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Variations of German fruit cake can delight any time of year

Photo Credit: DAN PRED - Fruit Kuchen can be made with any variety of fruit ingredients and topped with cinnamon sugar, nuts or coconut.As the farmers markets flood with fresh summer fruit, you’ll want to keep this recipe handy!

“Kuchen” is German for “cake.” I also found out that it became South Dakota’s official state dessert in 2000. No wonder I love it so much! My father’s family is German and my husband is from South Dakota. He’s not even a sweets person and loves this dessert.

There are many variations of this recipe online. This is the one my mom used, probably originally torn out of a newspaper or from a church cookbook and adjusted to her liking.

You can utilize your favorite fresh fruit or any combination year-round. I most recently combined peaches and blueberries, and sprinkled shredded coconut and almonds on top. Mom used to make it with garden-fresh raspberries, peaches, apples, pears, apricots, rhubarb and plums.

Fruit Kuchen makes not only a great summer dessert, but it tastes even better on the second day with a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast on the patio!

It does also freeze well — that is, if you have enough leftovers!

Fruit Kuchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 c. fruit of choice (fresh berries, thinly sliced peaches, apples, pears or quartered plums or apricots)
  • 2 T. sugar plus 2 T. cinnamon (mixed together)
  • Finely chopped nuts or coconut (optional)
  • Directions:

    Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating until smooth between each. Slowly add in the flour and baking powder until well blended.

    Pat the dough into an ungreased 10-by-15 inch cookie sheet with edges or large shallow casserole dish. Place the fruit on top of the dough, overlapping but not completely covering it as you want some of the dough to bubble and cook through. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top along with the nuts and coconut if you choose. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the dough is lightly browned.

    You can also use canned fruit that's well drained and chopped up.



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