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Virtually unknown outside of Wisconsin, Schaum Torte is the German equivalent of Pavlova. It’s perfect topped with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or ice cream!

Schaum Torte is a German meringue dessert widely known to Milwaukee residents of German descent.

Many of our grandparents, including my maternal grandma, made Schaum Torte topped with fruit and ice cream for special occasions, and the dessert is also popular at a local German restaurant.

Whether you make a full-size Schaum Torte or the miniature “cookies” version I show here, Schaum Torte is a sweet dessert worth trying!

Schaum torte topped with berries.

Schaum Torte History

A specialty from Wisconsin, and Milwaukee in particular, Schaum Torte was created by German immigrants and shared with their descendants.

Schaum Tortes are popular for Memorial Day celebrations when strawberries are in season. My grandma in particular loved to make Schaum Torte for bridal showers because they are such a pretty dessert. It’s also popular at Christmas.

Schaum Torte vs. Pavlova

Pavlova, named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, is a meringue-based dessert (probably?) created in New Zealand in 1927. While these desserts look nearly identical, Pavlova contains corn starch and Schaum Torte does not.

How to Make a Schaum Torte

While our grandmothers whipped egg whites by hand (“beat the heck out of ’em”), we can use modern technology to our advantage.

In a standing mixer, or with an electric hand mixer, start with a combination of egg whites, water, and salt and beat until stiff. Slowly add part of the sugar, cream of tartar, and vinegar.

Finally, add the remaining sugar and vanilla. At this point you can either dollop spoonfuls of meringue onto parchment or pipe circles with a piping bag.

Schaum Torte being made on parchment paper.

Finally, bake in the oven for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and leave in the oven for 30 minutes longer.

Top with fresh or frozen fruit (thawed), especially berries, and drizzle any extra juice over the top.

How to Make a Full-Size Schaum Torte

If you’d like to make a full-size Schaum Torte instead of the miniature version, simply transfer the meringue to a buttered 9-inch springform pan. Follow the baking instructions, leaving the baked shell in the oven with the heat off for 1 hour instead of 30 minutes.

Virtually unknown outside of Wisconsin, Schaum Torte is the German equivalent of Pavlova. It's perfect topped with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or ice cream!

Schaum Torte

Virtually unknown outside of Wisconsin, Schaum Torte is the German equivalent of Pavlova. It's perfect topped with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or ice cream!
4.95 from 18 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, German
Calories 154

Ingredients 

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar divided
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

To make individual Schaum Tortes:

  • Preheat oven to 250˚F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. With a Sharpie type permanent pen, trace 6 -3" circles on each sheet of parchment paper, and flip over in pan (marker side down).
  • With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the egg whites, water and salt till the mixture begins to stiffen and forms a point when beater is pulled out. Continue beating and add, very slowly (over 2-3 minutes), 1 cup sugar, cream of tartar and vinegar.
  • Add the other 1 ¼ cups of sugar, again very slowly, and vanilla. Beat for 10 minutes on medium speed.
  • Drop large spoonfuls of meringue onto the circles on prepared sheet pans and hollow out the centers with a teaspoon or follow directions in step 5 for piping.
  • For piping, snip off a corner of a large zippered plastic bag or decorating bag. Place a large (I use a Wilton 1M) decorating tip into the corner opening. Spoon about ½ of meringue into the bag and twist the top closed. Starting in the center of each circle and moving in a circular pattern fill in each circle with meringue. Continue piping around outside edges, forming walls. I usually go around 2 or 3 more times, depending on how tall I want my Schaum Tortes. Use your finger to smooth out the top where the piping stops.
  • Place in preheated oven and bake 1 hour, then turn heat off and leave Schaum Tortes in oven for another 30 minutes. Remove and store in an airtight container, or serve with fresh berries or ice cream. 

To make one full-size Schaum Torte:

  • Follow the first 4 steps as written. Then, transfer the meringue to a 9-inch buttered spring form pan. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, turn off heat, and leave shell in the oven for 1 hour more (instead of 30 minutes).

Notes

Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine.

Nutrition

Calories: 154kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSodium: 122mgPotassium: 46mgSugar: 38gCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
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I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. My grandson prefers the Schaumtorte, no filling, to any other dessert so I decided to surprise him with a Schaumtorte today using your recipe. Your recipe was easy to follow and definitely foolproof for making a meringue. I couldn’t believe how large the volume became. My entire KitchenAid mixer bowl was filled. With the volume, I think I could have made 12 individual Schaumtorte’s. The outside of the finished product is completely dry, the inside is soft and chewy, more like the inside of a marshmallow, not dry but that is what I’ve been told you want. It is not overly sweet which is perfect for me. In looking at the pictures of your torte’s, mine are huge. I filled the 3 inch circle but then as I spread it out and after baking, it became a 5 inch circle.
    I’m not concerned about the moisture inside the shell, just would like your thoughts. Should I have decreased the whipping time after the 2nd addition of sugar which would have decreased the volume? Baked it at a higher temperature? Halved the recipe since I don’t need 6 large, much less 12 smaller Schaumtorte’s. Are yours completely dry on the inside? Thank you in advance for your thoughts and comments.
    Christine5 stars

    1. Hi Christine! What a lovely treat for your grandson! I wouldn’t say mine are completely dry on the inside, they do have a texture in the middle. I think halving the recipe might be best for you, but also these do freeze beautifully if you make a full batch again. I’m so glad you loved them, I don’t like mine overly sweet, either. Take care! – Meggan

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