A Cake That Demands an Oven of Its Own

The delicious cake called baumkuchen was once a staple of German weddings and Christmas celebrations. It comes in a peculiar shape, likened to a cross-cut slice of a tree trunk. A disc of baumkuchen reveals concentric circles, like the rings that show a tree's age. How do they do that?  

Achieving this is a feat of unlikely cake engineering. The original method involves a spit turning over a fire. Thick batter is scooped, in heaping spoonfuls, directly onto the spit and spread across its...

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