Kalter Hund (Kalte Schnauze) is a delicious German no-bake biscuit and chocolate cake that tastes great, requires just a few minutes to put together, and makes for the perfect dessert!
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This decadent German cake is extremely popular amongst kids and it's no secret why. The fact that it requires no baking makes it the perfect cake for birthdays (I cannot tell you how many times I have made it for my kid's birthdays, yet it is always a hit)! And just like Arme Ritter (poor knights), it is also one of Germany's many dishes that have fascinating names. Sounds interesting? Then let us dig in!
what is Kalter Hund?
Kalter Hund, also known as Kalte Pracht (cold splendor), Kalte Schnauze (cold snout), Keksmauer (a biscuit wall), or Kalter Igel (cold hedgehog) is a popular German no-bake biscuit and chocolate cake. The name Kalter Hund Kuchen literally translates to cold dog cake, in English. There are different theories out there regarding its origins but several recipes refer to the version dating back to the early 20th century, made by the baking company Balsen who in a bid to maintain market control over their products, developed and published a biscuit and chocolate cake recipe.
Not only is Kalte Schnauze popular here in Germany, but it is also well known in other European countries, where it goes by different names such as Salame di Cioccolato (Italy), Mosaïkó (Greece), or Kiksekage (in Denmark).
Now, while the traditional versions use eggs as a binding agent, Kalter Hund recipes have since evolved to omitting eggs (as is the case with this recipe), as well as using different types of toppings and fillings.
This is a summary of the ingredients you will need to make this recipe, as well as possible substitutions. You will find the detailed measurements, as well as the step-by-step instructions in the recipe card below.
- coconut fat - coconut fat is an integral part of this recipe as it helps give the glaze a wonderful shine, so I do not recommend skipping it. The most common brand here in Germany is Palmin but feel free to use any coconut fat variety you prefer.
- light and dark chocolate.
- vanilla sugar - this is simply a mixture of sugar and the seeds extracted from vanilla pods. See how you can make your own vanilla sugar here.
- butter biscuits.
- heavy cream.
And while you are making this recipe, have a look at my Spekulatius Gewürz ( a popular German spice during the Advents and Christmas holidays).
useful tips, refrigeration, and freezing instructions
- As a variation, add in some chopped nuts, or sprinkle grated coconut on top, before putting it inside the fridge to set. You can also make an adult version of the cake using brandy, rum, cognac, or amaretto; or top it with sprinkles or smarties for the kids.
- For clean slices, allow the biscuit cake to stand on the countertop for a few minutes before slicing it.
Store your leftover Kalter Hund in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also make it ahead and keep it in the freezer. To freeze simply cover the cake using plastic wrap (cling film) and then cover it again with aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
more world cuisine recipes
Try these other delicious Recipes from Around the World!
- Vanilla Skillet Cake
- Rougaille Saucisse
- Kesar Pista Kulfi (Indian dessert, slightly similar to icecream).
- Wirsing (German Savoy Cabbage)
- Kenyan Beef Stew
- Jollof Rice and Chicken
- German Egg Salad
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Kalter Hund - German No Bake Biscuit Cake
- 250 g butter biscuits
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 450 g light chocolate
- 150 g coconut fat (such as Palmin)
- 200 g heavy cream
- 30 g vanilla sugar (see notes)
- Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (cling film) or aluminum foil. In a medium saucepan, warm the cream without allowing it to come to a boil.
- Break the dark and light chocolate into small pieces then add it along with the coconut fat to the saucepan with the cream. Combine and allow the chocolate and coconut fat to melt under medium to low heat, stirring constantly until entirely melted.
- Add the vanilla sugar then stir to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Use a spatula or a spoon to evenly spread a thin layer of the chocolate ganache on the prepared loaf pan, then top with the biscuits, without having the biscuits touch the sides of the loaf pan, if possible.
- Repeat the process, alternating between the chocolate and the biscuits, until all the ingredients have been used up.
- Once done, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-5 hours (or overnight) to enable the cake to set.
- To serve, carefully flip the cake to a plate and peel off the plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Cut into slices and enjoy!
- To make this cake extra special for the Christmas holidays, use Spekulatius (or biscoff) biscuits.
- Kalter Hund tastes best when served cold. For this reason, keep it in the fridge and only remove it when ready to serve.
- Use a sharp knife when serving, to prevent the biscuit pieces from breaking up.