The reason I disfavor the American version, is that it starts off with a heavy butter cake. It lacks good syrup, and is topped with bountiful cherry filling and cream. They each tend to overpower the cake in their own way.
This is a great recipe, comprising of fatless chocolate cake and a thin layer of filling and frosting. The cake is soaked in yum brandy syrup. After eating the German version, you will never want to get back to the American version. I made this for a get together with friends tonight. I doubled the recipe to make 2- 11x15 rectangle cakes. Put the kids to sleep and got everything done last night. Tasted it this morning, it is so so good. I wish I had soaked it a wee bit more.