No image available
Member recipe

Herman friendship cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(6 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 1 - 1 Cake

You have to keep Herman alive for 10 days then bake him and share with friends.

This recipe has been submitted by the Good Food community. Sign in or create a My Good Food account to upload your own recipe creations. Please note that all recipes will be moderated but they are not tested in the Good Food kitchen.
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • Ingredients:
  • 5oz plain flour
  • 8oz castor sugar
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • Half a pint of warm milk
  • 2 fl oz lukewarm water
  • 1 cup of sugar (8oz or 225g)
  • 2 cups plain flour (10oz or 300g)
  • half tsp (teaspoon) salt
  • 2/3 (two thirds) cup of cooking oil (5.3oz or 160ml)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cooking apples cut into chunks
  • 1 cup raisins (7oz or 200g)
  • 2 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
  • If you prefer to measure then these are the equivalent measures:
  • 1 x cup of flour = 5oz (150g)
  • 1 x cup of sugar = 8oz (225g)
  • 1 x cup of brown sugar = 6oz (175g)
  • 1 x cup of raisins = 7oz (200g)


    1. This is an Amish tradition. His name is Hermann and he is made for friendship. You can make the starter batch then keep him alive until he is ready to share, making a delicious cake with your part of him.
    2. What to do: 1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes and stir. 2. Add the flour and sugar then mix thoroughly. 3. Slowly stir in the warm milk. 4. Cover the bowl in a clean cloth. 5. Leave in a cool dry place for 24 hours 6. Now proceed from day one of the 10 day cycle.
    3. 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.
    4. Day1: Put me in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel. Day 2: Stir well Day 3: Stir well Day 4: Herman is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well. Day 5: Stir well Day 6: Stir well Day 7: Stir well Day 8: Stir well Day 9: 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 fourth portion. Day 10: Now you are ready to make the cake. Stir well and add the main cake ingredients.
    5. 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 to 180C. You may need to cover in tin foil and bake for a further 20 minutes to make sure your Herman is done in the middle.
    6. Once you have made this recipie why not start again and experiment with other flavours such as chocolate and banana.

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Caroline Harris's picture
Caroline Harris
7th Jan, 2018
This is so Good
21st Apr, 2015
I just joined your website, confirmed with email confirmation and cannot print recipes with the print button.
22nd Apr, 2013
Just making this cake after previously doing so many years ago.I am assuming the butter and sugar are extra to the main cake list and not sure what size tin it seems a bit hit and miss!
9th Nov, 2012
CALLING ALL HERMAN FAMILY PORTRAITS Hi! My name’s Hannah, I am a previous parent to Herman and have made it my mission to document his journey from here. Currently a BA Hons Book Arts and Design student at London College of Communication I am taking this journey on as my final project and hope to collate a family photo album of Herman with all the new families, in all the new homes he finds himself in. Once you have taken him in as your own and raised him until the end I would be so grateful for a family portrait to add to the collection. Just send a photo of yourselves with Herman in whichever baked form he takes with you to my email: (or just to this forum if that's easier?). I will let you know when it is done so you can keep an eye out for your family portrait! Thank you and good luck with your temporary parenthood. x
6th Aug, 2012
My mother in law handed me Hermann the other day and I decided to add dark chocolate and cranberries instead of apple and raisins and it was delicious, I will definitely be doing it again soon!
africanqueen's picture
2nd Aug, 2012
We loved this cake, and it was fun to do & share. Instead of using apple, I used pear and it was delicious. I baked the cake in a deep rectangular tin approx 32cm x 23cm and 5cm deep the baking time 45 minutes. I have my second Herman bubbling away but I'm still yet to decide what different ingredient I'll use other than pear or apple!
11th Jun, 2012
We received the Starter mix from a friend, kept Herman alive and made a lovely cake, didn't have a big tin, so used 2 8" cake tins, still took a little longer to bake these (55 mins), turned the heat down to 160 as mine is a fan oven. they were beautifully baked, Herman 2 is bubbling away on the counter in the kitchen! Delicious!
27th Nov, 2014
Can i use 'Easy Bake Yeast' as a starter?
17th Sep, 2013
1 cup of milk = ?
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.