So, just how flexible is Herman The German Friendship Cake?

We have a tradition of Bake Week where I work at Logistik, and when a colleague gave me a portion of traditional Herman and it was my turn to bake for the office, I wanted to see what happened if I took Herman to the dark side and started feeding him dark muscovado sugar, instead of white granulated.  I wanted to give him a deeper flavour and had already decided that the recipes I wanted to try would be better if Herman had been fed brown sugar from the beginning.

When the time came to divide Herman, instead of giving 4 away, I kept them all and baked a mega Herman experiment.

I made:

Herman Cinnamon Chelsea buns

Herman Oatmeal, raisin and pecan cookies

Herman Chocolate biscuits

Herman Chocolate walnut Brownies

Ultimate Herman sticky Carrot, Apple and Pecan cake

The cookies and biscuits were very nice, they had a stickier texture than Non-Herman versions and they didn’t have the yeasty taste that is sometimes associated with Herman.

Herman worked perfectly for Chelsea buns.  My main problem has always been that I can’t be bothered to knead bread dough but as Herman had been proving for 10 days he didn’t need hardly any and just doubled in size left to his own devices.

The Brownies were lovely, I slightly overcooked them so they didn’t have as soft a middle as I would have liked but if I did them again and got the timing right, they’d be great.
The crowning glory was the Ultimate sticky cake.  It was moist and full of flavour and reasonably healthy and received the most compliments from the guys in the Logistik office.

So here it is for all of you Herman lovers, who are looking for an alternative to the traditional German cake. If you want to reduce the sugar – why not try Maple syrup or Honey instead?

Jenni’s Ultimate Herman Sticky Carrot Apple and Pecan Cake


  • 1 measure of Herman (1 cup, approx. 200g)

(Ideally you’ve been feeding Herman with dark muscovado sugar)

  • 125g white self-raising flour
  • 125g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 125g dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 80ml walnut oil (or sunflower)
  • 100g finely chopped pecans,
  • 50g sultanas, dates or flame raisins (boil them up with orange or apple juice then leave overnight to soak)
  • 1 large grated carrot (use the fine grater)
  • 1 grated apple (again use the fine grater)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Line a deep 25x30cm baking tin with greaseproof parchment.
  3. Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl, make a dent in the centre.
  4. Mix together the oil, eggs and the Herman, put in the well and mix all together.
  5. Drain the sultanas and mix in, along with the grated carrots, apple and nuts.
  6. Pour into the lined tin.

… for the sticky topping


  • 50g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50g salted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 25 pecan halves
  1. Place the 25 pecan halves in 5 rows and 5 columns on the batter, so you’ll have one nut on each slice of Herman.
  2. Heat the butter, sugar and cinnamon gently in a pan until they make syrup.  Drizzle all over the cake top, quickly before it cools.
  3. Bake for 35-45 minutes (keep checking he’s not burning).  He’s ready when the middle is firm to the touch.
  4. Cool him in the pan (refrigerate for an hour if you want to get really clean slices) cut into 5×5 pieces.

And if you really want to go to town with it instead of topping with pecan halves – mix equal parts cream cheese and mascarpone with a spoonful of sugar to make cream cheese frosting.. or is that a step too far!?