German Friendship Cake - 'Herman'

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.

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.

Although book prices shown are in dollars, all are available in the UK as well as the US. Just follow the links and add to your basket.

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Comments 199 comments

Helen Southey 5 years ago

I love this, any idea how to make the starter?

Nick Simpson 5 years ago

We tried this at home and loved the whole process

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for the comments...

Helen: I will post the starter recipe soon. Sorry its not on here.

Nick: I was pleasantly surprised when I smelt and tasted the finished cake. Even my cooking skills were up to it! Its such a simple cake that kids can help too.


Linda 5 years ago

Your cake brings a smile to my face and a growl to my stomach.

Caroline 5 years ago

I was given Herman a few weeks ago by my sister the final cake was divine, I have been led to believe the starter mix is just flour water and yeast but I've not tried to recreate it yet so there's no guarantees! X

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OscarFrancois 5 years ago from Kulim, Kedah

This is really the first time I know about this interesting cake... so cute and I think Herman tastes heavenly too ;D

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Dublio 5 years ago from United States

Aww, how adorable. The cake has a name. xD

Keith 5 years ago

Just been given a tub of Herman by a work mate. I'm looking forward to nurturing the culture and ultimately tasting the end result. I'm also hopeful that I'll find three others to who I'll be able to pass on some of the extra mix that's created.

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Keith, you will love it. Read my extra tip I just added above about cooking times. Good luck.

anj 5 years ago

It is ok to cover Herman's bowl with a clean tea towel btw.If you look online there are lots of different recipes for making cakes, pancakes and biscuits with Herman. Some of the recipes state that it's alright to store Herman in the fridge or even freeze him, but I haven't tried it.Maybe chilling him just slows him down rather than actually killing him!

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Thanks anj. As per the instructions for day one, I also use a tea towel. Easier to remove and replace and allows Herman to breathe.

I can't believe how many people are into this cake!

Peter Merchant 5 years ago

Hi, I have just made my Herman Cake, and my wife is impressed. My recipe called for a half cup of raisins or walnuts so I added both. It did take longer to cook because I did it in a loaf pan.

Now to pass on the other three portions...

Bec 5 years ago

Any chance of that starter recipe please? I got given a 'Herman' but my boyfriend interfered and Herman stopped bubbling :( so I need to start afresh :)

Martyn Glanville 5 years ago

Hi, I have reached day 9 of Herman's life but my daughter will not be with me until saturday, can I leave it til then to make the cake or do I need to start the cycle again and if so do I have to go ten days or can i split into two after day 4?

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Martyn, I don't think it'll matter to leave it for a few more days. He should just table away until then. just stir each day to make sure

gillian bryce 5 years ago

i remember my aunt making this about 15 years ago. i was given my own herman 10 days ago and have just baked it, can't wait to eat it. have been trying to spread the word on herman. good luck to everyone who makes it.

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Gillian. Herman certainly is popular. I never realised just how much! I'm going to add some variations to the final recipe too, different fruits, nuts...

Hope yours turns out well.


Emu 5 years ago

I was given one of these by my best mate and it turned out great! I left out the apples as my partner doesn't like them but it was still delicious!

laura charman 5 years ago

mine was divine, i didn't use any of the ingredients on the list just the basic ones like sugar oil etc then instead of apples and cinnamon i added chocolate and it was lush!!!! unfortunatly got a new herman from a friend on sat and he has died already...not sure how as i did the same as always:(

Sophie clinton 5 years ago

I think it was really yummy it smelt like wine I don't no why but it looked yummy and so delicious I don't no why it should take 45 minuets instead of 10 minuets to bake instead it's greAt I loved it

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Emu, Its a nice cake no matter what you decide. Glad you liked it.

Laura, chocolate & honeycombe!! What a great idea. I think I am going to have to get another Herman cake going. There are so many different ideas to try. I think I like yours the best!

Sophie, not sure why it smelt like wine. Maybe its to do with the fermentation process of the ingredients? Glad you liked it though.


sharon 5 years ago

we just got ours smells yummy cant wait to eat him lol

and to pass on the information to othes to spread the joy :~)

jules 5 years ago

Given some Herman by my sister 9 days ago, cooking and giving away day tomorrow. Can't wait. I love the sound of the honeycombe and chocolate!

VonCon 5 years ago

Baking mine tomorrow, going to make the starter mix 10 days before xmas and hand them out for xmas pressies :D as well as bake mine on boxing day (my birthday) :D

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Jules, how did it turn out?

VonCon, let me know how you get on. Have a great birthday on Boxing Day.

Lorraine Rawson 5 years ago

Wow! When i first received Herman as a bowl of goo someone had kindly left on my door step for me, I wondered if i could stand the pressure of keeping Herman alive! But wow am i glad i did succeed. Herman you are gorgeous! I would definitely complete this experience again, with pleasure. Thank you :)

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Hey, thanks Lorraine. Glad you liked your Herman.

There must be some kind of Christmas variation to try. Thinking caps on guys!!

janet 5 years ago

hi. i've just put my herman in the oven. thanks for the tips, i'll let you know how he turns out.

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Janet, I would love to know how it goes. Feel free to send a photo and I'll add it here as another example.


Kairon 5 years ago

I've just got to day 9 with Herman and am ready to share him, one portion is going to my daughter's school teacher who is hoping to keep it going around her class, I may get him back in a few weeks!!

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Hey Kairon, Its great for kids as it is so easy to do. They'll love to watch him bubble. Let me know if they come up with any different variations.

sally 5 years ago

Christmas Herman - Try Glace cherries, Stem ginger in syrup,small amount of mixed peel, sultana's and some mixed spice.spinkle top with sugar and bake. when cooked spike with some brandy. decorate with marzipan and dust with icing sugar.

janet 5 years ago

herman no 1 turned out lush. everyone loved it. have just taken 2 cakes out of oven, one apple & banana the other apple & coconut. can't wait for them to cool.

Eirwen Mary Jones 5 years ago

I too have baked Herman today, DELICIOUS !!!! Would love to know the starter recipe.

Eirwen Mary Jones 5 years ago

Forgot to mention: The instructions that came with my basic mixture stated, NO metal spoon or mixing bowl must be used.

Jen Scott 5 years ago

I received a little container of Herman mix today and he is bubbling/expanding nicely in my kitchen right now. My children are very excited about the whole concept and keep popping in the kitchen to "See how Herman is doing"... I will let you know how he turns out. I think it is a wonderful idea and can't wait to share my quarter mixtures with my nearest & dearest and of course to taste the cooked Herman Cake :)

NaomiGalbraith 5 years ago

My 10year old daughter has enjoyed the whole process of nuturing Herman and today we baked the final cake which was totally delicious and soooooooo much better than i thought it could ever taste! The whole cake was devoured in minutes by 6 of us!! We are now planning to double the quantity of mixture to feed us all over Christmas...i think we'll always have a Herman on the kitchen worktop, waiting to be stirred...Do it, it's healthy, delicious and the children all get involeved!

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Thank you for all your comments, I enjoy reading them.

Sally, I've added your Christmas suggestion to the main site, thanks.

Janet, how did your cakes turn out? Apple and coconut sounds great!

Eirwen, the starter recipe that I know of is now on the main page above. The no metal bit is interesting... I wonder why that is the case??

Jen, its good that your children are enjoying Herman. Even I was excited and I haven't been a kid for years!

Naomi, sounds like you all enjoyed him. I was so surprised at how good Herman was as I had never even baked a cake before my first Herman.

If anyone has any other suggestions on how to involve kids in the kitchen I would love to hear about them. I'd put them on my other website -

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Don't forget people, I'd love to see some photos of you and your Hermans! I'll put them on the web page if you want, or not if you don't.

Fiona Evans 5 years ago

I've been given one of these cakes. It was well worth the 10 day wait! The kids loved it so much they made me make another. Someone from Cheshire gave it to us, so it's now circling around Wales!

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Fiona, it's fab that your kids enjoyed Herman. Yes, I think he's taking over - another German invasion (no offence to anyone)!

Ralph 5 years ago

I was given a Herman by some one I hardly know and was going to chuck it when I got home.A pang of guilt took over and I am now at day four,he smells a bit like home brew but is bubbling well.Imagine my surprise when I typed in Herman cake (to find out what size a cup was) and found a fan club.Will let you know how I get on.

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Ralph, imagine my surprise when my website proved so popular. still waiting for some photos through.

Good luck, you'll be glad you didn't chuck him.


becky bezzina 5 years ago

this is the second time i am making my herman it was so beautiful the first time i made it i have just had to make him again

Linda 5 years ago

I was dubious because I don't like "chain letters" and thought this was something similar, then felt guilty and took a mix of a friend. My husband said it was the best cake he has ever had and we are now on our second serving! Hoping someone will give me a mix back soon or will have to try starting from scratch....lovely, thankyou Herman!

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Happy New Year everyone!

Linda, I was surprised at how good Herman turned out. Not only because I baked him but he was my first cake ever!!

Keep him going...


julie 5 years ago

Mine is in the oven & smells yummy!

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Julie, you will love him. Why not take a photo if you remember and mail it to me at

I can put it on the gallery for others to see.

I hope he is as good as he smells!


S Butler 5 years ago

I was given a Herman just after Christmas, by a really good friend, and now I am loathe to get rid of all my Hermans!! I am keeping one eachh time so I have a constant cycle, unfortunately, if we ate all of them we would end up putting on so much weight it would be rediculous so I am giving some away to folk who may not be able to manage a Herman themselves (ie the elderly etc.) or as 'Thank You gifts' and may be freeze some for another time.

Also my husbands and my work colleagues have thoroughly enjoyed them too!!

I agree, it is great for kids to get involved in cooking, and a fun 'family activity' as the kids ask every evening "Has anyone stirred Herman?"!!

I love it!!



Jules 5 years ago

I forgot to devide my herman.. so i ended up quadrupling the recipe, its in the oven.. oh well.. i'll just HAVE to make some more ;)

It sells amazing and im 14 and think its qood fun to look after herman :)

definitely long live the herman!!!

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author


The original Herman was derived from the Amish people who also shared it out to those who were in need. Well done! A few lbs here or there won't matter. Enjoy your Herman!

Hey Jules,

You must have a big oven or at least some big cakes tins!

My neighbours are younger than you and they enjoyed doing this too.

Thanks for getting in touch.


Sarah 5 years ago


I'm currently growing my Herman and have a few days to go. I'm not really a fan of Apple & Sultana's, what else could I use, do you think white chocolate & Rasberry would work??

All comment welcome :)

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cbpoet 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

A friend introduced this cake to me years ago and it's still one of the best ones out there. Thanks for sharing the recipe for the starter ..

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Sarah, white chocolate and raspberry sounds good. I think most things will work actually as the base for the cake is the same. I have put up some recipe ideas at so take a look.

There's is a double chocolate idea I have to add later too!

Cbpoet, thank, for dropping by. I hope you found the article helpful.

Don't forget to send your photos to -

I'll add them to the gallery.


Maryanne Nickol 5 years ago

Hello, my neighbour gave me Herman in a little pot, I've just baked it and had a slice warm from the oven, it is DELICIOUS!!! I added the grated rind of a lemon and substituted some of the oil for melted butter, I'm now an ardent fan and am spreading the word!

Helen 5 years ago

I am eating Herman as i write this, it is so nice, but i dread to think of the calorie content. I think it smelt like beer fermenting, not an unpleasant smell, I will be giving my 3 other portions away later and hope to see the end results

Melanie 5 years ago

I had to temporarily put a lid on mine to transport it home in the car and it stopped bubbling :( Does that mean there's no point in continuing with the process?

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Melanie, oh dear has your Herman died? If for some reason he has stopped bubbling I think its probably best not to use it.

You may find he is like watching grass grow, in that if you check too often you'll not see much happening. Leave him overnight and bubbles should appear.

If no bubbles in the morning then You may have lost this one. Sorry.


wendy 5 years ago

Hi I'm due to split my Herman today, but my friends have said they are not interested, so thought I would bake it and then give them the cake to try, would I have to quadruple the recipe, as that would make at least 4 cakes, or what would you suggest? I quite fancy trying several of the recipes your site has suggested. Thanks for the starter recipe, as I will be able to start another if it is successful, or start one at my daughters when I visit.

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author


What I would do is freeze the other three portions and use them later for your other Herman cakes. Apparently its OK to do that and you'll only be adding to it when you defrost it, instead of keeping it going for another week or so.

Or, as its so simple to start another one just ditch the left overs. Seems a shame but not the end of the world.

Thanks for your comments, let me know how it goes and don't forget to send me a photo at

Good luck.


wendy 5 years ago

Hi! I decided not to do the second feed, and then doubled the recipe and made a very large cake, which I have cut into fingers and then frozen. I added dried cranberries with the apples and cinnamon plus some ground almonds, the texture is very good and the taste divine. Afraid no photograph taken, but everything looked like yours. Will be taking a sample to my friends.

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author


I'm glad your Herman turned out well. Of course those friends who weren't interested will soon regret their decision when you waft a piece of Herman under noses!


Lou 5 years ago

Just putting my first Herman in the oven. Thanks to Jo for sharing it with me. Just difficult to choose which friends to pass it on to!

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Lou,

I hope he turns out OK. Pop back and let us know...


Georgia 5 years ago

I got given some of Herman about 2 weeks ago, I cooked him and added sultanas and almonds, it was absolutely delicious:)

Sarah 5 years ago

I received my first ever Herman the German last night from my sister. I'm so nervous - it's quite a responsibility! Fingers crossed! Great idea!

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Sarah, you will love the result! If you want to try something different drop by for more ideas, including white chocolate and cranberries...

Good luck,


Neil 5 years ago

Hi, My wife gave me the instructions to follow when she was at work and I was to do just the final dividing, add the fruit etc. and bake. But, I misunderstood and added more flour, sugar and milk (as day 4) and now we're waiting to see if he's still bubblin' in the mornin'. Do you think this will have broken him? I don't normally bake and don't fully understand the chemistry or if the extra cupfulls will do for 'im.

Worried, Penicuik

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

On the day of final dividing you are supposed to add the flour, milk and sugar as in day 4. Did you do that? If so its still OK.

Then on day 10 you go to the baking instructions with the added ingredients.

Hope he turns out OK, let me know,


Neil 5 years ago

Hi Stuart

In essence: my wife had already added the final dividing day flour, milk etc. and I misunderstood and added another lot so that he got twice as much as he should have. But today he's risen. Again.

So, I think we'll try dividing and proceeding as normal and hope he bakes properly even with the increased amounts.

Cheers, Neil

Lucie 5 years ago

Herman is in the oven as we speak (with a tin foil hat, having an extra 15 mins). I only have a couple of friends that want to carry on the process so I have made two cakes to eat myself, with two lots of "batter" being given away. So my first Herman cake was baked yesterday and there is one that is in the oven now. Interestingly I didn't realise that "cups" was a proper measurement... I took it literally and just put cup-fuls of flour etc in. Yesterday's cake came out fine, so I am not too concerned! Really moist... it is the nicest cake I have ever baked, so really happy. It says on the instructions that Herman freezes well - has anyone tried this? Lucie

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stuu3270 5 years ago

Lucie, that sounds great. I'm going to bake another Herman soon. Which ingredients did you use, apple or something different?

I too went with a literal translation of a cup. Did no harm though as all the same measurements.

Please feel free to drop by my main website - . if you email me a photo or recipe idea I can add it to the gallery.

I've not frozen a Herman before, let me know how you get on.

Thanks for stopping by,


Andy 5 years ago

Made one tonight and used crushed nuts, apple, coconut, raspberries and white chocolate. It's not cooled properly yet but smells divine and had a cheeky nibble and really looking forward to trying it cool now.

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author


A bit of everything! Sounds fab.

Let me know how it goes and, as always, why not send a quick photo to so I can add it to my main website on the Herman gallery.

Anne Herman 5 years ago

Hi I was given the mixture and everyone thinks it's funny as my name is Herman! Can I use this to make bread as well as the cake. My cake is in the oven as we speak but I would love to have a go at bread. Rest of mixture going to other members of the Herman clan.

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author


I must say the email didn't quite look right when I was told you'd commented on the site. I thought Herman was making contact from the kitchen side!

I think the starter for bread may be a little different as there is less sugar content. It is very similar though. Maybe give it a go and report back to us.

Don't forget to send a photo of your Herman to

Helen the Snowy Owl 5 years ago

I've got a Herman living in my best mixing bowl on the worktop at the moment. He's currently going around our church although, being part of the third "wave" I think I might struggle to pass much of him on! Thanks for the notes about the extra cooking time. One of my friend's has found exactly the same thing so it's good to know that it's not just her. I'll be keeping track of my Herman's progress here -

Carol Elliott 5 years ago

Having split my Herman mixture yesterday I set about making my cake this morning. I used two large cooking apples cut very chunky and some raisins and cinnamon etc pretty much as in the recipe. Mine took about a half hour extra than the recipe says, but I put that down to the chunky apples. It smelt delicious when it was cooking and tasted wonderful when we ate it with custard for pudding. I've frozen the half that's left to enjoy another time. I would say it makes 12 decent servings. Mmmm delicious!

Helen 5 years ago

I have just cooked my first Herman - never heard of it before! Wish I'd seen these comments before though as I would have cooked mine for a little longer with some tin foil over it. Never mind I only gave 2 away so have another Herman to practice with. By the way I ditched the apple and added drained tinned black cherries, chopped walnuts and white chocolate chunks - it was dish de lish!!

Manda 5 years ago

I am just baking my second Hermann and starting my 3rd generation mix (although I don't know how old he was when I got him - so suppose I should add two more generations for the two friends that passed him to me). This is quite possibly the yummiest cake mix - and you can add so many variations too - we did one with cherries, apricots, mixed nuts, mixed spice and almond essence - wow Mama!

Keep passing him on! Hermann we love You!

B (Make Do and Spend) 5 years ago

Have just finished baking my Herman today and he tastes amazing!

Am now beginning to pass him on.

Have blogged about the whole experience here -

Hoping to keep track of where his offspring go on to!

Melia J-P 5 years ago

Got Herman from a friend, now on day 8, I can't wait to get baking and try the finished product! I'm giving two parts away, baking one, and starting another wave off with the last part.

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Helen & Carol,

It seems the extra cooking time is a good idea. Thanks for the update.

Other Helen, I was looking at trying a cherry Herman too. Maybe glace cherries though.

Manda, wow what a mix! Did you have to use a bigger bowl?

If you return here, what cherries did you use?

Melia, don't forget to take a photo and submit it to my other website.

As always, thank you for all your comments.


ann-britt sharvell 5 years ago

do i use cold or room temperature milk for the first feed??

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author

Regarding the milk for feeding... it doesn't matter. straight out the fridge is fine, it'll be room temperature soon enough anyway.

Good luck!

Sue T 5 years ago

I was given a Herman mix 9 days ago by my daughter-in-law. Since then he has been sitting in my kitchen, bubbling away and growing, I am looking forward to the big bake day tomorrow and am grateful for all the ideas and suggestions above - so much choice!

Aline 5 years ago

Hi I was given the mixture last year and just love it, I was never good in baking but this cake was just perfect....I went on holidays in January and had to stop growing Herman,now i have just started my own and wanna known if i should divide in 4 right after the mixture is ready or should i wait for the 10 days nurturing and feeding Herman and them divide coz it seems like too much mixture????

Tks Stuart

Olivia 5 years ago

Thanks for this really helpful article! I was given a Herman yesterday by a friend at Church, and I too was concerned about the amount of time he's spent on various worktops! It sounds delicious though and my husband and I are looking forward to nurturing him for 10 days and seeing the results. Your photos are wonderful, we can't wait to taste the finished cake! :)

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S R Roberts 5 years ago from UK Author


The starter that was on here did make quite a bit of mixture but some was to be given away and some kept for your own Herman. I have just changed the starter recipe to a better one.

If you still have your starter justuse maybe half of it and go from day 1 with that.

Thanks for the comments


ann-britt sharvell 4 years ago

Baked the first ever Herman today and was not disappointed with the result. Baking time was around 34 minutes. baked the cake in medium sized tin. Will add more apple next time round. I also added mixed dried fruit instead of only raisins. Great result.

Hazel 4 years ago

My Herman turned up today thanks to my neighbour! I had read about this and I am now looking forward to the cake at the end.

Does anyone know if this sourdough mix could be used for plain bread please?

sheilag 4 years ago

Tastiest cake I've ever made - and I've been making them for 50 years!! I added chopped pecans and used eating apples with the peel left on. Fabulous!! It's all the rage now here in England.

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

Ann-britt sharvell, I am glad your Herman went well and the cooking time was good too! Thanks for coming back to let us know.

Hazel, I believe this mix can be used for all kinds of recipes. On my other site at there is a link to the right for a sourdough recipe book. There are hundreds of recipes in it.

Sheilag, I thought the same about Herman being the tastiest, although he was the first I had ever done! I can't believe how popular he is.


Julia 4 years ago

I just Received a mix today and im a little concerned about the milk being off after it being passed on several times for up to 10 days a time! Not sure if I should do it or not????

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author


Don't worry, I think the ingredients mixed together preserve the starter and prevent anything nasty happening. At first I tried to calculate how many worktops my starter had sat on and for how long (put you off completely yet?). Then I read somewhere about the yeast and sugar acting together in some way to make it all OK.

There is also a website by a 'sourdough expert' who says his sarter has been going for years. He's still alive too.

Julia, give it a go - you'll love the result.


Julia 4 years ago

Ok, I am almost convinced its ok but there must be a limit to how many times you can add and pass on?

will 4 years ago

good good good

Emma 4 years ago

Do you have any chocolate Herman recipes? im baking my first Herman on Friday and want chocolate chips in mine, that's if he is still alive, im on day 7, he's not really bubbling but he keeps rising in the bowl that he is in,until i stir him.

Julia w 4 years ago

First attempt and wow, what a cake! My advice is to use plenty of apple and raisins and a good covering of brown sugar on top gives a good finish.

andrea 4 years ago

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.

Emma 4 years ago


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?



Olivia 4 years ago

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

Stephanie 4 years ago

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

Vanessa 4 years ago

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

brian 4 years ago

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

Jackie 4 years ago

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.

Liz Lee-Selleck 4 years ago

Herman is a great hit with my family and friends!

Simon 4 years ago

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?

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author


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.


Mel 4 years ago

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??

Jo 4 years ago

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?

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stuu3270 4 years ago

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

Kimberly 4 years ago

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?

Kimberly 4 years ago

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

Helen 4 years ago

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?


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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author


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.

S R Roberts profile image

S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author


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 profile image

S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author


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.

Kimberly 4 years ago

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

Dawn 4 years ago

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 :)

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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

andrew and cath 4 years ago

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.

Rachel 4 years ago


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.

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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.


S R Roberts profile image

S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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 profile image

S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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.


Rachel 4 years ago

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


Anja Leeves 4 years ago

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

East Sussex

Leonie 4 years ago

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


macy 4 years ago

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

clare dixon 4 years ago

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

Jools 4 years ago

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.

sutee 4 years ago

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!

molly 4 years ago

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

Linda Brown 4 years ago

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.


Claire Cole 4 years ago

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

Jo s 4 years ago

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 .

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

Photo, photo, photo!!!!

S R Roberts profile image

S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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 profile image

S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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


sheila williams 4 years ago

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.

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author


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.

Yasmin 4 years ago

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

Ann Smith 4 years ago

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?

Paul 4 years ago

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

John Rafferty 4 years ago

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

Sioux 4 years ago

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'!!!

Diane 4 years ago

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!

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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 4 years ago

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......

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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?

caroline Parkinson 4 years ago

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!!

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

ha ha, how funny!

Rachel 4 years ago

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.

Emma 4 years ago

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!

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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.


Sharon Larsen 4 years ago

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.

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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

Sophie 4 years ago

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

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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 4 years ago

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

Paul 4 years ago

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 :))

hannah 4 years ago

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

thank you

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S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

Find the instruction above or at

Sophie 4 years ago

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

Emily 4 years ago

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

S R Roberts profile image

S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

Oh yes, that will definitely work!

hannah Thornley 4 years ago

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!

Meggy Moo 4 years ago

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.

Nigel Withyman 4 years ago

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.

Linx Lidl 4 years ago

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

Helen 4 years ago

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

Carol 4 years ago

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.

sandra 4 years ago

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

Maggie 4 years ago

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

Amy 4 years ago

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

linzi 4 years ago

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...

tyler 4 years ago

mine died

Shirley 4 years ago

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

mel 4 years ago

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.

leah 4 years ago

i am looking forward t make it

Dawn 4 years ago

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

cathy 4 years ago

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

Tilly 4 years ago

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

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patriciaf1 4 years ago

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

Elaine 4 years ago

Does anyone know what size tin to bake Herman in?

Fiona 4 years ago

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

sarah 4 years ago

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.

rachel dallimore 4 years ago

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.

sharon 4 years ago

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

ANN D 4 years ago

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.

Linda (Ford) Worth 4 years ago

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!

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Letthemeatcake 4 years ago

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!

Liz 4 years ago

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.


Dorothy 4 years ago

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.

S R Roberts profile image

S R Roberts 4 years ago from UK Author

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.


Keren Scott 4 years ago

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!

Trinity 3 years ago

Do you have the nutritional info?

srcharters 3 years ago

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!

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