Lithuanian tree cake, known as raguolis
(which means "spiked") or sakotis
(which means "branched") is a treat that appears at every traditional Lithuanian wedding, and for special occasions like Christmas Eve and Easter. In Polish, this cake is known as sekacz
, and in German, it's baumkuchen
. Racine Bakery
in Chicago makes this pastry in 16-inch and 24-inch sizes, but cakes as tall as 36 inches are not uncommon. An egg-rich batter is dripped in stages onto a stainless-steel rod or spit that rotates over a heat source. As the speed is increased, the batter forms spikes that resemble the branches of a tree. A cross-section of the cake also resembles the rings of a tree trunk, hence its name.
The finished cake is often decorated with fresh flowers on top and at the base. Pieces of cake are sliced off and eaten as-is or with fresh fruit and melted chocolate. Along with a tiered wedding cake, a raguolis or sakotis takes center stage at wedding receptions. More about tree cake.