Karen's Kuchens named Best in North Dakota

Karen's Kuchens are made from a traditional recipe from the early 1900s

The word kuchen is German for “cake,” but in North Dakota, it refers to a specific type of cake that’s more like a thick custard in a crust of sweet dough, cut into triangles like a pie. When Germans immigrated to the U.S., many of them brought the tradition of kaffeeklatsch–afternoon coffee, cake and conversation–with them. Today, the dessert continues to be a staple at holidays and community gatherings throughout the Dakotas.

  • Karen's Kuchens
    Larimore

    The kuchens from Karen’s Kuchens are made using a recipe brought over from the Black Sea area of Russia in the early 1900s. The selection, which can be shipped to most parts of the country, includes classics like prune and rhubarb, as well as creative options like root beer or pecan rum.
    Photo courtesy of Karen's Kuchens

  • Grandma's Kuchen
    Ashley

    The kuchen from Grandma's Kuchen in Ashley starts with a thin layer of sweet crust, filled with homemade fruit filling and covered in a rich cream filling. A think layer of signature sugar crumble and a sprinkle of cinnamon go on top.
    Photo courtesy of Grandma's Kuchen

  • Würst Bier Hall
    Fargo

    The pie-like kuchen from Würst Bier Hall in Fargo comes with a thick, cakey crust and a dense custard filling. Diners can get it hot or cold with a scoop of ice cream on the side.
    Photo courtesy of Würst Bier Hall

  • Model Bakery
    Linton

    The kuchen from Model Bakery are scratch made using Dakota wheat flour, sweet cream custard and fruit, topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. There are a dozen flavors to choose from.
    Photo courtesy of Model Bakery / Facebook

  • Kim's Gourmet Shop
    Zeeland

    Kuchen are a specialty at Kim’s Gourmet Shop in Zeeland. It comes in six varieties based on an old family recipe.
    Photo courtesy of Kim's Gourmet Shop / Facebook

  • Ashley Supervalu
    Ashley

    Ashley Supervalu sells several varieties of kuchen–rhubarb, prune, peach, cheese, custard, pumpkin, chocolate chip and about half a dozen others. You can even get them shipped (fresh or frozen).
    Photo courtesy of Ashley Supervalu / Facebook

  • The Home Plate Cafe
    Fredonia

    The Home Plate Cafe in Fredonia is known for its German specialties, including a rotating dessert menu. Kuchen, served as a bar rather than the typical triangular slice, often features.
    Photo courtesy of The Home Plate Cafe / Facebook

  • Frieds Family Restaurant
    Mandan

    Frieds Family Restaurant is known for its home cooking and friendly service. While portions are generous, it’s a good idea to save room for a slice of homemade kuchen for dessert.
    Photo courtesy of Frieds Family Restaurant / Facebook

  • LaVonne's Cheesebutton Factory Plus
    Bismarck

    LaVonne's Cheesebutton Factory Plus makes two sizes of fresh baked kuchen in a variety of flavors. Best sellers include cheese, peach, apple, strawberry rhubarb and mixed berry.
    Photo courtesy of LaVonne's Cheesebutton Factory Plus / Facebook

  • Boneshaker Coffee Company
    Bismarck

    The kuchen at Boneshaker Coffee Company in Bismarck is baked fresh daily, along with an extensive selection of coffees and other baked goods.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / LuckyBusiness

The top 10 winners in the Best Kuchen in North Dakota category are as follows:

  1. Karen's Kuchens - Larimore
  2. Grandma's Kuchen - Ashley
  3. Würst Bier Hall - Fargo
  4. Model Bakery - Linton
  5. Kim's Gourmet Shop - Zeeland
  6. Ashley Supervalu - Ashley
  7. The Home Plate Cafe - Fredonia
  8. Frieds Family Restaurant - Mandan
  9. LaVonne's Cheesebutton Factory Plus - Bismarck
  10. Boneshaker Coffee Company - Bismarck

Congratulations to all these winning restaurants!

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