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How to host an Oktoberfest party

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

German food und beer

Celebrated at the end of September each year in Germany, Oktoberfest attracts millions of people from around the world. If you can't make it to Munich this year, you can celebrate with your own Oktoberfest party at home, complete with traditional German food, beer, music and more.

German food und beer

Hot German potato salad


  • 10 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar


  1. Bring large pot of water to boil.
  2. Add potatoes and cook for approximately 30 minutes until slightly tender but not mushy.
  3. Fry bacon in a large skillet until brown.
  4. Drain and crumble; set aside. Reserve drippings.
  5. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, celery seed and pepper.
  6. Saute onions in bacon drippings. Add flour mixture and stir until simmering.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in water and vinegar.
  8. Return to heat and bring to rapid boil, stirring constantly for one minute.
  9. Carefully add sliced potatoes and bacon crumbles into the mixture.
  10. Gently stir until heated.
  11. Serve warm.

Black forest cake

In Germany, Black Forest Cake is called Schwarzwälderkirschtorte, which translates to Black Forest Cherry Torte -- a little easier to pronounce. This dessert originated in the late 16th Century in Der Schwarzwald (Black Forest region) of the country. This region is famous for its sour cherries and Kirschwasser, which is a clear cherry brandy created from the sour Morella cherry. The cake combines delicious chocolate with cherries and cream. If you want to make an authentic black forest cake, follow this recipe which uses Kirschwasser.

German food und beer

Cake ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup kirschwasser

Cherry filling

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp strong brewed coffee
  • 2 (16-oz) cans pitted Bing cherries, drained

Cream topping

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp kirschwasser
  • 1 ounce square semisweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour two 8-inch round baking pans.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt and set aside.
  4. Cream together shortening and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Slowly beat in eggs and vanilla.
  6. Add flour mixture while continually beating, alternating with buttermilk. Pour mixture into prepared baking pans.
  7. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely and remove from pans.
  9. Cut each layer horizontally in half to create four layers total.
  10. Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup kirshwasser.

Cherry filling

  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter until fluffy.
  2. Add confectioners sugar, salt and coffee. Beat until smooth.
  3. Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling, then top with 1/3 of the cherries.
  4. Repeat with the remaining layers, assembling cake as you go.

Cream topping

  1. Whip the cream in a small bowl until it forms stiff peaks.
  2. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon kirshwasser.
  3. Frost top and sides of cake.
  4. Use potato peeler to create curls of chocolate and sprinkle on top.

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