Eierschecke is a confectionery speciality from Saxony and Thuringia. It is a sheet cake made of yeast dough topped with apple, quark (curd) and poppy seeds and parts of it are covered with a glaze made of cream, whole egg, sugar and flour for thickening. The term originates from a piece of men's clothing in the 14th century which was called Schecke and was made up of a medium-length tunic with a very tight waistline and was worn with a Dusing, a hip belt. After this "tripartite garment" (upper part, belt, lower part) the cake was named.
As the name derives from the tripartite piece of clothing, it also consists of three parts or layers: the upper layer is made of creamy stirred egg yolk with butter, sugar, vanilla pudding and beaten egg whites which are finally folded into the batter. The middle layer (the "belt") consists of a kind of custard which in addition to butter, egg, sugar and milk does also contain quark and vanilla flavouring. The cake base lastly is either a yeast dough or a sponge cake. After these three layers are assembled the cake is baked, then cut into rectangular pieces and served with coffee. The above depicted is the recipe for the traditional Dresdner Eierschecke but there are also some variations and refinements of this recipe, e.g. the addition of raisins, almonds or Streusel or even the coating of the whole cake with chocolate.
Dresdner Eierschecke with raisins
Dresdner Eierschecke with chocolate covering
Dresdner Eierschecke with Streusel
Another variation is the Freiberger Eierschecke, which is much flatter than the Dresdner Eierschecke and contains neither quark nor raisins. It has a very interesting legend which implies that the quark which was originally meant for baking had been used to build the city wall of Freiberg in the 13th century. To compensate for the alleged loss of flavour, more egg, sugar and even for the first time raisins were used.
The famous German author Erich Kästner once said: "Die Eierschecke ist eine Kuchensorte, die zum Schaden der Menschheit auf dem Rest des Globus unbekannt geblieben ist." (The Eierschecke is a type of cake which to the detriment of humanity remained unknown to the rest of the world), and Martin Walser says in his book Die Verteidigung der Kindheit (The defence of the childhood): "Eierschecke gibt es außerhalb Sachsens nur ersatzweise und innerhalb Sachsens nirgends so gut wie im Toscana." (There are only substitutes of Eierschecke outside of Saxony and inside it is nowhere better than in the Toscana (referring to the Café Toscana in Dresden))
- IREKS-Arkady-Institut für Bäckereiwissenschaft (Hrsg.): IREKS-ABC der Bäckerei. 4. Auflage. Institut für Bäckereiwissenschaft, Kulmbach 1985
- Dresdner Eierschecke. In: Gudrun Ruschitzka, Sächsisch kochen. 1. Aufl. München 1995, ISBN 978-3774-21941-0.
- Dresdner Eierschecke. In: Reinhard Lämmel, Original Sächsisch - The Best of Saxon Food. Weil der Stadt 2007, ISBN 978-3-7750-0494-7.
- Dresdner Eierschecke. Landesinnungsverband Saxonia des Bäckerhandwerks Sachsen.
- Markenverband Freiberger Eierschecke