Makes 16-20 servings (serving a crowd?)

  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 packages vanilla pudding
  • 8 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 cup + 5 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar (see notes)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 lbs sour cream
  • powdered sugar
  • ground cinnamon (see notes)

Special equipment

half-size baking pan (13"x18"x1") (but see suggestions)


Preheat the oven to 325° while you make a pudding of the first two ingredients on the stovetop. Remove when thickened, and let cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, make a dough of the butter, a cup of the sugar, the vanillasugar, eggs, flour, and baking powder. Spread (not pour; this is a thick mixture) the batter evenly as the base of your cake in the baking pan. Spread the cooled pudding ontop, and bake about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Mix the remaining 5 Tablespoons of sugar with the sour cream, and spread across your lightly warm cake. Strew with powdered sugar and a hefty amount of cinnamon, by hand or through a sieve. Refrigerate until serving.


This sourcream sheet cheesecake couldn’t be easier to make. Ideal for quantity cookery, yet your diners will have no idea how simple it is. Imagine: a Millirahmstrudel without any fuss! Don’t expect to find it in any German, or even Bavarian cookbook; it’s a speciality of Haus Kirmayr, Otterfing, Bavaria, and we thank Frau Kirmayr for sharing her secret.

If you can’t find vanillasugar in your grocer’s bakery aisle or international section, no worries; substitute 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon sugar.

German cinnamon tastes different from American cinnamon because they are two different spices. Europe uses true cinnamon, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, also known as Ceylon cinnamon where in the US we use the cheaper Cassia. The flavors are distinctly different: true cinnamon is milder and doesn’t have the bite of Cassia that Americans are accustomed too. But because Vietnamese cinnamon, a sweet variety of Cassia, has repeatedly tested best for the American palate in our experiments, we recommend it here. Yes, this dish will taste different from the German version. Cassias are unavailable in the EU because they contain higher levels of coumarin, a potent blood thinner, than true cinnamon.


This fills a 13"x18"x1" baking pan to the rim. If you’re tranporting it offsite, all your magical cinnamon may end up sticking to the plastic wrap. You may want to try baking it in two 13"x9" pans instead, though we have never done.