Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Bodentorte (Fruit Flan)

In the 1930’s there were two little boys, living in Russia, who loved to play together. Through difficult circumstances, they were separated when one of them, my dad, moved across the country and later across the ocean. My dad was a young adult when he found out that his friend, Abram - back in Russia, was really his half brother, having been given to an aunt when his mother died. (Even though the father remarried, his firstborn had stayed with the aunt while my father was born to the second wife, my Omi) Years later now, connecting with his half brother in any way was impossible, but in time they found each other and my dad began his mission to get him out of Russia.

By a miracle this "uncle of mine," along with his family, arrived at Vancouver airport in 1978. I cannot explain in words, the emotions of such a re-union, one that requires getting to know each other, even though you are family. At first we had trouble communicating because of language barriers, but eventually they all learned English. I am so proud of my Tante Lena, who now so easily translated her recipe from Russian to English for me, as she read it to me. She is one of the bravest and most gracious women I know.

  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)

Berries or a combination of fruit with a package of fruit glaze OR
1 quart canned peaches along with syrup and 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch.

  1. Prepare 11" flan pan by greasing, being careful to get into all the creases. Sprinkle with flour and tap to get it evenly all over.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow.
  3. Stir in liquids and then combined dry ingredients.
  4. Beat egg whites with cream of tarter and gently fold into batter until just blended. Do not beat.
  5. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350° F for 25 minutes, or until a nice golden color.
  6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Pull away the edges gently by hand or slide a butter knife along the edges to make sure they come loose. Invert onto cooling rack. You may have to peek under the pan and gently slide the knife across part of it. If part of the cake remains in the pan, just gently loosen it and the sponge-like cake will easily patch up the spot.
  7. Allow to cool and fill with favorite fruit and top with glaze, following pkg directions. If using drained canned peaches, mix up 1 1/4 cups of the juice/syrup with cornstarch and heat, stirring until it comes to a boil. Cook, stirring a few minutes. Cool slightly and pour over fruit.
  8. Beat 1 cup whipping cream, adding 1 - 2 tsp sugar, until it begins to thicken and soft peaks form if beaters are raised. Do not over-beat. Spread on cake, forming soft peaks with back of spoon.


  1. Our fav topping was always fresh strawberries - the small sweet ones - not the huge tasteless ones that are in stores nowadays, lol! Good memories!

  2. Yummy! I may have to make this for my cousin this wknd!

  3. Oh what a wonderful story and beautiful dessert!

  4. My mom always made Bodentorte too was her go too when she knew company was on the way because she always had the cake ingredients and there was always a can of cherry pie filling in the cupboard.
    Thank you for that wonderful story. .it made me wonder what my Dad ate with his family the first time their were reunited after 70 years.

  5. great recipe - even greater story, blesings

  6. What a wonderful story. This dessert looks lovely....I would love a nice dessert this weekend and this just amy be it. Kathy

  7. I'm making this today. The provenance is wonderful.

  8. What a touching story and a beautiful dessert. Can't wait to make it this weekend! Wish it was strawberry season!

  9. What wonderful memories associated with that dessert. It looks beautiful!

  10. What a beautiful story to go along with a beautiful recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Anneliese - for me, this dessert has a special memory attached to it. It's what we served at our wedding almost 39 years ago. I grew up in the Niagara Penninsula (Ontario) and we topped it with glazed fresh peaches from my uncle's farm. It was a huge hit with all our guests. I haven't made it in years. I think it's time again. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  12. Love the history behind the food. Speaking of the food, divine!

  13. What a story, thanks for sharing it with us...
    Your cake looks devine... I have the flan pan and never used it yet.

  14. That's worth buying a flan pan for right there. And I have home-canned peaches in the pantry that need to be used before I can some more in a couple of months!

  15. Thanks for sharing this...It's been a favorite for years and years. I even have the right pan...I think I might try to put some rhubarb sauce in this cake for this season.

  16. I love this dessert. I just need to find a pan like that. Mine turned all rusty, and I threw it out. Your recipes are soooo good! I love coming here to check them out. Hugs, from Paraguay!

  17. That looks absolutely yummy!

  18. This reminds me of the sponge cakes my mother used to make and she filled them with strawberries, pineapples and peaches, too!
    I am going to try this recipe.
    Your family stories are so interesting!

  19. Ok, I'm back. Come to think of it, we used to call it Tortenboden in the old country. Just curious why it is turned around in Mennonite circles and called Bodentorte.

    1. We called it Tortenboden as well...The most common filling was Cherry pie filling from the can, although my mom did use fresh fruit sometimes.

  20. Beautifully presented and photographed! Oh my does this every look irresistible.