Authentic Nussecken (German Nut Corners)

If you have a soft spot for nuts, as I have, then I can guarantee you will love these Nussecken. These nut corners are a delicious combination of three layers – a buttery shortcrust pastry, apricot jam and a crunchy nut topping. Dipped into chocolate these dessert bars make a real treat for any nut lover.

What are Nussecken

Nussecken are delicious German nut bars. The name is put together through two German words. “Nuss” is the word for the nut in German. “Ecken” is the word for corners. A Nussecke is a fusion between a cookie bar and a cake. They can be found in bakeries across Germany and are a favorite amongst children.

They consist of a layer of the shortcrust cookie (similar to shortbread), topped by a layer of apricot jam and finished off with a sweet nut mix. The sides are often decorated with dark chocolate to finish this decadent sweet treat.

History

According to the legend, the first mention of Nussecken was in Bavaria around 1700. Here the baker Wilhelmus Branntwein from Nürenberg came up with the dessert bar, during the Polish occupation. The aim was to create a confectionary that consisted of hazelnuts and flour, to combat ingredient shortages. And so that first nut corner was created. [Source: Badische Backstube: Geheimniss der Nussecke]

In 1998 the nut corner made a comeback in Germany. The Eurovision contestant Guido Horn sang about his love for these cookie bars and shared his mother Lotti’s recipe. Soon everyone was baking Nussecken again.

Nussecken - german nut corners with chocolate

Pronunciation

Nussecken are pronounced “NUSS-ECKEN”

How to make Nussecken

Ingredients you will need:

What nuts can I use to make Nut Corners?

Hazelnuts are the traditional choice of nuts for these German dessert bars, followed by almonds. However, the following nuts also work well:

  • Walnuts
  • Pecan nuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Cashew nuts

It would recommend roasting them first to develop the flavour. They can be either finely ground or roughly chopped. I use a mixture of chopped and ground nuts for the best texture.

Are there alternatives to apricot jam for nussecken?

The jam layer acts as “glue” to stick the nut mass to the cookie base. I think the traditional apricot jam goes best with nuts, however here are some alternatives:

  • Peach jam
  • Marmalade
  • Cherry jam

Nussecken Recipe: Step by Step

  1. Preheat your oven to about 180°C/356°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or grease with butter.
1. Shortcrust pastry dough for nussecken.  2. Dough Spread in Baking tray
  1. To make the shortcrust pastry, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla extract (affiliate link) and eggs with a hand or stand mixer until creamy. Add the flour and baking powder (affiliate link) and knead to a smooth dough.
  2. The dough should be quite soft now. Add it in little portions to our baking tray and then even out by pressing with your fingers until you achieve an even base. Alternatively, you could also use a rolling pin to even out the creases.
1. apricot jam spread on base 2. Nutmixture for nussecken
  1. Spread the apricot jam evenly on top using the back of a spoon or spatula.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter and sugar. Add in the nuts while stirring continually. You should get a thick nutty mass.
1. nutmixture in baking try.  2 cutting the nut corners into triangles
  1. Pour the mass over the apricot jam layer. Try to even out the surface by using a knife or spatula. This will ensure that bars bake evenly.
  2. Bake the bars in the oven for about 27-30 minutes. Then leave to cool briefly.
  3. It is important to cut the Nussecken while warm as after they could down they may be more brittle and more likely to break. First cut them into squares or rectangles and then slice them diagonally.
  4. Leave to cool completely. Do not discard the baking parchment as you might need it for later.
  5. Once the nussecken have cooled down, you can melt the chocolate in a water bath or the microwave. Pour into a high container and dunk the corners into the chocolate. Place on the baking parchment to dry completely.
Nussecken with a bot of chocolate and hazelnuts

How to Serve

In Germany, you eat these nut corners as a snack at any time or serve them with a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

a stack of German nut bars

Storage Instructions

One of the best thing about Nussecken are, that they store very well and keep for a long time. If you leave them in an airtight container they should keep fresh for about 3-4 weeks. They are great for making ahead for parties.

You can freeze Nussecken without any problems. Just place them in portions into a freezer bag, and they will be ready for unexpected visitors.

More German Cakes with Hazelnuts

Nussecken (German nut corners)

Authentic Nussecken (German nut corners)

Marita

A delicious German dessert bar made from a shortbread base and a layer or nut mixture with a hint of chocolate

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 30 mins

Total Time 40 mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine German

Ingredients

  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 2 eggs medium size, at room temperature
  • 300 g flour Germany type 405, UK plain flour, USA pastry flour
  • 1 test baking powder
  • 1 test vanilla essence

For the nut topping

  • 150 g apricot jam
  • 200 g butter unsalted
  • 1 test vanilla extract
  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 200 g chopped hazelnuts

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to about 180°C/356°F.

  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment or grease with butter.

  • To make the shortcrust pastry, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs with a hand or stand mixer until creamy. Add the flour and baking powder and knead to a smooth dough.

  • The dough should be quite soft now. Add it in little portions to our baking tray and then even out by pressing with your fingers until you achieve an even base. Alternativley, you could also use a rolling pin to even out the creases.

  • Spread the apricot jam evenly on top using the back of a spoon or spatula.

  • In a saucepan, melt the butter and sugar. Add in the nuts while stirring continually. You should get a thick nutty mass.

  • Pour the mass over the apricot jam layer. Try to even out the surface by using a knife or spatula. This will ensure that bars bake evenly.

  • Bake the bars in the oven for about 27-30 minutes. Then leave to cool briefly.

  • It is important to cut the Nussecken while warm as after they could down they might break. First cut them into squares or rectangles and then slice them diagonally.

  • Leave to cool completely. Do not discard the baking parchment as you might need it for later.

  • Once the nussecken cooled down, you can melt the chocolate in a water bath or the microwave. Pour into a high container and dunk the corners into the chocolate. Place on the baking tray to cool down completely.

Keyword nussecken, nutcorners

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