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Deutschland is home to some of the best bakers in Europe, Bavarian being a doughy turf for fabulous cakes and gigantic pretzels. Even better are the deliciously-low prices for a big sweet treat: rarely are they over €1.
Curious to try some of the best? Here are five top picks when searching for Bavarian baked goods in and around Munich.
It’s soft, it’s lightly salted, and can be the size of your head. Yes, the Bavarian pretzel, or brezen, is a staple to all beer halls and traditional bakeries in Munich. Mouths will water when the gold-crusted dough breaks apart to reveal a fluffy white dough, slightly sweet and amazing with a spread of butter or mustard.
Imagine a homemade pastry the size of your fist, fried and sprinkled with sugar. The krapfen is made with an airy yeast that melts into a joyfully dense doughnut in your mouth. The krapfen filling can be vanilla cream, raspberry and apricot. The pastry has different names depending on the region in Germany, but Bavarians carry an assortment on display (the vanilla is similar to Bavarian cream).
In German it’s zwetschgenkuchen, but let’s just stick to a somewhat messy plum cake. It’s like an angel food cake dough, with freshly sliced plums on top that have been slightly cooked in a gelatin. The plums are juicy enough to seep through the cake, then the final combo is chilled to perfection. Sometimes topped with butter crumbles or whipped cream, a perfect choice for the not-so-sweet dessert types.
Apfelstrudel is a slice of Bavarian heaven, and a personal favorite worth a couple extra euro splurge. Pastry dough is rolled as thin as possible, and the strudel in general consists of multiple layers of baked cinnamon apples, strudel sheets, nuts and raisins. It’s served warm with a vanilla sauce that tops it off as a comforting, heart-warming dessert.
A Bavarian and Austrian classic, this rum raisin and almond pancake is called a kaiserschmarrn. Small strips of pancakes that are light and sweet, usually with a warm side topping like homemade applesauce or plum sauce. Usually it’s created as one large pancake, and the tradition is to tear it apart into pieces with your hands. It’s a simple snack and perfect for two, to go.