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German Friendship Cake - 'Herman'



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Let's keep Herman alive!

I was recently given a German Friendship Cake by a friend. "A what?" I asked. "His name is Herman", I was told.

Herman came in his little bowl with a set of instructions for ten days. This was the first time I had ever heard of this Herman but I gave him a chance and took him in. He was a German friendship cake starter mix and all I can say is, after ten days - WOW! You have to try this. Read on to find out more about this great 10 day German friendship cake.

What Is This German Friendship Cake?

Herman the German friendship cake is a sourdough cake recipe which is several decades old. Obviously the mix isn't decades old but you get the idea! It passes through circles of friends and family similar to a chain letter.

The origin may have been from the Amish people, who used something similar - sourdough bread that was passed around to the sick and needy. If you know where this idea originally came from please feel free to comment below.

The starter mix that is given away for this friendship cake is a substitute for baking yeast and can be used to make many kinds of yeast-based breads, shared with friends, or frozen for future use. Typically, a friend shares a cup of the liquid yeast culture with people who would like to make this cake. The friendship cake starter is typically maintained by adding sugar, flour and milk every few days.


In The Beginning

This is Herman as I received him. A bubbling dish of goo, sorry - 'German friendship cake mix' (flour, milk and sugar apparently). The instructions I received were quite clear 'You cannot put me in the fridge or I will die. If I stop bubbling, I am dead.' What a responsibility I had ahead of me.

I read on and felt relieved as the only thing you really have to do from day to day is give him a stir.

Halfway through the ten day cycle add some flour, milk and sugar then on the tenth day add the ingredients for the cake and bake. How difficult could this be?

A common cycle is based on the addition of one cup each of sugar, flour, and milk every five days, with the mix being shared into equal portions and the cake being baked every tenth day. The ten day cycle produces four starter mixes, which must be either used to bake a cake, given away, or used to start a new cycle. It is common to bake one part and give away the other three.

German Friendship Cake Instructions

Here are the instructions I received with my little Herman. Quite straight forward really.

Hello, my name is Herman.

Scroll to Continue

I am a sourdough cake. I'm supposed to sit on your worktop for 10 days without a lid on.

You CANNOT put me in the fridge or I will die. If I stop bubbling, I am dead.


  1. You get Herman and put him in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.
  2. Stir well
  3. Stir well
  4. Herman is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.
  5. Stir well
  6. Stir well
  7. Stir well
  8. Stir well
  9. Hungry again. Add the same as day 4 and stir well. Divide into 4 equal portions and give away to friends with a copy of these instructions. Keep the 4th one.
  10. Herman is very hungry. Stir well and add the following:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • half tsp (teaspoon) salt
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2/3 (two thirds) cup of cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cooking apples cut into chunks
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder

Mix everything together and put into a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with a quarter of a cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes at 170-180C. When cold cut into finger pieces. Cake freezes well and is also delicious warm with cream or ice-cream.

Some of the measures or quantities are in 'cups', which is an American measure for baking. You can find many conversions online but I have included the conversions in the instructions at


The Friendship Cake

Here is the finished article. After 45 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius the top is nice and brown and the smell is out of this world! I recommend a further 15 - 20 minutes or so with tin foil over the top just to make sure the middle is cooked well enough.

Sticking a knife into the middle to test is a good idea. If you get wet mix on the knife then it needs more baking. However, because of the apple content I think its quite a moist cake anyway.

I was a little apprehensive to start with as my first thoughts were about how long this stuff had sat on someone's worktop for ten days then on to someone else's for ten days and so on. The ingredients are obviously able to ferment safely over time without refrigeration and I suppose by adding ingredients over ten days freshens it up again.

I gave two of our three portions to neighbours who are all between 10 and 12 yeas old. They love the idea and this is a great thing for kids to get involved in home baking. So, if you are offered a German Friendship Cake called Herman please, give it a go. You'll be surprised!

Getting The Perfect Herman

It has been a few months since I posted this article and Herman is proving very popular. Thank you all for your comments. Don't forget the top tip above:

Having done this myself and then getting feedback from one of my three 'chosen ones', I recommend that you cook Herman for a little longer than the instructions say. Place baking foil over him so he doesn't dry out and burn and give him another 15 - 20 minutes in the oven.

The extra time helps him cook to perfection, the foil prevents him from becoming too dry or burning on top.


If you make a Herman come on back and let me know how you got on. You can submit a comment here, or go to where you can leave feedback and submit a photo of your Herman.

If you have any suggestions, either for the website or for Herman ideas I would be very interested in adding them to my website.

The Herman Starter Mix

If you cant wait to receive a starter for this great little cake, the starter mix is very easy. Here's how to start your own.


  • 5oz plain flour
  • 8oz castor sugar
  • Half a pint of warm milk
  • 2 fl oz lukewarm water
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast


  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes then stir.
  2. Add the flour and sugar then mix thoroughly.
  3. Slowly stir in the warm milk.
  4. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth.
  5. Leave in a cool, dry place for 24 hours.
  6. Now begin at day one of the 10 day cycle, as per the friendship cake instructions.

Other Web Pages By This Author


srcharters on September 18, 2013:

I've been given the Friendship Cake by a manager at work. She also provided a sample of the finished cake which, to my taste, was incredibly sweet.

I'm an experienced baker and have often made sourdough bread so I read the recipe with interest and was surprised not only by the quantity of sugar but by the addition of baking powder as a leavening agent when the cake is baked - surely the whole point of sourdough is that only natural yeasts are used and no additional leavening agent is required; I always start mine by using just rye flour and water, never by adding yeast. I noted that the recipe will make a perfectly acceptable cake without the use of the 'Herman' starter at all.

Accordingly, following my baker's instincts, I have added only 2 tablespoons of sugar on Day 4. Nor would I divide the starter and give away 3/4 - it's simply not worth the palaver when you could make a decent cake on Day 1!

Trinity on March 25, 2013:

Do you have the nutritional info?

Keren Scott on September 16, 2012:

Whilst having seen that my sister had just made this cake, I was intrigued to learn what a Herman cake was. To my surprise Herman is a person and a German person at that. I was amazed to learn about his life, he lives such an interesting and intriguing life. How he came in a bowl and generally only lasted for 10 days needing only a stir and a little food.

Whilst I know that this is a real recipe, you told Herman' life story very well and highly amused us in his autobiography. Thank you!

S R Roberts (author) from UK on August 18, 2012:

Thank you for all your comments. Whilst I try to come here and answer as many as I can, I spend most of my time over on the Herman website -

Come on over and post your comments there.

See you there.


Dorothy on August 18, 2012:

I have a fan oven and cooked 'Herman' at 150C and it cooked in the

45 mins as per the recipe. It is indeed a lovely cake but great now that there is a recipe on how to start the mixture off from scratch.

Liz on August 07, 2012:

I am enjoying Herman. On my second round. I am visiting with friends in the UK and it is a big joke while we wait for Herman to be baked, because I talk to him in the stirring stages. I put a tea towl over him and if I don't stir the same time everyday then he messes (then we say he has made a poo and need to change his nappy) we are having great fun!

I add 3 apples instead of 2 and I serve it with custard.


Letthemeatcake on August 03, 2012:

Must admit that when I was first handed ' Herman' I sort of wondered where he had been when doing the rounds but then thought it'll be ok once it's been baked, so I did it. What a yummy cake! Didn't do my diet much good but I'd do it all again! Couldn't stop eating it! In fact, I'm doing it all again (lol) kept 'one' for me and it's bubbling nicely. Just wondering now what to throw in the final mix, let me see.......yum yum!

Linda (Ford) Worth on July 31, 2012:

I am no cook but this was brilliant. I am now on my 4th cake! However, each time I have made it, I have had to cook it longer (one batch took an extra 45 mins - luckily I had the common sense to cover it with foil to avoid over-cooking the top). I just have a problem with the thought of letting Herman 'die'. I could be cooking Hermans' forever!

ANN D on July 16, 2012:

Thanks for the Herman Recipe, I have made many different variations of this cake and given away numorous ones, I also have a freezer half full of them and needed a break. I can now either cook or give away the mixture I have and will be able to make more of it later. I left the apple in them all but grated it, I did date & walnut, apricot and almond, apple and cranberry, choc chip and walnut and just plain date they were all really nice.

sharon on July 06, 2012:

1 packet of active dry yeast it how many grams.please help

rachel dallimore on July 04, 2012:

I tried making my starter mix yesterday and i don't know what went wrong. I followed the instructions to the letter, the yeast was a new bottle and yet it has died. the water was luke warm. How warm should the milk be. I tried stirring it but it has no reaction. i certainly can smell the yeast. Does the room you leave it in need to be fairly warm as we do not have central heating, wondering if the temp dropped too much overnight but the kitchen has been warm all day and still flat/ no bubbles. Help.

sarah on June 25, 2012:

my husband brought herman home from work we followed the instructions and baked herman it was wonderful the cake was so nice. we on out second batch now and think we are going to carry on making him. I would recommend this to anyone and the kids love it.

Fiona on June 24, 2012:

Help Help - Don’t ask me why but I accidentally added 1 cup of water on the 1st feed - can I do anything to save Herman ?? Thank You

Elaine on June 23, 2012:

Does anyone know what size tin to bake Herman in?

patriciaf1 on June 21, 2012:

my friend gave me herman and the instructions for it i thought she was having me on a 10 day cake but i followed the instructions and was really surprised when my cakes came out they were wonderful since then i have been making herman for people in my work place its wonderful so thanks to my friend and thanks for herman

Tilly on June 13, 2012:

Hello - help please!!

Got a Herman mix from a colleague and nurtured him into the most divine yummy cake ever. When dividing the mix to give to 3 friends told one of them that I wanted a portion back which she duly brought Saturday (though she was supposed to be bringing it 2 days before) Her mix looked small in proportion to that which I had given her - and of a much heavier consistency (mine was more like a thick batter). Anyway, I calculated what day it would be and have stirred and added the extras required for day 4 but Herman just doesn't seem to be in the same condition as my first attempt was and would appreciate advice. Although he has begun to swell up in the bowl (I can see lots of little bubbles in the bottom of the mix) - the top of the mix looks as though it is in the process of being baked - sort of spongy with just a few air bubbles. Is my Herman still alive? Don't want to continue with the process if there is any doubt about his survival. Do I have to start again from scratch?? Please advise. Thanks. Tilly

cathy on June 12, 2012:

Got Herman off my sister can not get a better friendship cake than this its the best yum got another one on the go in my kitchen. Mmmmmm

Dawn on May 29, 2012:

I made my Herman yesterday and it was gorgeous. My son gave some of the mix to his friend and a piece of Herman to eat so that they look after him. I put apple and raisins in mine. I am now going to make the starter and hope it comes out ok. Oh I used a metal bowl for the mising and everything was fine

leah on May 28, 2012:

i am looking forward t make it

mel on May 27, 2012:

I got my Herman 10 days ago and baked him today.He is the nicest cake ever.Going to start a new one as i have lots of friends who would love to try him.

Shirley on May 23, 2012:

Herman is in the oven and the smell is wonderful. Looking forward to eating him...yum!

tyler on May 20, 2012:

mine died

linzi on May 19, 2012:

i received Herman 10 days ago from my boss at work who also is a friend. i have never heard of this before so wasn't sure what to do so just followed instructions. i baked it today and thought it would be really sweet but no it was perfect and delicious. all the kids loved it and all my friends wanted to try herman but havnt got enough to go round so think im gonna start one from scratch to pass round more friends.....try it and you will love it...

Amy on May 17, 2012:

My friend recently got a Herman and she said I could have one of the thirds! Can't wait to get him :)

Maggie on May 14, 2012:

I am so gonna start this. There is a place in Scotland called the Drumochter pass. On the right side of the road there are rocks all along the road. I met my husband 24 years ago and first time he took me north he showed me Herman the German in the rock face. His parents showed him and we have in turn showed our son :-) the rocks do form a face honestly :-). Thankyou xxx

sandra on May 12, 2012:

just baking my 3rd Herman ground almonds and a few fresh raspberries are lovely fresh cream for a sunday pud

Carol on May 11, 2012:

Im on my third Herman I used the original apple and cinnamon recipee the first time then spilt into wo loaf tins the second using the apple and cinnamon in one and glace cherries and desicated coconutin the other both were gorgeous.Going to check out your website for more recipees possibly Ginger. Passed one onto a colleague who got her daughter involved but after being told this is Herman and if you don't stir him properly he might die, She grumbled how can i eat it now you've humanised it. But the smell after it came out the oven soon won her over and the fabulous taste sent her back to the cake tin again and again.

Helen on May 11, 2012:

I got given this mix last Friday although he came with a different name....Otto. I hope he tastes just as good!

Linx Lidl on May 11, 2012:

I received my Herman yesterday from a kind neighbour, and I am about to into the kitchen for the first good old wooden spoon stir. I'm so excited and looking forward to the end results and sharing Herman again with like minded people! I'll keep you posted! Lin x

Nigel Withyman on May 07, 2012:

I've just been offered a 'Herman' by a friend of mine and look forward to receiving him in a few days. This has brought back strong memories from nearly 60 years ago when we did something very similar - possibly not too PR to call it a 'Herman' cake then though! We also used to share a culture for making ginger beer which was a similar process; I don't know whether this is still practiced.

Meggy Moo on May 04, 2012:

I am 11 and I love helping to make herman we are finnaly on day 10 yippe woo hoo sry having my own party here.

hannah Thornley on May 02, 2012:

Herman is on day 6 in my house and I'd really like to send a portion of it to my mum but she lives in Scotland and I'd have to send it through the post. Do you have any idea if it can be posted? I'm a little scared I'll cause an explosion somewhere in a Royal Mail van due to the yeast!

S R Roberts (author) from UK on May 01, 2012:

Oh yes, that will definitely work!

Emily on May 01, 2012:

What things should I put in herman that will work well together? Would white choc chunks and raspberry work?

Sophie on April 30, 2012:

I am making the cake now but the mixture is very thick and looks like bread mix os that normal?

S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 27, 2012:

Find the instruction above or at

hannah on April 27, 2012:

could anyone tell me how much herman i use for a friendship cake also what other things i put in,

thank you

Paul on April 22, 2012:

Just taken Herman out of the oven and me and the mrs have eaten half of it ,my poor daughter will be gutted ,but we have kept 1 mix to make another ,we only added vanilla essance and no fruit or nuts all that was missing was custard :))

Sophie on April 19, 2012:

Yes i sieve all the ingreidiants. I left it over night and they all seem to have gone thanks very much though.

S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 18, 2012:

Sophie, did you sieve the flour? If not it may not have helped. You could try pushing the mix through a sieve to get rid of the lumps. Not sure how that would affect your Herman though.


Sophie on April 18, 2012:

I've added my day four ingridiants in and its gone lumpy what should i do?

S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 17, 2012:

That's a shame. I have heard that metal bowls and pots aren't the best for Herman. I don't know why??

Sharon Larsen on April 17, 2012:

I think I may have killed my first Herman, I added the day four ingredients although I wasn't sure about what order they should be added and I only used skimmed milk and maybe that's what did it as this morning he isn't bubbling. I also put him in a much bigger metal pot rather than a ceramic bowl which is what he came in. Hmmm will have to hope my friend has a success with hers so I can try again.

S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 14, 2012:

Emma, that sounds fab!

Could you go to and tell me more?

It sounds as though you may be cake to add something useful to the site.


Emma on April 14, 2012:

I have been experimenting with some of my sourdough bread starter! I took a cupful, added the milk, sugar and flour to it and left it for a day then I did the second feed the next day and on the third day I have made the cake(s).

I've made a cherry and almond one as well as the apple and sultana...

It smells fine I'm waiting for it to cool before I try a bit!

I'm very curious about the science as when I'm making the bread I have to feed my starter for 3 days to build it up so I don't quite understand why there are 4 days between feeds for the cake. Ah well, we'll see if the experiment has worked in a short while!

Rachel on April 13, 2012:

I cooked my Herman nearly two weeks ago and it was lovely. I missed out day 8, as I needed to shave a day off the whole process, which didn't effect the quantity of sharing him out or the end result at all. Instead of chunks of apple I grated mine which made the cake really moist and denser than normal sponges. The whole family loved the taste. Hopefully will get to do another Herman in the future.

S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 10, 2012:

ha ha, how funny!

caroline Parkinson on April 10, 2012:

OH NO!!! I have killed HERMAN!!!! I feel SO BAD!! the setting had him over the easter hols, he was past from pillar t post, my children were arguing over him , who was going to stir him!!! dropped him off at a collegues house, who said he didn't look well!! I reassured her that he had been stirred regularly and that he was still bubbling, on the tuesday he was gone!! NO More bubbles!!! I had forgot to keep him covered up, as my collegue said I didn't respect his modesty!!! SO sorry Herman!!! WE are going to make you again and take VERY good care of you!!!! I PROMISE not to let you down!! this will involve some SERIOUS TEAM WORK!!

S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 07, 2012:

Diane, stop it! That is just too good. We made white chocolate chip muffins with our two year old a few weeks ago. The chocolate buttons melted and when they were still warm the muffins were to die for!

Diane, will you pleae email me?

Diane on April 07, 2012:

Instead of chocolate chips I chop up a whole 150g bar of luxury cooking milk chocolate and add that to the rest of the Herman mix- oh! the joy of finding a lump of chocolate amongst the other delicious ingredients in this lovely moist cake......

S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 06, 2012:

Thanks Diane, that probably confirms what a lot of people here would like to know about freezing Herman.

Feel free to email me with your Herman adventure. I could publish it on the Herman website.


Diane on April 06, 2012:

Instead of passing Herman on, I very selfishly freeze my extra portions, so I can make a Herman whenever I please. He suffers no adverse effects from his stay in the freezer and soon starts bubbling away again. When I reach the last frozen portion I start the 10 day 'nurturing' cycle again and off we go - happy Herman!

Sioux on April 05, 2012:

How often can Herman be split and passed on? Surely after so long the amount of added ingredients finally outweighs the original amount of yeast? Mine came and only had a faint yeast smell, I believe through tracking down his family tree that he is at least six owners old. Should I add a little yeast to his meal before I split him and pass him on? I don't want to be responsible for passing on a 'terminal Herman'!!!

John Rafferty on April 05, 2012:

Its such a simple cake!? It takes 10 days!!!!

Paul on April 05, 2012:

Sorry, but if this thing turns up at our house it's going straight into the bin.

Ann Smith on April 04, 2012:

Why(with all the energetic yeast in it) does Herman need baking powder?

Wouldn't a final

hour or so's "proving" work just as well?

Yasmin on April 04, 2012:

My wee herman is in the oven cooking as we speak :) I grated one of the apples as found when tasted the cake it was to chunky :) sooooo excited to have my own one!

Still got mix left has anyone freezed it and turned out ok? Xxx

S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 03, 2012:


Yes you can keep one of your shared portions. It's be just like when your friend receives it, you would start from day 1 and follow the instructions again from there.

You can also freeze a starter if you prefer. Just feed it after it thaws to refresh it before using again.

Good luck, glad you like Herman.

sheila williams on April 02, 2012:

Am i right in thinking that i could keep one of my shared quarters as a starter? Do i start at day one of the 10 day cycle? I have already made the cake as my sister gave me a share of her mix, but would like to start the process from scratch as it was so lovely. My grandchildren will love it.

S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 02, 2012:

Hi Linda,

I'm glad you liked your Herman. On the Herman website I have a feature called Your Herman Adventures. If you fancy writing a short piece that I can publish, I'm sure others would love to read it. Mail it to


S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 02, 2012:

Hey Jo,

Thanks for the comment. If you want to write a short piece about your Herman experience, it'd be great to add it to my the Herman website. If you want to just email me at


S R Roberts (author) from UK on April 02, 2012:

Photo, photo, photo!!!!

Jo s on April 02, 2012:

I was given my Herman today he is now growing.

I had a German friendship cake given to me about 20 years ago when my children were little, this has brought back good memories and I am now looking forward to cooking one again thanks to Sara .

Claire Cole on April 02, 2012:

Just taken mine out of the oven....delicious!

Linda Brown on April 01, 2012:

Hi- well, I was given Herman over a month ago by my sister-in law, and I thought it just couldn't turn out with the ingredients being so old ! I followed the instructions and to my delight, Herman was BEAUTIFUL ! Even my daughter(who can be a fussy eater) absolutely loved him. I passed on my other portions, but kept 1 back and I started all over again. Ive just finished my 2nd Herman on thursday(who has already been eaten)and I now have another 3 on the go !!!! I'm gonna freeze 2 of them though.

At least I now know the recipe from the start, thanks to reading this blog, so if I ever get fed up of the smell of the yeast and need room back on my work surface, I can start from scratch.

It really is a lovely cake and so simple to make, it just takes a little time & patience, but the end result is well worth it !!! keep Herman alive! lol.


molly on March 31, 2012:

Couldn't wait to get a Herman back,so just divided him and cooked four!He tastes LUSH!!!!

sutee on March 30, 2012:

thanks for all the advice on your site, I made friendship cakes for years when my children were small. the eldest is now 50! I have just found your instructions for the starter and can't wait to start again as I now have 12 grandchildren to pass the mini Hermans onto!I didn't know you could freeze the starter either. thanks for such good info!

Jools on March 30, 2012:

My herman stopped bubbling yesterday after I added the extra ingredients - is it because I didn't divide it at the time? Should I have a go at baking him anyway? It seems such a waste to throw it all away.

clare dixon on March 30, 2012:

Is it dangerous to bake Herman if you think he has died?

macy on March 28, 2012:

a fantastic herman my herman grew it reached the tea towel and it is now a dirty towel

Leonie on March 28, 2012:

I received my herman yesterday, he is bubbling away nicely! Now just trying to decide who is worthy of Herman once he is divided!


Anja Leeves on March 28, 2012:

I had Herman in 1994 and he has now come home for another visit.

East Sussex

Rachel on March 27, 2012:

Thanks for getting back to me, I shall let you know how Herman turns out after missing day 8 of the process.


S R Roberts (author) from UK on March 25, 2012:

Rachel, thanks for visiting. Skipping day 8 won't really bother Herman. In fact, my Mum misunderstood the instructions and baked him on day 4 or 5! He turned out just as good but he wasn't big enough to share out any portions to friends.

Good luck, pop over to to let us know about your Herman experience.


S R Roberts (author) from UK on March 25, 2012:

Hi Dawn,

Do you fancy writing an article for the Herman website? There is a new feature where people can tell of their Herman adventures. Please email at or go to the site and submit a form.

Thanks Stuart

S R Roberts (author) from UK on March 25, 2012:

Andrew & Cath

I got the packets from Asda for about 80p each. They are 7g and each one is around or just short of a tbsp.

Glad you liked the cake. If you have any more recipe ideas, go over to and let us know.


Rachel on March 25, 2012:


I've just been given my first Herman and am very excited (and nervous, it's a big responsibility!. My sister is visting from the other side of the country on day 8 of the process. I would really like to give her one of the portions,so she too could have her first Herman. Would I be able to skip day 8 and go straight onto day 9 where I feed Herman again and divide the mixture up, so I could give my sister some before she goes home? Or would missing a day of stirring well damage the process? Look forward to hearing anyones thoughts. Thanks.

andrew and cath on March 25, 2012:

love this cake,got a mix from a friend,made two cakes,one with milk/dark chocolate chips and marshmallows and the other we added a can of hartleys apple pie filling which made a very moist cake.i am going to make the stater mix ,can you tell me what measure of yeast to use,as it says a packet but all i could get was a 125g tin.

S R Roberts (author) from UK on March 22, 2012:

Hi Dawn,

Do you fancy writing an article for the Herman website? There is a new feature where people can tell of their Herman adventures. Please email at

Thank Stuart

Dawn on March 22, 2012:

I was very dubious about Herman when he first arrived, and have yet to apologise to my nephew's wife, who did us a great favour! So far we have had lemon Herman muffins with lemon syrup poured over top, chocolate Herman, then chocolate Herman with chocolate raisins in, an apple & date version, and tonight the smell of cherry and coconut Hermans with Malibu syrup is wafting through the house. Tomorrow brings banana Herman. I have only given away 1 starter, as everyone is very unsure about the commitment, but it just means we cook more up :)

Kimberly on March 22, 2012:

Thank you, I didn't know Herman was a worldwide thing!

S R Roberts (author) from UK on March 21, 2012:


If it were me I would go with baking one, giving two away and keeping one to start the cycle again for more gifts. If you start to add extra or less quantities it may change the starter that you then give away.

S R Roberts (author) from UK on March 21, 2012:


You will be fine to add less sugar, or if you want to add it the next day. Some find Herman a very sweet tasting cake and they actually don't bother adding sugar on the second feed.

S R Roberts (author) from UK on March 21, 2012:


You will be fine to add less sugar, or if you want to add it the next day. Some find Herman a very sweet tasting cake and they actually don't bother adding sugar on the second feed.


If it were me I would go with baking one, giving two away and keeping one to start the cycle again for more gifts. If you start to add extra or less quantities it may change the starter that you then give away.

Helen on March 21, 2012:

Just wondering about the starter - I have several friends who want Herman (more than three!) so can I split it further or make a larger batch? Or bake one, give 2 away, keep one and feed it again and then split again?


Kimberly on March 21, 2012:

I meant I didn't have enough sugar, not flour, and will I be okay to add the sugar today instead of yesterday

Kimberly on March 21, 2012:

I received a Herman cake from my boyfriends mum, and yesterday I needed to add the first lot of the flour milk and sugar, I added the flour and the milk and then realised that I didn't have enough flour, should I be okay to add the flour today instead of yesterday?

stuu3270 on March 20, 2012:

Probably won't make much difference I wouldn't have thought. It's an easy cake whatever you do really. Good luck.

Jo on March 20, 2012:

I got instructions to feed him granulated sugar and then add caster sugar on day 10 when he's about to be cooked. what do you think?

Mel on March 19, 2012:

I added normal sugar by mistake instead of caster sugar and he's stopped bubbling.... Is he dead.... My friends daughter gave it too me and has been ringing every day to make sure it's okay!!! Help... Can he be revived??

S R Roberts (author) from UK on March 17, 2012:


Its a great cake after it is baked. Why not keep an extra one for yourself? That way you can try a different variation with the second one.


Simon on March 17, 2012:

I've just picked up a Herman at work. Some unidentified person left a few tubs in the staff room for people to help themselves.

If you are doing that, it would be helpful to leave a note about when he was last fed; I just had to guess.

I had a similar cake mix about 20 years ago, but this is the first time I've seen any since. I did once mention it to some friends in the Black Forest, and they were familiar with the concept.

I presume that it's acceptable to keep one of the quarters to make another cake from scratch myself, and only give 2 away. Or is that against the spirit of the idea?

Liz Lee-Selleck on March 17, 2012:

Herman is a great hit with my family and friends!

Jackie on March 16, 2012:

The cake was simple to do or so I thought. Having baked the first batch I can taste the grittiness of the sugar, why is this please.

brian on March 13, 2012:

my misses has just got a herman the german cake i carnt wait ten days time

Vanessa on March 13, 2012:

I was given a herman cake to make , gave away the other 3 parts to friends then had to research the recipie as my family loved the cake so much it only lasted a day

Stephanie on March 12, 2012:

Hi, I was given a "Herman" 3 days ago and am very excited about what lies ahead. It may be interesting if people put where they are from, "Herman" must do a lot of traveling & it would be cool to track him!!!!

I'm in Margate, Kent, UK

Olivia on March 12, 2012:

I commented a couple of weeks ago when we first got Herman and I forgot to comment last week but we made him and gave him to three of my husband's work colleagues and we baked our one and it was absolultey delicious! A very moist cake, ours was apple and cinnamon and it tasted divine! It's very moreish - my husband baked him when I was out at a Church meeting and by the time I got back he'd eaten almost half! We made him in quite a large roasting tin too! The rest of my family polished him off, and now we want to get some of the starter mix back so we can make another one!! I can heartily recommend Herman to all cake lovers out there! :D

Emma on March 07, 2012:


I have started a Herman mix off from scratch and its now day 2. I have gone to mix Herman tonight and the top half of the mix was bubbley and the bottom half was watery, like it had split. Is this normal or do i need to start again?



andrea on March 07, 2012:

I have just had a piece of herman cake that I froze a while back. It defrosted nicely. very tastey. I am making my 4th one next week with your starter instuctions, I put pecans in mine with apples and sultanas, just going for another piece.

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