Šakotis: the ancient Lithuanian cake baked with organic and home-made ingredients
Lithuania may not be the first country you think of when it comes to desserts – but its traditional recipes are truly exceptional! One of the most popular cakes is called ‘Šakotis’. It’s a traditional Lithuanian treat also known as ‘tree cake’ because its shape resembles that of a tree with many branches. Nowadays, it is also an organic product and a healthier dessert alternative.
‘Tree cake’ has been an inseparable part of traditional cuisine since the XVI-XVIII century, during the Lithuanian-Polish commonwealth. Since then, Lithuanians can hardly imagine a wedding party or other traditional holiday like Christmas or Easter without šakotis. If you have friends in Lithuania, you can expect them to bring this cake as a gift. Unsurprisingly, ‘tree cake’ can be found in every Lithuanian store – and even in the duty-free zone at Lithuanian airports!
So, what’s so special about this traditional treat? Šakotis is made from simple ingredients including eggs, wheat flour, butter, soured cream and sugar. But it’s the baking process that makes this treat so special: it’s a tricky process in which the cake batter is dripped on to a steel spit, which constantly revolves over an open fire or other heat source. The batter quickly forms crisp peaks that resemble the branches of a tree.
While it’s tricky to make ‘tree cake’ at home, you can try it at places like the šakotis museum located in a village near the Lithuanian resort of Druskininkai. It’s the first and only such museum in the world, where you can take part in educational activities and bake this egg-rich treat in a natural and eco-friendly way – just as our Lithuanian ancestors did.
Most desserts are not the best choice for those on a diet, but šakotis is made from fresh and natural products, and usually contains no preservatives. You’ll also find plenty of certified bakers who bake their ‘tree cake’ only from organic and home-made ingredients.
After all, we all deserve a treat sometimes. Why not do it with a šakotis?
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