Danube Wave Cake “Donauwelle” is a popular German Cherry Chocolate Marble Cake that tastes like the traditional recipe Grandma used to make! It features a delicious sponge cake with cherries, chocolate, and vanilla pudding cream that everyone will love (also known as “Snow White Cake”)!
Granny’s Danube Wave made vegan!
German Danube Wave (“Donauwelle”) is my grandma’s absolute favorite cake and at every birthday, coffee time, or other occasions this dessert should not be missing. When I was a little child, I was always happy to help baking… at least helping to nibble away the creamy vanilla pudding and fruity cherries before the cake was assembled, haha!
So, if you have children at home who also love to help or if you are a fan of snacking like me, you can taste the batter without getting worried. Since this Cherry Chocolate Marble Cake is vegan, there are no raw chicken eggs in the batter!
Sheet cake, springform pan, bundt cake, muffins, cupcakes & co
Feel free to increase the quantities of the ingredients to bake enough for the whole family. The recipe makes one 8-inch springform pan and the double amount makes one large 11.8″x15.7″ standard baking sheet. You could also use this recipe to make a bundt cake or Danube Wave muffins and cupcakes – just get creative!
What is Danube Wave (German “Donauwelle”)?
Similar to marble cake, the classic German Danube Wave consists of a light cake batter and a dark chocolate batter. Since the light and dark batters are both made from the same “basic” batter, you can create two different flavors from just one batter, which is quite practical.
The simple sponge cake is then topped with sour cherries and finally baked. After that, a vanilla pudding buttercream and a chocolate glaze are added on top of the cake. If you like, you can then gently wave through the glaze with a fork to create waves, as you’ll find in many traditional recipes for “German Donauwelle”.
Traditionally, the Danube Wave is baked on a baking tray and served in rectangular pieces. However, I find the cake in a round form much nicer, so I prefer to use a springform pan. Anyway, both options are possible, because the shape will not change the delicious taste of the vegan cherry chocolate marble cake!
How to make Vegan Danube Wave – step-by-step guide!
Step 1: Making the sponge cake batter
First whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. In another mixing bowl, cream together the soft vegan butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer until creamy. Then add in the flour mixture along with the soy milk and vanilla extract and mix briefly until just combined. (Do not overmix, or the cake will become chewy and dense).
Step 2: Making the chocolate batter
Now transfer half of the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing out evenly. In a small bowl, dissolve the cocoa powder in the hot non-dairy milk. Then stir it into the remaining batter to create the chocolate batter. After that, pour it onto the light batter and finally spread the drained cherries over the top. Press the cherries gently into the chocolate batter and bake your marble cake.
Do a chopstick test! It is best to test the cake with a chopstick pretty in the center but at a place without many cherries. The cake is done baking when the stick comes out almost clean with just a few moist crumbs attached but no liquid batter.
Step 3: Make the pudding buttercream
For the buttercream first cook a vanilla pudding (custard) as instructed in the recipe box below. Then immediately pour it into a heat-proof bowl and cover with cling film to prevent the top from forming a skin. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
In the meantime, cut the vegan butter into small cubes and set aside to bring to room temperature. When both, the cooked pudding and the butter pieces are at room temperature, mix the butter until creamy using an electric hand mixer. Then start adding the pudding, one tablespoon at a time, until you have a smooth vanilla custard cream. Finally, spread it over the cake and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight to set.
Step 4: Making the chocolate glaze
For the glaze, gently melt the finely chopped chocolate together with the coconut oil over a water bath. Then carefully pour it over the chilled cake and allow to set.
Fruit Glaze Tip: Optionally, you could top this cake with a red fruit glaze (jelly) instead of the chocolate glaze to make a traditional “Snow White Cake”!
Tip for cutting the cake!
Once the chocolate glaze is firm and crunchy, dip a sharp knife into warm water, then dry it quickly and cut the cake. This is by far the easiest way to cut the cake!
Serve your vegan cherry marble cake chilled and keep leftovers in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
This Vegan Danube Wave recipe is:
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Can be made gluten-free
- Soft & fluffy
- Totally delicious
- The perfect cake for any occasion!
More vegan cherry cake recipes to try:
- Mole cake with banana and cherries
- Cherry Cheesecake brownies
- Cherry pie with juicy filling
- Vegan cheesecake with cherries
- Cherry crumble cheesecake with poppy seeds
- Yeast rolls with poppy seeds and cherries
- Vegan Black Forest Cake
- Chocolate Swiss roll with cherries
If you try this Vegan German Danube Wave (Snow White Cake), please leave a comment and a rating on how you liked the recipe! And if you take a picture of your cherry chocolate marble cake and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka, because I love to see your remakes! Have fun!
Danube Wave (Vegan Cherry Marble Cake)Author:
You do not have a fitting cake pan at hand right now? Try my Cake Pan Conversion Calculator!
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose or spelt flour or sub gluten-free flour (*see notes)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda or 1 tsp more baking powder
- 4.4 oz (125 g) vegan butter soft or margarine (*see notes)
- ½ cup (125 g) + 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) soy milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 12 oz (350 g) pitted cherries jarred (drained), frozen or fresh
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ cup (60 ml) hot non-dairy milk or coffee
Pudding cream filling:
- 5.3 oz (150 g) dark chocolate
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
*Note: I recommend checking out the step-by-step photos in the blog post above for visual instruction! For the best results, I recommend measuring the ingredients in grams. Simply click on the word "metric" right above the ingredient list.
- Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C) top and bottom heat. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. (If you want to bake the cake on an 11.8“x15.7“ baking sheet, simply double the recipe).
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
- In another mixing bowl, cream together the soft vegan butter and the sugar with an electric hand mixer until creamy. Then add in the flour mixture along with the soy milk and vanilla extract and mix until just combined. (Do not overmix, or the cake will become chewy and dense).
- Transfer half of the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing out evenly.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the cocoa powder in the hot non-dairy milk. Then stir it into the remaining batter until just combined and pour it over the light batter. Spread the drained cherries over the top and press them gently into the chocolate batter.
- Bake the cake on the middle rack for about 40 minutes. (Do a chopstick test! *see recipe notes). Then remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
Pudding cream filling:
- Pour about ⅓ cup of the soy milk in a small bowl. Add the cornstarch and stir to dissolve. Pour the remaining soy milk and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then whisk in the cornstarch mixture along with the sugar and bring to the boil again, whisking constantly, until it thickens. Then immediately pour the pudding into a heat-proof bowl and cover tightly with cling film to prevent the top from forming a skin. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Remove the vegan butter from the fridge, cut it into small cubes, and put it into a mixing bowl. Set aside and bring to room temperature.
- When both, the cooked pudding and the butter pieces are at room temperature, mix the butter with an electric hand mixer until creamy. Then gradually add the pudding, one tablespoon at a time, until a creamy buttercream is formed. Spread it over the cooled cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight to set.
- Slowly melt the finely chopped chocolate along with the coconut oil over a water bath. Then carefully pour it over the chilled pudding buttercream. (For the traditional Danube wave design you can wave through the chocolate with a fork as desired). Refrigerate to set.
- When the chocolate glaze is firm and crunchy, dip a sharp knife in warm water, then dry quickly and cut the cake. Enjoy chilled and keep the leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Gluten-free: To make the pie crust gluten-free, you can substitute a gluten-free flour blend 1:1.
- Vegan Butter: I prefer using vegan butter or margarine for the cake batter but feel free to substitute coconut oil or neutral vegetable oil.
- Chopstick test! It is best to test the cake with a chopstick pretty in the center but at a place without many cherries. The cake is done baking when the stick comes out almost clean with just a few moist crumbs attached but no liquid batter.
- Red Fruit Glaze: If you like, you can also top this cake with a red fruit glaze instead of the chocolate glaze to make a traditional Snow White Cake!
- Baking pan: This recipe yields about 16 muffins or cupcakes and can also be baked in a small bundt pan (don't skip the chopstick test as the baking time may vary!)
- You can find more information on the recipe in the blog post above.
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