Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (2024)

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Flammkuchen is a German-French Alsatian dish that combines a thin crispy base with sour cream, bacon, and onion toppings. Also known as a German Pizza (which is not strictly true) it is crispy, creamy, and moreish.

With my easy flammkuchen recipe, you can make this dish in under 30 minutes. And it's even easier than making pizza! Plus I will give you some alternative flammkuchen topping ideas for vegetarian and smoked salmon versions.

Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (1)
Jump to:
  • What is Flammkuchen?
  • Where does the Flammkuchen recipe originate from?
  • How to make Flammkuchen?
  • Flammkuchen Recipe Steps
  • Tips and Tricks for the BEST Flammkuchen
  • Alternative flammkuchen topping ideas
  • How to serve Flammkuchen?
  • How to store Flammkuchen
  • More German Street Food Recipes
  • Recipe

What is Flammkuchen?

Flammkuchen is also called “Flambée" or "Flammekueche”. Flammkuchen in English translates as "Flame Cake". It is a French-German flatbread that is topped with sour cream, creme fraiche, onions, and bacon. It is sometimes referred to as German pizza. You can find it in German supermarkets in the frozen section with the traditional pizzas. But nothing compares to homemade flammkuchen.

What is the difference between Flammkuchen and Pizza?

Pizza is made with yeast dough and a long rising time, whereas German Flammkuchen is made with a simple dough from flour, water, and oil. Italian pizza is topped with tomato sauce, herbs, and cheese. In contrast, Flammkuchen has a simple sour cream base with an onion and bacon topping.

The main similarity is that they are both cooked in a wood-fired oven with a stone base.

Where does the Flammkuchen recipe originate from?

It originated from the Alsace area (Elsass) around the French-German border. Some argue whether it is a French or German dish, as the region changed borders in the last 150 years. In French, this traditional dish is known as "tarte flambée" However, everyone agrees it is Alsatian and delicious.

The recipe is ancient and was invented in Alsatian farmhouses, at the time they used to make bread in wood-burning ovens. They would roll out a piece of dough very thin and place it on the hot stone. If the base became crisp the temperature was right for the bread. In time crème fraiche, onions, and bacon were added, and so the Flammkuchen recipe was born.

At first, flammkuchen was a dish you would make only at home. With the growing popularity of pizza in the 1960s, flammkuchen started to appear in restaurants and markets all over Germany [source: Wikipedia].

Another German dish is Zwiebelkuchen, which is also made with onions and bacon but has a more creamy pie-like consistency.

Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (2)

How to make Flammkuchen?

This is a traditional Alsatian flammkuchen recipe (Elsässer Flammkuchen or Flammenkuchen Elsässer Art in German). One thing to remember about flammkuchen is that it loves to be baked hot. In traditional stone ovens, they used to be baked at 300 to 400 degrees. For a home cook, like me, it is sufficient to turn to oven to its highest setting at 220-50 degrees Celsius.

How to make the Flammkuchen base?

This flammkuchen base is made without yeast. The ingredients for the base are olive oil, water, salt, and flour, simply mixed in a bowl. Knead the dough thoroughly.The key is to roll out the dough very thin. This is not an easy task, as it might shrink back together, but persist. Flammkuchen does not have to be round like pizza. It is often rectangular (like the shape of the baking tray) or oval.

Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (3)

How to prepare the Flammkuchen Toppings?

The traditional toppings for Elsässer Flammkuchen (Alsatian Flammenkuchen) are:

  • Bacon - or diced speck. Use smoked bacon for the best result. You could also use Pancetta
  • Crème Fraiche (if not available use full-fat Greek yoghurt. Here is also a simple recipe on how to make it from scratch)
  • Sour Cream - American sour cream, has a stronger taste than German Saure Sahne. So I would recommend mixing it with Greek Yoghurt.
  • Onions - red or white
  • Chives - freshly cut. They don't only look good but add freshness and spice to this German flammkuchen recipe.

About the Sour Cream Pizza Base

In Germany, Schmand is a sour cream-based product with a 20% fat content. Schmand is only available in Germany, so to replace it I would suggest mixing Creme Fraiche (which has a 30% fat content) and Sour Cream (which has a 10% fat content). For those in the US, where a tub of Creme Fraiche is very expensive, I would use a mixture of Greek yogurt, and sour cream, as the US sour cream has a stronger taste.

Flammkuchen Recipe Steps

  1. Slice the onions very fine. The bacon is cubed, and the crème fraiche is mixed with the sour crème and seasoned with salt and black pepper.
  2. One tip I have learned is to soak the raw onions in water. Then steam them lightly in the microwave for one minute to soften them. This can prevent the onions from crisping too much in the high heat.
  3. Bake the flammkuchen at around 220-250 degrees Celcius (428°F) for around 15-20 minutes. Watch it so it does not burn too much. However, it is common to find some chargrilled corners on our Flammkuchen. (see images)
  4. There is no definite sign when the flammkuchen is ready. When the edges turn crisp and golden brown, remove the bread from the oven and check if the middle is done well.
Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (4)

Tips and Tricks for the BEST Flammkuchen

  • Get the consistency of the Flammkuchen dough right. The dough should not be too sticky and stick to the bowl. If necessary add more flour.
  • Roll out the dough directly on the parchment paper. It allows you to roll out the dough very thinly without it ripping when transferring to the baking tray.
  • Use the dough at room temperature. Do not store it in the fridge as this will make it harder to roll out. Also, a well-kneaded dough will be more elastic. Also, adding oil will make the dough smoother and easier to work with so do not save on the oil.
  • For the ultimate base use a pizza stone. You can just place it in the oven and it will heat up.
  • Test your oven. Flammkuchen likes to be baked hot, but every oven is different. When baking the cake for the first time, keep an eye on it, so it does not crisp up too much.

Alternative flammkuchen topping ideas

In Germany, Flammkuchen is very popular and there are many variations to the traditional Flammkuchen toppings. You will find whole restaurants specializing in Flammkuchen pizzas. It is also popular at Christmas markets. Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Vegetarian Flammkuchen with feta, cherry tomatoes, and spinach.
  • Flammkuchen with smoked salmon and spring onions, leeks, or rocket salad
  • Sweet Flammkuchen with goat's cheese, honey, and figs.
  • Vegan Flammkuchen with soya yogurt, mushrooms, sliced cooked potatoes, and spring onions
Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (5)
Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (6)

How to serve Flammkuchen?

Flammkuchen is served traditionally on a prewarmed wooden board. It is traditional to drink a light white wine (Elsass Riesling) from the Alsace area.

How to store Flammkuchen

Flammkuchen is best eaten the same day it is cooked. However, it also tastes good cold. Just store it in an airtight container and consume it within 3 days.

Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (7)

If you like this recipe you might also like

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  • Homemade German Döner Kebab (Chicken Recipe)
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  • Bremer - a German Fish Sandwich (Fischbrötchen)
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Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (12)

Traditional Flammkuchen with Variations and Video


This recipe comes from the Alsatian region. The dough is made without yeast. This dish is also known as German or Sourcream Pizza and is an easy quick treat for any occasion

4.91 from 32 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 25 minutes mins

Total Time 40 minutes mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine German

Servings 1 flammkuchen

Calories 1161 kcal



  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 125 ml water 4.2 fl oz or 0.5 cup
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 250 g flour 8.8 oz or 2 cups

For the topping

  • 2 onions about 150 gr (7 oz)
  • 100 gr bacon 3.5 oz - cubed
  • 50 gr creme fraiche ¼ cup, 1.7 oz - if not available use Greek yogurt
  • 50 gr sour cream ¼ cup, 1.7 oz
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoon chives chooped small (optional)

Vegetarian Variation

  • 100 g spinach 1 cup
  • 100 g cherry tomatoes ½cup
  • 50 g onion ¼ cup
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 100 g feta cheese ½cup
  • 50 gr creme fraiche ¼ cup 1.7 oz - if not available use Greek yogurt
  • 50 gr sour cream ¼ cup, 1.7 oz
  • salt
  • black pepper

Smoked Salmon Variation

  • 50 gr creme fraiche ¼ cup,
  • 50 gr sour cream ¼ cup,
  • 100 gr smoked salmon 4 oz
  • 100 gr spring onions or rocket leaves ¼ cup,


  • Preheat the oven to 250°C or 428°F

  • Whisk the water, olive oil, salt and flour together in the bowl with a hand or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment.

    2 tablespoon olive oil, 125 ml water, 1 pinch salt, 250 g flour

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

  • With a rolling pin (affiliate link), stretch the dough to a thin, around 3 mm thickness. Place the dough on a sheet of baking parchment.

  • Slice the onions very finely. Place them in a bowl and cover with a little water. Steam them in the microwave for around 1 minute at 600 Watt. This will prevent the onions from burning too quickly.

Traditional Flammkuchen Topping (Elsässer)

  • In a bowl mix the crème fraiche and sour cream with a spoon until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

    50 gr creme fraiche, 50 gr sour cream, black pepper, salt

  • Spread the crème fraiche-sour cream mixture on the base with the back of the spoon. Leave around 0.5 cm space for the edge.

  • Spread the onions and bacon on top.

    2 onions, 100 gr bacon

  • Place in the flammkuchen in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Every oven is different so keep an eye on it so it does not crisp too much. There is no definite sign when the flammkuchen is ready. When the edges turn crisp and golden brown, remove the bread from the oven and check if the middle is done a well.

  • To serve sprinkle with some chives. Serve warm.

    2 tablespoon chives

Vegetarian Variation

  • Blanche the spinach in hot water, then squeeze out excess liquid. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half, slice the onion and garlic. Cube the feta cheese.

    100 g spinach, 100 g cherry tomatoes, 50 g onion, 1 garlic clove, 100 g feta cheese

  • In a bowl mix the crème fraiche and sour cream with a spoon until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

    50 gr creme fraiche, 50 gr sour cream, salt, black pepper

  • Spread the crème fraiche-sour cream mixture on the base with the back of the spoon. Leave around 0.5 cm of space for the edge. Then add the spinach, cherry tomatoes, onion, garlic and feta on top. Bake until the edges crisp up.

Smoked Salmon Variation

  • In a bowl mix the crème fraiche and sour cream with a spoon until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

    50 gr creme fraiche, 50 gr sour cream

  • Spread the crème fraiche-sour cream mixture on the base with the back of the spoon. Leave around 0.5 cm of space for the edge. Then bake in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes.

  • Place the smoked salmon flakes over the hot flammkuchen and sprinkle with the spring onion rings or rocket leaves.



Calories: 1161kcalCarbohydrates: 108gProtein: 15gFat: 74gSaturated Fat: 27gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 150mgPotassium: 339mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 289IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 6mg

Keyword Flambée, flammenkuchen, flammkuchen, German pizza, sourcream pizza

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Flammkuchen Recipe - Alsatian & German Pizza (2024)


What's the difference between pizza and flammkuchen? ›

Unlike pizza, Flammkuchen, Tarte Flambée etc. don't have an underlying layer of tomato sauce under the cheese and toppings. Cheese, onions / leeks and sometimes lardon pieces are directly put on the rectangular base, before baking in a hot oven (usually wood-fired). No sprinkling of basil leaves.

What is the Alsace pizza called? ›

Classic Tarte Flambée (Alsatian Pizza With Fresh Cheese, Onions, and Bacon) Recipe.

Is flammkuchen healthier than pizza? ›

I have something for you: flammkuchen with fresh figs, rosemary, thyme and goat cheese. Deliciously fresh, full of herbs and vitamines and a healthy alternative to a high-calorie pizza.

What do they call pizza in Germany? ›

In my house pizza has always been a quick and enjoyable go to meal.

What kind of pizza do Germans like? ›

The one you will most likely come across on the internet is a Flammkuchen recipe. This is a type of pizza that is common on the French-German border. In French, it's known as a tarte flambée which translates to “flame cake” in English. It's called this because a traditional Flammkuchen is baked in a wood-fired oven.

What do French call pizza? ›

feminine noun. pizza. Collins Beginner's French-English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers.

What is the oldest pizza place ever? ›

In 1830, Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba was opened in Naples. Most historians consider this to be the world's first pizzeria. It became a meeting place for artists, students or others with little money so, in most cases, the pizza was simple.

What is the most unhealthy ingredient in pizza? ›

​The worst offender in pizza could sometimes be the dough or crust. Refrigerated pizza crust, for instance, often contains hydrogenated oils as well as artificial additives.

What is the unhealthiest part of pizza? ›

Most types of pizzas are high in calories and sodium, as they're usually topped with cheese, salty meats and other high-calorie toppings. Plus, some pizzas contain added sugar in the crust, certain toppings and sauces.

What is pasta called in German? ›

• pastaTeigwaren↔ pasta
• pasta→ NudelPasta↔ pâte

What's the difference between pizza and Tarte Flambee? ›

The pizza is always made from a yeast dough with a small amount of yeast and a long resting time. Only in this way can the dough mature and acquire its elasticity. For the tarte flambée an oil dough is made, it consists only of flour, water, oil and salt.

What does flammkuchen taste like? ›

It's similar to a pizza or flatbread and traditionally topped with bacon, onion, and crème fraiche, although you can easily customize flammkuchen however you like. It's deliciously savory, with a slightly smoky flavor and a beautifully crispy thin crust.

What is flammkuchen made of? ›

It is composed of bread dough rolled out very thinly in the shape of a rectangle or oval, which is covered with fromage blanc or crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and lardons.

What is flammkuchen in english? ›

What is Flammkuchen? Translated 'flame cake,' flammkuchen really aren't pizza at all, in their own right. They were originally used by bakers to test the temperature of their ovens. A bit of dough was taken and rolled flat, topped with crème fraîche, and baked in the wood-fired bread oven for a few minutes.

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