Viking River Cruises Donauwellen Cake

Danauwellen Cake

This elegant cake is called Donauwellen (“Danube waves”) because the layers tend to form wave patterns; also, it is customary to decorate the frosting with a wavy pattern. In Austria and Bavaria, Donauwellen cake can be found in virtually every bakery along the river. With layers of chocolate, vanilla, cream and cherries, this dessert has it all.

Ingredients (Makes 18 servings)

Cake batter:
3/4 lb margarine 
1/2 lb white sugar 
7 med whole eggs 
1/2 lb all-purpose flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
2 T cocoa powder 
1/3 cup milk 
4 C pitted sour cherries from the jar, drained 

Pastry cream:
2 1/4 C milk 
A few drops organic vanilla extract 
3 T sugar 
1 package of vanilla pudding mix, dissolved in 2 T milk 
1/3 lb butter, softened 
4 T confectioner’s sugar 

Chocolate glaze:
7 oz semi-sweet dark chocolate, crumbled or grated 
1 oz coconut oil or coconut fat 


NOTE: You will need a 4"- 6" deep pan 12"x20" to cook all layers together in 1 pan. You can also use a heavy-duty aluminum foil placed on a large cookie sheet for additional stability.


Preparation and Directions

Cake batter:
Combine the margarine and sugar in a bowl and whip until foamy. Gently fold in the eggs. Using a hand blender on low speed, carefully add the flour/baking powder blend and mix well. Grease the bottom of a full-sized steam table pan (or use parchment paper as discussed) and evenly spread half of the dough inside. Slowly stir the milk into the remaining dough and add the cocoa powder. Add this mixture as a second layer into the pan. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the sour cherries onto the dough and bake in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes until done; you can test with a toothpick, which will come out clean when the cake is done. Remove from oven and cool. 

Pastry cream:
Put milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add pudding mix while constantly stirring. Once pudding thickens, set aside to cool. With a hand blender, whip softened butter with confectioner’s sugar until very creamy. Reduce speed and slowly add pudding mixture. Spread evenly on top of the cooled cake and set aside. 

Chocolate glaze:
Carefully melt coconut oil/fat on very low heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Using a pastry spatula, apply glaze evenly onto cake. Use a fork to make wavy patterns on the frosting. This cake tastes best when prepared a day in advance; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook time: 30-40 minutes.

Let us know how yours tasted in the comments below!!

Is there another river cruise dish that you would love to try cooking yourself? Let us know in the comments and we will do our best to provide the recipe!

Enjoy. Jess -