German Zwiebelkuchen

German Zwiebelkuchen with smoked tofu - The Lotus and the Artichoke - Vegan Recipes from World Adventures

When I announced that I would be adding 5 traditional German recipes to the cookbook, including a recipe for vegan Zwiebelkuchen, one of my Kickstarter backers wrote to me with a special request.

His birthday is tomorrow and he asked if I’d share the Zwiebelkuchen recipe earlier so he could make it and serve it with traditional Federweißer (“new wine”) for a birthday party. I told him I’d get to work on testing and finishing the recipe and would get it to him today. I made it last night and it turned out even better than I hoped!

Zwiebelkuchen is sort of like a cross between French quiche and Italian thick-crust pizza, but it’s also reminiscent of German Flammkuchen, which has a thinner crust and less toppings. This is a tasty savoury cake which actually has a lot less onion flavor than one might expect. The result is a delicious and hearty meal which stirs memories. It takes some time and involves a lot of steps, but it’s well worth the effort!

German Zwiebelkuchen – Savory cake w/ onions & smoked tofu

Serves 4 to 6 / time 60+ min

Zwiebelkuchen dough:

  • 3 cups / 375 g flour
  • 1 cup / 240 ml water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsn olive oil
  1. Mix 1/2 cup warm water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Measure flour and salt into a large bowl. While mixing, slowly add yeast water and gradually add rest of water and oil. Combine well and knead smooth, about 5-7 min.
  3. Cover and allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours in warm place.

Onion filling:

  • 4 cups / 450 g onions and/or leeks chopped
  • 100 g smoked tofu diced very small
  • 2 Tbsn olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper ground
  • 200 g tofu
  • 1 cup / 240 ml soy milk
  • 1/4 cup / 30 g cashews ground
  • 3 Tbsn nutritional yeast flakes
  • 3 Tbsn chickpea flour
  • 2 Tbsn soy flour or cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsn lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg ground
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  1. Heat oil on medium heat in a large pot. Add chopped onions, paprika, pepper. Saute 5 min, stirring regularly. Add diced smoked tofu, continue to saute until onions are transparent, about 5-7 min.
  2. Blend tofu and soy milk in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  3. In large bowl combine ground cashews, yeast flakes, chickpea flour, and soy flour. Add lemon juice, zest, turmeric, rosemary, nutmeg, salt, and blended tofu mixture. Whisk smooth.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C / level 6.
  5. Line a baking tray with waxed paper or grease pan with oil. Knead dough a few times and spread or roll out evenly and thinly across pan. Pinch or turn up edges to be slightly thicker to contain filling.
  6. Spread half of onion filling across dough. Pour tofu mixture evenly across filling and then spread rest of filling and perhaps more chopped onions on top.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and top of cake is golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
  8. Garnish with chopped parsley and ground pepper and serve!


Sunflower seeds: Use ground sunflower seeds or other nuts if desired. Flour: Use regular flour instead of chickpea flour. Other herbs: Experiment with thyme, ground coriander, sage, ground caraway seeds or other spices in your filling – or crust!

How to make vegan German Zwiebelkuchen - The Lotus and the Artichoke

4 thoughts on “German Zwiebelkuchen

  1. I’ve never seen smoked tofu. Did you purchase it? If so, where? Or did you make it? This looks incredible!! I’m excited to make this!

    • Thanks… it’s a fun recipe! You can totally make it with regular (firm) tofu, but smoked tofu or a flavored tofu is fancier. I’m not sure where you’re living– WholeFoods in the US carries a wide range of tofu, and in Europe most of the health food stores that have tofu also have special varieties. You can smoke your own tofu, too… I’ve seen a few good recipes/blogs about it online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.