Krantz – Plaited Yeast Cake

Galit loves Krantz – a plaited a yeast cake with layers of chocolate or poppy seed spread. Apparently the chocolate variety is German in origin, but the poppy seed variation is middle eastern. I’ve tweaked my original recipe to use the proportions recommended by Yaffa Wainer in honour of the fact that Galit still remembers eating Jaffa’s moist yeast cake as a child. Yaffa makes small loaves and keeps most in the freezer.

Krantz - Plaited Yeast Cake

Steven Thomas


General ingredients

  • 15 grams active dried yeast 25 grams fresh yeast
  • 150 grams tepid milk
  • [Optional] 1 teaspoon clear honey
  • 500 grams strong white flour plus extra for kneading
  • 50-100 grams castor sugar I now use 50 grams
  • 50-100 grams butter softened (I now use 100 grams)
  • 100 grams beaten eggs about 2
  • 5 grams salt
  • [Optional] 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Topping 1 - glaze

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Topping 2 - Cinnamon & Sugar

  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Filling 1 - Cinnamon & Sugar

  • 200 grams butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • [Optional] 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Filling 2 - Chocolate Drink

  • 200 grams butter softened
  • 10 tablespoons chocolate drink powder

Filling 3 - Cocoa and sugar

  • 200 grams butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • [optional] 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Filling 4 - Easy Chocolate Nut Spread

  • 400 grams Nutella

Filling 5 - Chocolate Nut Spread

  • 100 grams Caster Sugar
  • 100 grams Walnuts blitzed in a blender
  • 200 grams Plain Chocolate roughly chopped

Filling 6 - Walnut

  • 2 cups grated walnuts
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup syrup or honey - enough to make a paste.

Filling 7 - Prune

  • 1 pound prunes boiled, stoned and rubbed through a colander
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Filling 8 - Poppy Seed and Dried Fruit
  • 1 cup black poppy seed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey or syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped citron
  • 1/4 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tart apple grated, or 1/4 cup currant or raspberry jelly or jam

Filling 9 - Almond Paste

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup almonds blanched
  • Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 egg slightly beaten

Filling 10 - Nut Paste

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups grated nuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


General instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180º C.
  • Mix yeast, milk and honey in a bowl
  • Leave until yeast starts to froth (~ 5-10 min)
  • [If using Fresh yeast then crumble 25 grams directly into the flour, and add milk with rest of the ingredients.]
  • Add flour, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and vanilla to a large bowl
  • Add the yeast mixture.
  • Mix (I use setting 1 on my KitchenAid)
  • Knead on a slightly floured surface until smooth but a little sticky (~5-7 minutes)
  • (or mix in a mixer with a dough hook until dough is smooth and a bit sticky, about 5 min. I use setting 2 on my KitchenAid. I then finish with 1-2 minutes of manual kneading.)
  • A cool stiff dough is easier to manage in the next step so leave to rise in the fridge overnight (or, if you're short of time, in a warm place for 1 hour then in the fridge to cool down).
  • Prepare filling - for most variations this just means mixing the ingredients
  • Shape and fill (see below)
  • [Optional]For a a Krantz with a a cinnamon & sugar filling, mix ingredients for cinnamon & sugar topping and sprinkle over the Krantz.
  • Leave to rise until doubled (~1-2 hours)
  • Bake the Kranz until brown and puffed (~40-45 min for large loaves; ~30 for small loaves and buns).
  • Remove from oven
  • [Optional] Cover with glaze unless already has a with cinnamon & sugar topping

Shaping into plaits

  • Divide dough into two (or four)
  • Roll one piece of dough into rectangular shape (roughly 25 cm long, 1/2 cm thick). Bear in mind this is going to end up in a loaf tin, so ensure that the short side of the rectangle is about the same length as the loaf tin.
  • Spread 1/2 (or 1/4) the Filling of choice over the dough rectangle.
  • Roll into a very tight roulade.
  • Cut the roll lengthwise, i.e. from one end to another, and separate the two halves so the layers of filling are showing.
  • Plait the two halves together loosely, keeping the cut sides face upwards and outwards.
  • Place in greased loaf tin, if you're going to use one, or on a greased baking tray.
  • Repeat for other pieces of dough

Shaping into buns

  • Roll the dough into rectangular shape (roughly 30 cm wide and 50 cm long, 1/2 cm thick).
  • Brush the top edge with a little water so it will stick when you roll it.
  • Spread the filling of choice over the dough rectangle leaving a 1 cm border around the edges.
  • Roll into a very tight roulade.
  • Trim the ends
  • Cut the roll into equal sized slices, either 9, 12 or 20 pieces depending on how big/many you want. Ainsley Harriott has some breakfast buns like this; he makes 9 with this quantity of dough. But at that size they are quite big ... bigger than Galit can eat at a sitting. Marie Haviv makes 20 small pieces. I tend to make 12.
  • Place on a greased baking tray.

Instructions for Topping 1 - Glaze

  • Boil sugar and water
  • Simmer until thickened
  • Cool sugar water
  • Brush cool sugar water over hot cake 3-4 times until well coated (or brush hot sugar water over cool cake)
  • Cool

Instructions for Filling 1 through 7

  • Mix

Instructions for Filling 8 - Poppy Seed and Dried Fruit

  • Grind poppy seeds
  • Boil with milk and all other ingredients but apple, until thick.
  • If not sweet enough, add more sugar.
  • Cool.
  • Add the apple etc when cool mixture is cool

Instructions for Filling 9 - Almond Paste

  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Add grated almonds, lemon rind and only enough egg to make a paste.

Instructions for Filling 10 - Nut Paste

  • Beat egg whites stiff
  • Add sugar gradually.
  • Fold in the nuts and vanilla.


You've got the normal bread choices for shapes: untinned loaves, tinned loaves, and buns. Whether tinned or untinned the loaves are plaited. Your buns and loaves can be big or small. I've tried all these variations. At the moment I favour small buns as these have more crust and I like them with coffee for breakfast. Galit likes small tinned loaves as you can decided how much you want at a sitting and spare loaves can be frozen.
The classic Krantz shape is a plait. The recipe makes two normal loaves or four small loaves (tins 19 cm x 10 cm x 6 cm). You can make the loaves with or without tins. Most commercial bakeries make Krantz without a tin so the loaves spread and are flattish. Yaffa uses small loaf tins.
The buns options are like a cinnamon swirl but taller. Gail's - a speciality baker in London - makes a wonderfully tall version but they use special individual tins for these.
You'll need a filling. Chocolate or Poppy Seed are traditional. Whatever you choose, it will have to be spreadable. Galit loves Poppy Seed but I tend to Cinnamon & Sugar and a Chocolate variant. Some of these fillings are from Recipe Goldmine: Kuchen Recipes.
The Chocolate Drink filling is made from a kid's chocolate drink. I don't add sugar as the drink is already sweet. If I was in New Zealand I'd use Milo but we use an Israeli drink.
Most fillings suit having a sugar glaze on top. You can keep the glaze for a week; if it is summer then leave covered in cling film in the fridge. Otherwise freeze. The only exception to the glaze are those loaves with a Cinnamon & Sugar filling; for these I use a matching Cinnamon & Sugar topping.

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating