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!
4.94 from 15 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


  • 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


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).


Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine.


Calories: 154kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSodium: 122mgPotassium: 46mgSugar: 38gCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
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  1. Thank you for posting this and giving a bit of its history! I had this recipe from a great-grandmother from Wisconsin but wasn’t sure if the vinegar was correct. When I looked it up and found your post, it explains why the recipe had been hard to find online in the past.
    I am looking forward to making these this Christmas! Thank you!

    1. Hi Angie, yes! They will. Make sure they are stored in an airtight container. – Meggan

  2. These were so yummy!! I’m wondering if my oven temperature wasn’t hot enough though? Mine were crisp all over but a little chewy like nougat toward the bottom center. When my mom made them they were always super crisp. What did I do wrong?5 stars

    1. Hi Carolyn, I’m glad you enjoyed them! I don’t think you did anything wrong, but I wonder if your mom left them sitting in the oven longer after turning the oven off? I hope this helps! – Meggan

  3. Hi! Do you know if these individual schaum tortes can be frozen? And how long they will last once made fresh? Thanks in advance!5 stars

    1. Hi Casey, yes I don’t see why not. They will last two weeks if stored at room temperature or frozen in an airtight container. Enjoy! – Meggan

  4. I’m a Wisco girl too. My grandmother always made these for us as kids. I’ve never tried, until today. They looked great, but upon eating I discovered that the inside bottom was kind of wet. I’m used to chewy, but these were more than that. I did make them bigger than prescribed (9 vs 12) and did add a few minutes to the baking time. I couldn’t find anything about the food safety of egg whites undercooked and left at room temp for several hours, so although I did eat most of my portion before considering food safety, I tossed the rest. I didn’t want to risk sick kids. I’ll try again someday and will make them smaller.4 stars

    1. Hi Rebecca, since I haven’t made the larger version I can’t really say how much longer they would need to be baked to come out right. As far as the food safety issue, I personally would toss them like you did. You really only need to “worry” about sensitive groups of people such as small children, pregnant women, and the elderly. But still, if they weren’t cooked, or if you aren’t sure, I just wouldn’t risk it. I will put it on my list to test a larger size so I can figure out the correct baking time. Thank you! -Meggan

  5. Schaum Torte was *always* a summer treat in my family and usually topped with strawberries.
    For one it was light and airy so a perfect finish during the humid summertime, but we also found ourselves with an over abundance of strawberries. Schaum Torte provided another outlet for those fresh berries before making preserves or jams. 5 stars

  6. How do you make them a bit more chewy and less crunchy inside. I saw it is usually the temp and time. Can you please give me the more chewy temp and time or changes needed to achieve this.

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