How 'Grandma Cakes' unites the elderly in this German community
By Natalie Carney
A recent study in Germany has shown that an increasing number of people are concerned about their financial security in old age.
Improved healthcare coupled with a shrinking workforce means Germany's pension system is stressed, leading to less money for retirees.
Kuchentrarsch, a Munich bakery where pensioners bake traditional German pastries for customers is providing a much-needed outlet.
Many Germans find themselves still full of life with much to offer long after the legal retirement age of 65, so being here allows them not only to make a little bit of extra money but also make good friends and avoid loneliness, which too is becoming an increasing concern for the elderly.
"It's a place you want to be," says 66-year-old Oma Eva Maria who's been making cakes here for the last four years.
Oma Eva Maria

Oma Eva Maria

"We are really a big family," she told CGTN. "We know each other very well. We meet each other after baking. It's not only that we are baking; We are as well together when we are not baking. It's nice."
Oma Eva Maria explained the cake she was making "is really like a grandma cake."
"I'm making a Marmorkuche. It's with two different (flavors), one chocolate and a white one. And you make it not in a normal (baking pan), you make it in the Gugelhupf."
She shows me a tall circular baking mold with a chimney-like opening in the middle.
Scooping delicious-looking frosting out of a big industrial mixer with flour hanging off her upper lip is Grandma Kate. Originally from Ireland, she has an infectious laugh and likes to add her own personal touch to the traditional recipes.
Grandma Kate

Grandma Kate

"My favorite cake is a Kasesaona torte. It's a cream cheesecake. It's quaked with whipped cream and gelatin and it sets in the middle, but I always add Cointrea. You're supposed to put mandarins on the top but I said 'no I don't want to put lemon juice, I want something that's oomph' and it tastes lovely."
Oma Kate gets a few giggles from the others across the table as they look up from their rolling pins.
Thirty-nine baking omas and one baking opa take turns baking some 50 to 70 delicious and old-fashioned German cakes each day.
These cakes are then delivered to clients across Munich and even abroad.
A busy day in Kuchentrarsch

A busy day in Kuchentrarsch

Kuchentrarsch is the brainchild of a 22-year-old health management student Katharina Mayer who simply missed her oma's baking while away at university.
Theresa Offenbeck, the bakery's communications manager, says it's a win-win concept.
"Katharina studied the topic of how we can change societies through business ideas and so the two ideas merged together, baking grannies who get a little bit extra each money for their pension, meet other people, be active and on the other side, really delicious cakes."
This model has been a success since it first launched back in 2014 with new omas and opas signing up frequently.
You don't need to have baking experience, just the desire to be with many new friends.
Even before retirement age, many elderly struggle to find employment opportunities, says oma Kate, who was forced to take early retirement due to an illness.
"I have a friend and she's been looking for a job for a long time and they won't even think about her because she is now 60! They simply won't."
But that's not the case here.
A cake made in Kuchentrarsch

A cake made in Kuchentrarsch

CGTN joined one of Kuchentrarsch drivers, 88-year-old Richard on a Munich delivery to Melissa, who had purchased a cake for her office.
"I like the concept and the cakes are delicious," she says, "but I am missing the lunch option. A cake is really nice, but also I would love to have maybe a grandma coming into the office and maybe cook for us."
As Germany struggles with a problematic pension system, the country's elderly are proving a demographic not to be overlooked.
(Top photo shows a cake made in Kuchentrarsch)