Vegan German Cranberry Buckwheat Cake (Buchweizentorte)

 reading time: 5 min

Today's cranberry buckwheat cake falls into the recipe category "veganizing classic cakes".

This recipe has a little bit of a history: The all time favourite cake of J's granny has always been
Buchweizentorte, a buckwheat cake with lingonberry jam filling and a cream frosting that happens to be gluten-free. (Buchweizentorte is a traditional cake of her local area, the Lüneburg Heath, in the western German state of Lower Saxony where both buckwheat and lingonberries are native. Many local bakeries and cafés in the Heath serve this cake.)

Of course, this cake traditionally isn't vegan, but made with loads of eggs, milk, and whipped cream.
Not even joking, I looked at a dozen of different recipes online that featured a similar buckwheat cake, and almost all of them called for 6 eggs !!

It has been our secret mission for a couple of years now to create a vegan recipe of this cake! And at last, here it is. A delicate and airy vegan three-layer buckwheat cake with cranberry jam filling and a fluffy vegan cream frosting! When a piece is cut out, the gorgeous pink interior is revealed.

This cranberry buckwheat cake is
not overly sweet
slightly tart
slightly citrusy
& simply delicious!

And most importantly: It's granny approved!!

This recipe is ideal to prepare over two days – prepare the cake the night before, and continue with the filling and frosting the next day. The finished cake can even be chilled for another day before serving!


Preparation time: 2 hours
Main ingredients: buckwheat flour, almond flour, cranberries, cream
difficulty level: easy-moderate
serves: 12 (22-cm or 8-inch springform pan)
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free


Cake Batter:
200 g soft vegan butter or margarine
120 g raw cane sugar
250 g unsweetened applesauce (or sub soy yogurt + 1 grated apple)
2 tbsp lemon juice (or sub apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

300 g buckwheat flour, sieved
120 g ground almonds, sieved
(or sub ground hazelnuts)
2 tsp
baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

grated zest of 1 organic lemon

Filling & Frosting:
400 g cranberry jam or lingonberry jam
600 ml vegan cream, chilled *
2 packs (16 g) whipping cream stiffener

Optional Toppings:
30 g vegan semi-sweet chocolate, grated

12 candied cranberries or lingonberries, or pomegranate seeds (or sub 3 tbsp cranberry or lingonberry jam)


Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease and flour a 22-cm or 8-inch springform pan.

To make the batter:

In a large mixing bowl cream together vegan butter or margarine, and sugar. Add applesauce, lemon juice and vanilla extract, and beat together to create a creamy and fluffy texture.

To the wet ingredients, add sieved buckwheat flour, sieved almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, lemon zest, and salt. Using an electric whisk, mix well until everything is combined. The batter will be quite thick. Don't mix too long, or else the batter will be too dense!

Transfer batter to the greased and floured springform pan. Bake in the preheated oven at 180 °C / 350 °F for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is pale golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven, and leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling & frosting: 

Using an electric hand mixer on high speed, beat the vegan whipping cream with cream stiffener until stiff peaks form (it's best to use a metal container that has been stored in the fridge to chill).

Transfer half of the whipped cream into a bowl. Gently fold in half of the cranberry or lingonberry jam. This will make the cream nice and pink, and bring a lovely sweet-sour flavour to it.

Set both whipped creams aside in the fridge until needed.

To assemble:

Once the cake has cooled down, carefully cut the cake in thirds horizontally to make three equal layers. It's best to use a pie cutter or a long serrated knife for this.

Using a spatula, spread the bottom cake layer
evenly with half of the remaining cranberry jam. Spread about a third of the pink cranberry cream over the jam, leaving about a finger's width around the edge. (It will squash out a little when you sandwich the layers together.) Make sure that the surface is as smooth and even as possible.

Repeat with the next cake layer, using the remaining half of the cranberry jam and another third of the cranberry cream.

Lastly, carefully place the third cake layer on top. It's best to turn it upside down, so that the even side is up. Using a clean spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with the plain whipped cream we set aside earlier (not the cranberry one). I actually decided to cover the top of the cake with my remaining cranberry cream instead.

Sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and pipe rosettes of the reserved cranberry cream (or in my case, plain cream) around the edge of the cake.

Place cranberries, lingonberries or pomegranate seeds on top of each of the piped rosettes (if using cranberry jam instead, spoon a little bit of jam on top of the cream).

Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve.


- If you've baked the cake the day before, you could drizzle a few tablespoons of rum over the top. This makes the cake a little moister – but not safe for kids any more!
- Instead of frosting the cake in cream, you can simply sprinkle it with icing sugar, and serve.
- You could also add some grated or chopped chocolate into the batter instead, or in addition to sprinkling it on top of the cake. (This is especially great when using hazelnut flour instead of almond flour.)
- Another variation of this cake I found online was to cover the cake with rolled out marzipan over a thin layer of whipped cream. Sounds yummy!
- * I use the Soyatoo Soy Whip that is already sweetened. If your vegan cream isn't sweet enough, add 2-3 tbsp icing sugar when whipping the cream.