Vegan Snow White Cake (Donauwelle)

reading time: 4 min

EDIT: This is the updated version of a blogpost that was originally published in October 2016. Since my fiancé made this cake again for my 30th birthday this week, I decided to take new pictures and re-upload the recipe. Enjoy!

Hi sweet tooth,

I've got another recipe from my birthday party for you. This time it's a cake. A very special cake. Traditionally, the German classic Donauwelle (literally: Danube wave) is a pound cake with sour cherries, vanilla pudding or buttercream, and a chocolate glaze, alternating between layer of a vanilla and chocolate batter, resulting in a wavy pattern similar to a marble cake – hence the river reference.

I feel like a disturbingly large amount of recipe posts in the baking community start with "When I was little...", but this time I have to do the same: When I was little my parents would always make me a Donauwelle for my birthday! Ever since going vegan I never made or got one any more, but since I turned 25 last week my boyfriend made a vegan and wheat-free version for my birthday party! ♡

It turned out super decadent, delicious and even better than I imagined! I couldn't eat more than one piece at a time because it is pretty rich and heavy, but I love the combination of chocolate, cherries and vanilla pudding yum!! And also, I love the alternative English name "Snow White Cake" as the colour combination of black, white and red refers to the fairytale of Snow White. I always loved that story...

Anyway – enjoy the recipe!

The recipe my boyfriend used for this pretty creation was taken from Cake Invasion - we translated the recipe into English and made a few little changes, according to my personal preferences.


adapted from Shia @Cake Invasion 

Preparation time: 40 mins (+ 3 hours 30 mins cooling time)
Main ingredients: spelt flour, chocolate, cherries, vanilla pudding
difficulty level: moderate
makes: 16 squares (a 11 x 15 inch pan)
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, wheat-free


340 g wholegrain spelt flour (or a gluten-free flour blend)
40 g cornstarch
180 g raw cane sugar
1 package (15 g) baking powder
1 package (8 g) vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp salt
100 ml sunflower oil or canola oil
330 ml soy milk
75 g vegan semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
25 g vegan semi-sweet chocolate shavings
1 jar (350 g) sour cherries or tart cherries, drained

500 ml soy milk
1 package (35 g) vanilla pudding powder (we use the Dr. Oetker vanilla pudding powder)
3 tbsp raw cane sugar
250 g vegan margarine, room temperature

250 g vegan semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil or coconut oil (or vegan margarine)


Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.

For the batter:

Add spelt flour, cornstarch, baking powder, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk to mix evenly. Add oil and soy milk to the mix and combine thoroughly. 

Divide the batter into two equal parts, then pour half of the batter into a greased 11 x 15 inch baking pan. Spread evenly. This layer should be around 1–2 cm thick.

Next, melt 75 g chopped semi-sweet chocolate using the double boiler method: Set a glass bowl over a pot of lightly steaming water, and place chopped chocolate into the glass bowl, frequently stirring as it begins to melt. Continue stirring until fully melted. 

Add the melted chocolate as well as the chocolate shavings to the remaining batter in the mixing bowl, and mix well until the entire batter is slightly brown. Then carefully pour the chocolate batter on top of the light batter, and use a spatula to spread evenly without mixing those two layers. It's important that the chocolate layer is as even as possible.

Distribute the well drained cherries all over the batter, pushing them lightly into the batter.

Bake for around 20 minutes in the preheated oven at
350°F / 180°C. The cake is done when an inserted toothpick or skewer comes out clean.

Allow the cake to
cool completely on a wire rack. – In the meantime, prepare the pudding cream.

For the filling:

While the cake is cooling, cook the vanilla pudding according to package instructions. In my case this requires mix the pudding powder with a few tablespoons of the cold soy milk to dissolve it. Bring the remaining milk with the sugar to a boil, add the dissolved pudding powder, and return it to a boil, stirring continuously until thickened. Let the pudding cool at room temperature.

Once the pudding has reached room temperature, fold in the margarine to form a "buttery" cream. Make sure the pudding and margarine are the same temperature – otherwise they won't stay together.

Spread the vanilla pudding on top of the cooled cake and smooth out the top.

Refrigerate the cake for about 2 hours.

For the glaze:

When the cake has been refrigerated for about 2 hours, prepare the chocolate glaze. Using the same double boiler method as before, melt the chocolate and mix with sunflower oil until it looks glossy.

Pour the glaze over the cake with the vanilla cream and cover everything in an even layer. Wait a few minutes until you can see that the chocolate starts to thicken again, then use a large fork to draw a wavy pattern into the soft chocolate.

Refrigerate the cake and allow the chocolate to harden before cutting it into squares and serving it to your loved ones.

Enjoy your amazing cake! :)

This vegan Danube Wave cake is ideal for special occasions such as birthdays and holidays. Another German classic I want to tackle soon is a vegan Black Forest Cake. So stay tuned for that ...