treat, try this elaborate baumkuchen chocolate tart.
If you’re dealing with a deflated cake as a result, on the other hand, we’ve got some great tips on how to get creative with cake that doesn’t rise.
What will you celebrate with this special cake? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t forget to Pin It!
Originally posted March 11, 2015. Revised and updated September 28, 2016. Photos by Nina-Kristin Isensee, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
About Nina-Kristin Isensee
Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.
32 thoughts on “This German “Mole Cake” Will Have You Digging For More!”
I’ve never heard of a German Mole Cake. This recipe made me check it out on Wikipedia. I figured out the German name for it is Maulwurftorte but no Wiki page =(. Do you happen to know the history of this cake?
Well the word “maulwurf” is German for mole so perhaps the name comes from it’s similarity to a mole hill. It reminds me very much of a Black Forest gateau – just with different fruits.
That is right, the German term for mole is “Maulwurf”, so the name alludes to the crumbly outside-look of the cake.
I only know it from childhood and I tried to figure out the origin of this cake, asked around and did some research on it. But no one could tell me how this recipe developed. So far, we can only thank that mysterious someone who has established it. 🙂
German ‘mole cake’ you are first on the list……on cakes i ought to try baking..and you look so tempting and awesome…i’m sure we are going to have a mighty wonderful time in the kitchen 😉 …i just need to schedule when i’ll be baking you 🙂 …am all grins and shine!
This is certainly very decadent. Reminds me of those little soft chocolate cakes with chocolate shavings on top. I’m sure my wife will love to cook this as much as me and the kids would love to eat it.
I’ve never heard of a “mole” cake before, what an interesting concept! And to think, so easy to make the “crumbly” parts of it without too much work 🙂 Does this taste anything like a German Chocolate cake at all? I ask because my boss loves German Chocolate cake and this would be great to make for the office around the holidays as a holiday treat.
This is the first time hearing of such a cake, but I am so glad I checked out the recipe, because the process is so cool! It is sort of like twice baked potatoes. It is something I can do and be versatile with the filling and ingredients. This particular cake is quite rich. It does have a dramatic presentation that is great for festive times.
Now that is a pretty neat cake. I think I could have fun making it not to mention eating it as well. This is any ideal birthday cake not only for kids, but adults as well. Thanks so much for sharing you really have some interesting recipes here.
When I first saw the title, I misread it as “German molten cake”, which got me excited because I love the molten lava cake. This seems like a really cool recipe though. Looks super delicious and decadent. I LOVE cutting into a cake and finding a surprise filling inside
I have never heard of mole cake before, but it looks amazing!! I will definitely have to try this out for a special occasion. I bet it would be even better with in-season fresh raspberries. I don’t think I’d need the whipping cream stiffener, because I’m sure this cake would be devoured easily within a day. I love the hidden filling idea. My dad may be getting this cake for his birthday!
I have never in my life heard of this, and I am so glad I stumbled on this post. Raspberries and chocolate are my ultimate flavor combination and this looks utterly divine. I prefer my cake soft and moist rather than dry and dense and I can only imagine that this cake is all that and more. Bananas! Its weird yet intriguing. I want to try this now. A shopping trip is in my near future!
You just made my mouth water. It looks delicious and I’ve always been a sucker for a good cake. It seems to that not a lot of people have heard of it, thank you for coming up with these neat dishes all the time.
This looks like a delicious dessert that I’d like to try making. I had to look up vanilla powder, because, even though I’ve been baking for years, I mainly use American recipes, so hadn’t come across that term. Is the butter salted or unsalted? Some dessert recipes call for salted, others for unsalted, and I’d lean toward salted, since it doesn’t state, but I thought I’d ask, just in case it would make a drastic difference in flavor/texture. Either way, it sounds like it would be very popular with my friends and family.
Instead of vanilla powder, you can also use vanilla sugar. I have ground vanilla at home and thought, powder might be the best term for it. 😉
I used unsalted butter as salted butter is not really popular in Germany. Therefore I am not quite sure about the influence on the flavor but I can’t imagine that it would be a great difference. Nevertheless, you will be on the safe side with the unsalted option.
The realization I have come to after seeing all these German desserts is that I should never go to Germany. I would gain 50 lbs in a month! This one looks fun. I think I can even get my son involved with this one. If it tastes as good as it looks it will no doubt get eaten in one day at my house lol
I was beginning to think that I am the only person who has not heard of a German Mole Cake. Based on the comments, I’m not the only one – thankfully. Obviously, when visiting this page, I always stalk the desserts recipe first. I am an adult who has not outgrown her sweet tooth! (But really, can one outgrow one’s sweet tooth?). This cake is truly something I would enjoy!
By the way, just one quick question: What’s a whipping cream stiffener? Sorry for the seemingly moronic question, I’m not much of a baker – more like a happy eater of any baked goodies, hehe…
It really seems that the mole cake hasn’t made its way overseas yet 🙂 But I’m happy about the interest.
No moronic question of course, cream stiffener is mostly made of starch and shall help to keep the cream stiffed. I also tried the cake without using it and it worked out too. Anyway, as you should consume the cake within a short time period due to the fresh cream and fruits, it’ll be no problem when you haven’t got cream stiffener at hand. Have fun baking and eating 🙂
Good Lord! This looks absolutely amazing! I love all things fruity, chocolatey and crumbly! LOL It doesn’t look difficult to make either. I’m not sure what “whipping cream stiffener” is though, or where to find it. I’ll have to look it up. I really want to make this cake.
It’s indeed an amazing combination, right? And it is not too difficult at all, you will have fun “digging out” the hole for the filling and crumbling it on top later on.
Cream stiffener is mainly made of starch and keeps the cream stiff for a longer time (here in Germany it is sold in small sachets in grocery stores). But if you can’t find it, you’ll be fine too. Just keep the cake cool so the cream won’t get too warm. But if you want to try an alternative, sieve and fold 1/2-1 leveled teaspoon of cornstarch in the whipped cream. Enjoy making the mole cake!
This German mole cake is a definite must try. You have my tummy rumbling just reading the recipe. I wonder if I can substitute the bananas for another fruit though.
Sure, you can replace the bananas with other slices of fruit. I haven’t done it yet, but it will definitely work. Thin slices of pineapples or oranges come to my mind, but feel free to experiment, there are lots of tasty combinations.
Oooh I’m so glad I stumbled upon this recipe! I recently moved to Germany to live with my partner, but I don’t know the lingo yet… Anyway, I was out in some cafe with my partner and stepson, and someone else ordered the last piece of the “mole cake” that my stepson wanted. I was told that he really loves it, so I wanted to make it for him in future… But didn’t remember the name so I couldn’t look up how to make it. I’m so glad I made the accidental discovery, I will bake this for my stepson for sure! Thanks! =)
Great accident! This is a wonderful idea to surprise your stepson with, I’m sure. It’d be interested to know to which part of the country you’ve been moving to, to see what specialties there are around or if we’re close neighbours now 😉 Anyway, enjoy this cake together with your family!
German Mole Cake is one of my favorite desserts to make, my mother taught me the recipe when I was young and I’ve been making it ever since. It tastes amazing, although I tend to leave out fruits out of it and just add whipped cream, vanilla, caramel or chocolate.
That’s awesome – and may I add that a version made of cream, vanilla, and chocolate sounds irresistibly delicious to me? 😉 I like this recipe, because it allows you to also choose different fruits, or other fillings, just like you mention. You could actually have a different mole cake every week, and it won’t get boring for a long time 😀
Well, doesn’t this sound like fun both to make and to eat. I bet the kids just love it. This is very interesting. I bet the kids would even enjoy helping make it.
It sounds like it would taste almost like eating a banana split in cake form. I could get on board with that. My husband would love this.
Great comparison 😉 Right, it’s like having a banana split cake with some red fruit addition, really delicious.
Including children when making this recipe is perfect, they could scoop out the dough-base or spread the bananas. There are indeed some simple tasks they can take over here.
I love the idea of putting fruit in a cake. At first I thought this was a take on the Oreo or “worms and dirt” cake, but this is so much better. My problem with a lot of cakes is that they are too overwhelmingly sweet, but I think the banana and the berries would balance that out suite nicely. Zyni, I’d never heard of a banana split cake, but that sounds delicious, too. I’ll have to look into that one- thanks!
I cannot say that I have ever heard of a mole cake before, but it certainly sounds like a winner in my book. I love the idea of having the banana slices as the bed of the dessert, and that would really provide a good base for the other stuff that goes in there. I would probably be digging for more, that is for sure.
I have never heard of this cake but it does sound super delicious and would love to try it. Since it is a mole cake i was thinking maybe you could try useing this cake to celebrate mole day which is october 23rd. Mole day is a day that u celebrate the number 6.02×10^23 (mole) which was created by Avogardo. Many chemistry classes celebrate this event.
Hi Bonbon, thank you for this information. I didn’t know there was a mole day at all. Making this cake would indeed be the perfect way to celebrate this special date 🙂
Thanks a lot for this recipe.
Adding raspberries to this cake is amazing, good idea. It was just missing something with a sour aftertaste.
I will try to do this and I will try to share my impressions. Nevertheless, I love your recipe.