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Sand Torte

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This cake has a very fine, sand-like crumb.  I think you may find the list of ingredients surprising too.  It is a classic cake refreshed!

Star shaped sand torte cake dusted with powdered sugar and surrounded with strawberries and blueberries.

The texture of this cake is very fine which is what earned it the name of sand torte.  There is quite a bit of cornstarch in the batter which helps give it the namesake mouthfeel. 

It sounds kind of odd if you haven’t tried it, but it is super delicious. I like it served with berries and whipped cream, but it is a good neutral base for any kind of toppings.

It’s Cake Slice Day again!  As you know by now, we are baking our way thought Maida Heatter’s Cakes and I have been having the best time doing it.  So far they have almost all been winners.

There has only one mediocre bake that was mostly due to my own inattention to details and not necessarily the recipe.  Though I definitely learned my lesson to start checking things early and not take baking times for granted!

Thin slices of sand torte served with cream cheese whipped cream and fresh berries.

It is always really hard for me to choose what to bake each month.  I am glad I am only given four choices each time, or I would never be able to narrow it down.

Even with just the four options, I still hem and haw.  I pick and change my mind.  It is terrible because they all sound so good.

I chose this recipe for a few reasons.  First, I have a small cache of Bundt pans in the basement that don’t get used often enough and this seemed like a great chance to use the star.  

It worked perfectly for this recipe and was fun to serve with blueberries and strawberries for a patriotic dessert!

I was also really intrigued by the description in the book.  Maida says ” The texture is a little sandy, but deliciously so.”

Sandy is not a term I usually hear with a positive association when it comes to cake, so I had to try that.  Also the ingredient list piqued my interest.

 There is a 1:1 ratio of flour to cornstarch.  I’ve never baked a cake like that before!!

two dessert plates with cake, berries and whipped cream with remaining star shaped cake in background.

The cake did turn out lovely.  It did have a dryer texture than most of the cakes I bake, but really not in a bad way.

Maida suggested cutting it in thin slices and serving multiple thinly cut pieces per serving.  We had just stuffed ourselves on a big family BBQ, so I just served one thin slice with some cream cheese whipped cream and berries.

I did cut a bigger slice the next day, and I agree that thin slices are the way to go.  Both were good, but the texture was better in thinner slices.

This book has no pictures, so you have to visualize what each cake will look like.  I really didn’t like that aspect of this book when I first got it, but now I love it!

It gives me a chance to do it my way rather than be swayed by the pictures in the book.  I don’t fancy myself a very creative person, so normally I would just aspire to duplicate the picture (and probably find myself disappointed when it doesn’t match exactly.)

Slice of cake with fresh strawberries, blueberries and a piped swirl of cream cheese whipped cream.

So I like that I can be proud of what mine looks like and give myself room for a little creative license.  I also love looking forward to seeing the other cakes when the other bakers choose a different recipe.

It is like a first peek at something I have only read about.  But the best part is seeing the differences when multiple people bake the same recipe.  It is so fun to see the reveals!

Love tasty recipes? I do too! Follow me on Pinterest for more delicious ideas!

Star shaped sand torte cake dusted with powdered sugar and surrounded with strawberries and blueberries.

Sand Torte

Servings: 16 Servings
Author: Carlee
This cake has a very fine, sand-like crumb.  I think you may find the list of ingredients surprising too.  It is a classic cake refreshed!
4.63 from 8 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 46 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 1 minute


  • zest of 1 lemon finely grated
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs separated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare your 10 cup bundt pan (I use the spray with flour in it, but you can butter and flour your pan if you prefer.)
  • Mix together the lemon rind and the lemon juice and set aside. 
    zest of 1 lemon, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cornstarch until mixed and lump free.
    1 cup sifted all-purpose flour, 1 cup cornstarch, 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • In your mixer, beat butter until soft and creamy. Add 3/4 cup of sugar and cream for a couple of minutes.
    1 cup unsalted butter
  • Add the 6 egg yolks and beat on high speed for at least 5 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add half of the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Then add the lemon juice and zest again mixing until incorporated, but no longer. Stir the last of the flour and cornstarch in by hand, mixing until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, beat 6 egg whites and salt until they hold a soft shape. Slowing add in remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until they form soft peaks.
    ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Add about 1/4 of the egg white mixture to the batter and fold it in to lighten the batter. Keep adding the egg whites, about 1/4 at a time, folding until just mixed until the egg white mixture is all folded in. Be sure to mix as little as possible along the way so as to not deflate the whites completely. 
  • Scoop into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cake springs back then you press it with a finger. 
  • Remove the pan from the oven, but do not unmold the cake until it is completely cooled. Then turn it onto a plate and refrigerate until it is firm enough to handle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 
  • It is displayed beautifully with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and cut into thin slices.
  • Maida suggest serving 2-3 thin slices per portion. Great served with: powdered sugar, berries and cream cheese whipped cream


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 116mgSugar: 13g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.63 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Tuesday 10th of December 2019

Thanks so much for this recipe! I used to make this cake as a child, but could never find the exact recipe that included cornstarch - until I found yours! When I saw the "6 eggs separated" I knew this was the recipe that eluded me for so many years. The cake was a regular in our household. Growing up in Australia with German parents, the European influence was always in the baked treats, and Sandtorte was definitely a favorite! The cornstarch definitely elevates this cake to another level. You have made my day Carlee! - Regards - Nina.


Wednesday 18th of December 2019

YAY!! I hope you enjoy it!


Thursday 17th of May 2018

This is so pretty. I love this for summer.


Sunday 20th of May 2018

Thank you!


Tuesday 4th of July 2017

Isn't that pan the best? Thanks so much, Nicole!


Thursday 7th of July 2016

This cake looks beautiful! It makes me think of eating at a tea room.


Thursday 7th of July 2016

Thank you! I was really pleased with how it came out.

Two Chicks and a Mom

Thursday 30th of June 2016

The recipe sounds delicious and the presentation is great. Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday:).


Thursday 30th of June 2016

Thank you! I had a lot of fun making it and it was fun to serve too!