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German Apple Cake Recipe

Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.

German Apple Cake Recipe

German Apple Cake Recipe

One of my favorite things about having a mother from Germany is that, when I was growing up, she would make our family some of her favorite German recipes every once in a while. This apple cake was definitely one of those favorites.

She would make it for special occasions, and sometimes just because she felt like it. Now I make it for her, and it always brings back happy childhood memories.

What I have always loved most about this cake is that it is simple. It's not a big heavy layered cake with lots of frosting. It's just wholesome ingredients mixed together and made into a lovely light dessert.

Serve this cake with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and cup of tea, and you'll feel like you are in Germany, having afternoon tea in a sidewalk cafe or konditorei (bakery).

Did You Know?

  • China grows more than 50% of the world's apples.
  • Apples are members of the rose family.
  • On average, one person eats 45 pounds of apples a year.
  • Apples are 25% air, which is why they float.

Source: orangepippin.com

Apfelkuchen (Apple Cake) Recipe

Apfelkuchen - German Apple Cake - Delicious!

Apfelkuchen - German Apple Cake - Delicious!

Rate my apple cake recipe

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour

1 hour 15 min

8 cake slices

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4-5 small apples, thinly sliced*
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Shortening

*Note: I use granny smith apples because they are not so sweet and they hold up well when baking. You can use whatever apples you would like, but I would recommend a firmer apple.

Plum Cake

Instead of using apples, substitute 10-15 italian plums. There is no need to peel them, just wash, pit and slice them. They add a nice fresh tartness to the cake. Prepare the recipe as directed.

Italian plums are the dark purple ones that are oval shaped.

If you like apples and cinnamon, then this light and airy apple cake is for you!

If you like apples and cinnamon, then this light and airy apple cake is for you!

Baking Tips for This Cake

  • This is a thick dough, almost a frosting-like consistency. Make sure to spread it evenly in the pan.
  • This is not a large, thick cake. It ends up being about 2" thick. I used a 9" pan, but if you use an 8" pan, the cake will be thicker.
  • Even if your pan says it is non-stick, prepare it as directed in the recipe. This dough sticks easily.

Instructions

  1. Prepare an 8" or 9" springform pan by greasing it with shortening and lightly flouring it. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, into the butter and sugar mixture, stirring until each one is fully incorporated.
  4. Add dry ingredients into the butter mixture, stirring until mixed.
  5. Meanwhile, peel and core your apples. Thinly slice them (about 1/4" thick) and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and fresh lemon juice and mix gently. Set aside.
  6. Spoon the dough mixture into the prepared springform pan. It may not look like a lot of dough, but it will rise.
  7. Place the prepared apples on top of the dough. Press them in a bit, but not all the way to the bottom of the pan.
  8. Sprinkle top of cake with some sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. If you are using a dark pan, check it earlier or set your oven temperature down to 325°.
  9. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Photo Instructions

Step-by-step photos are provided below.

Prepare Dough

Combine ingredients as directed until well mixed.  Here is the apple cake dough ready for the pan.  As you can see, it is a thick dough.

Combine ingredients as directed until well mixed. Here is the apple cake dough ready for the pan. As you can see, it is a thick dough.

Put the Dough in the Pan

Spoon the dough into the prepared pan, making sure to spread it evenly.  Remember that it is not a lot of dough, but it will rise.

Spoon the dough into the prepared pan, making sure to spread it evenly. Remember that it is not a lot of dough, but it will rise.

Apfelkuchen (Apple Cake) Ready for the Oven

Place the prepared apples in a pattern of your choice.  The dough will rise and bake through the apples.

Place the prepared apples in a pattern of your choice. The dough will rise and bake through the apples.

Enjoy Your Cake!

Pour yourself a hot cup of coffee, and cut yourself a piece of this german apple cake. Put a little whipped cream on top and enjoy!

It's a little bit like having a taste of Germany in your own backyard!

A slice of this german apple cake and a cup of tea make for a perfect afternoon break.

A slice of this german apple cake and a cup of tea make for a perfect afternoon break.

© 2013 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 18, 2019:

I'm so glad you like this cake. Thanks for letting me know.

Linda Devlin on August 11, 2019:

Thank you for sharing your recipe. I have make three already. It received rave reviews at our International Tasting at church. It is delicious!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 24, 2019:

It is really good with plums too, but not sure how you could alter it to use yeast in it. I hope you can find a recipe like that, but I'm glad you like this one. It will always be a favorite of mine.

Kelly Schues on April 21, 2019:

I love this cake so much - it's been my go-to holiday cake for about 4 years, now. It brings me closer to my mother in law, who grew up in Halle that passed in 2016. She would always describe a plum cake her mother would make for her that was similar to this only the dough was made with yeast. Any hints on how to make the dough as a yeast would be so very appreciated!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 12, 2019:

Thanks Carol - It's definitely one of my go to recipes. I hope you enjoy it!

Carol on April 11, 2019:

Well what a pleasant surprise , I’m not a baking pro but we’d rather eat home made food and this is recipe is a keeper . Thank you for the share Claudia

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 25, 2018:

Awesome! This will always be one of my favorite cakes, full of good memories.

Lorri on September 14, 2018:

Just like my Oma used to make!!

Janisa from Earth on August 21, 2018:

You'll have to wait until around January/december to find out since that's when mango season is in Brazil :D

However, I am planning to make the original cake in the near future and eat it hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream... must be so delicious!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 21, 2018:

Thank you Janisa. I love this cake and it brings back lots of memories too. I'd love to know what the mango one tastes like if you make it.

Janisa from Earth on August 17, 2018:

This is the cake recipe I have been looking for for a very long time. I love apple cake! But the store bought ones just aren't very good. I'll definitely try this recipe soon. And I may even make a mango variation of this cake later, who knows ;)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 22, 2015:

Hi peachpurple. I hope you give it a try. I'm sure you can adjust the fruit to the amount you like. Thanks for reading.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on October 19, 2015:

wow, i really must try this cake, maybe less apples

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 12, 2015:

Thanks so much facetube. I really appreciate your kind comments. I enjoy writing recipe hubs.

facetube on July 09, 2015:

All your hubs looks really professional. Great pictures, perfect description, absolutely fantastic final results - incredible desserts . Very good role model how to create recipe hub.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 16, 2015:

Thank you letstalkabouteduc! It's a yummy cake which I haven't made in a while so I'm glad you commented. It reminded me to make it again. I appreciate the visit and comments.

McKenna Meyers on May 12, 2015:

That's an impressive looking cake. I will make it soon -- looks delicious and healthy (at least, for cake)!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 09, 2015:

Hi Daisy - Thanks so much for stopping by and all of your support. I'm now craving this and may have to make it this weekend!

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on February 08, 2015:

Glimmer,

This looks like a wonderful recipe! I wish I could have a slice (or two) right now.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 28, 2014:

Thanks so much for saying this bakerbaker! It's so nice of you and like you, I love these delicious cakes. They remind me of Germany. Happy New Year.

bakerbaker candlestickM on December 27, 2014:

Thank you for this very traditional very tasty recipe. It reminds me the delicious cakes my German friends would make during the holidays.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 26, 2014:

Hi justmesuzanne - I bet it would be good with pears. Let me know how it turns out. I like the plum version too. Thanks for the support and for stopping by. Have a great day!

justmesuzanne from Texas on August 24, 2014:

This looks great! I wonder how it would be with firm, fresh pears. My neighbor's pear tree is just burdened with delicious pears. I can only eat so many straight off the tree! :D

Voted up, awesome and pinned!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 24, 2014:

I'm so glad you and your family enjoyed the cake and I also appreciate you coming back to let me know. Thanks also for sharing. Have a great day!

Claudia Tello from Mexico on August 24, 2014:

This recipe was a big hit in my family. It’s an outstanding cake, easy to make and delicious. Thanks for sharing it with us, I´m most definitely sharing it with my followers.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 22, 2014:

Apple pancakes sound delicious trusouldj. I've never seen anything like that. Glad my hub confirmed that you didn't make the pancake up. Thanks for commenting and reading.

LaZeric Freeman from Hammond on January 21, 2014:

When Baker's Square was Poppin' Fresh, i had an Apple Pancake that looked like this. It was the best thing I'd ever had. But the next time I went to a restaurant and asked for apple pancakes, i was given an ordinary pancake with sliced apples on top. Now that I've seen your hub -- some 30 odd years later -- I believe that my Apple Pancake was basically your German apple cake. Thanks for confirming that I wasn't dreaming this whole thing up.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 24, 2013:

I appreciate it Monis Mas. This one would have your whole house smelling like cinnamon. Thanks for reading.

Agaltom on October 24, 2013:

Another amazing recipe with apples - perfect for the fall. I can smell it right now :-)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 18, 2013:

Thanks so much oliversmum! I can never decide if I like the plum or the apple version better. Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Hope you enjoy the cake!

oliversmum from australia on October 16, 2013:

Glimmer Twin Fan Hi. Love the look and sound of your recipes. Granny smith apples are perfect for cooking, also love the purple plum variation, so will be trying them both.

The story of your mum was lovely.

Thank you for the step by step instructions and the photographs, to see the finished product is great.

I did not know that China grew that many apples, or that apples were members of the rose family. Thank you for that information. Thumbs up and very useful. :) :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 18, 2013:

Thanks so much for reading seoexprtm.

Jawad from UK on August 18, 2013:

reading this hub makes me hungry...

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 28, 2013:

I'm so glad you let me know you liked it Jackie. I love the buttery cake part too. It adds such a nice flavor. Thanks for commenting.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 27, 2013:

I just baked and had a piece of your cake (two to be truthful) And I did not have ice cream with it as I had planned because it just doesn't call for it, it is very good alone. I think the buttery golden bottom set it apart from other apple pies and cakes I have eaten. Thank you for a great recipe! I plan to make another tomorrow for company.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 26, 2013:

Hi Claudia - This is a nice textured cake. Not overly moist and really good with tea or coffee. Hope you give it a try sometime. Thanks for commenting and reading!

Claudia Tello from Mexico on July 25, 2013:

The consistency of this apple cake looks just the way I like it. This is a recipe I ought to try soon. I am totally excited by the delicious looking images (no wonder it has been pinned 343 times, congratulations!).

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 21, 2013:

Thanks so much Jackie - this is awesome with vanilla ice cream and that would definitely cool things off with the heat waves that have been around. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 17, 2013:

Oh, yum, how did I miss this? For sure I will try it, and very soon. I love apple desserts and this sort of looks cobbler which I love with vanilla ice cream! Thanks so much for sharing. ^

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 08, 2013:

Thank you Zubair Ahmed - I hope the cake turned out well and you enjoyed it. Glad you liked the recipe.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 08, 2013:

Thanks so much rajan - It really is a good cake, any time of year. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Zubair Ahmed on July 05, 2013:

Yummy - this is something I'm gonna have to try this weekend. I can just taste the hot custard and the apples pieces :0) thank you for sharing.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 04, 2013:

The cake looks delicious, Glimmer. Voted up, useful and shared. Thanks for sharing.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 24, 2013:

aviannovice - You are so right, these kinds of cakes are great and with all kinds of fruits too. I really love it with the plums. Might just have to make one. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 22, 2013:

You can't beat these kinds of cakes, especially when you can use so many different fruits. My mother used to make a lovely coffee cake. Your recipe really brought back some good memories.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 21, 2013:

Hi Nicole S - I bet your grandmother made nice things. I really enjoy German food and this is something that anyone can make. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 21, 2013:

Hi cclitgirl - I know what you mean about childhood recipes, they really are special. For the most part my dad was the bigger cook than my mom, but she had a few special recipes that we all loved. Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for reading.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 21, 2013:

Adding raisins sounds good Thelma. I might have to give that a try sometime, and you are right, boy does the house smell good when this is baking. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 21, 2013:

Hi Mike - Glad you liked the recipe and you are right, it is easy and takes no time, except the baking part. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 21, 2013:

Thank you Ceres. I had fun taking the pictures, but even more fun eating it after I was done. I appreciate the comments.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 21, 2013:

Wow - what nice comments Nancy Owens. I really appreciate that and I'm glad you want to give it a try. I enjoy writing recipe hubs, especially when the recipe is near and dear to my heart. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 21, 2013:

Hi Stephanie - This is really good as a breakfast cake and I had a piece for breakfast after I wrote this hub. Of course I'd eat it at anytime. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 20, 2013:

Hi livingsta - That is exactly what I love about this cake, it's simplicity. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I can't wait for your to give it a try. Thanks so much for commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 20, 2013:

Thanks europewalker. I love stollen, but have never made it. Hope you give this recipe a try and thanks for the kind comments.

Nicole S Hanson from Minnesota on June 20, 2013:

YUM. This looks delicious. My grandma used to make all kinds of German dishes, including apple cake. Great hub!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 20, 2013:

Hi teaches - I would love a piece right now, but alas it's all gone now. I'll just have my coffee instead. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading. I hope you give it a try some time.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 20, 2013:

Thank you so much peachpurple. Such nice comments. I like to bake every once in a while, but not enough to open a shop. Besides, I like to eat what I make and that would not be healthy if I baked too much. Glad you enjoyed to hub.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 20, 2013:

I appreciate it Careermommy - This is definitely more like a cake than a pie. The dough is nice and buttery. I like this better than pie, but I have never been a big pie person. Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks so much for the kind comments.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 20, 2013:

Thank you Rebecca! It is good with plums. I have never tried it with any fruit other than apples and plums, but I bet it would be good too. I think it is the dough that makes it so special. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 20, 2013:

Thanks phdast7! It is amazing how certain foods can bring back good memories. This is one of those for me and I'm glad apple cake is for you too. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on June 19, 2013:

That looks delicious! I will have to try this sometime. :) There's nothing like those childhood recipes that get those taste buds going at the sight of the recipe. YUM! :)

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on June 19, 2013:

Oh, my! I would love to have a piece of Apfelkuchen right now. Yummy! This recipe is what I have learned from my German mother-in-law. The house smells always good when baking this cake. We added raisins to the dough before baking. Thanks for reminding me of this cake. Voted up and useful;-)

Mike Robbers from London on June 19, 2013:

Delicious and easy to make recipe! Great hub! Voted and pinned.

Ceres Schwarz on June 19, 2013:

Wow this recipe for German apple cake looks really good. The images of the German apple cake make it look very yummy and delicious. Now I want to try some.

Nancy Owens from USA on June 19, 2013:

What a wonderful Hub! I want to try your recipe. I also really liked the way you organized the information and the "Did You Know" capsule. You took a recipe and gave it life. Thank You.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on June 19, 2013:

This looks like a lovely recipe. My mom used to make apple cake as a breakfast cake, and I always liked it a lot, though hers could be a little dry. Can't wait to try this one out as it looks delicious!

livingsta from United Kingdom on June 19, 2013:

Beautiful. The recipe is so simple and the cake looks delicious. Thank you for sharing this with us. Voted up, pinning and sharing!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 19, 2013:

Thanks so much Phyllis. I hope you and your family enjoy it and I appreciate your kind comments on the pictures. It was hard not to eat it before I took the photos, but I treated myself to that slice when I was done.

europewalker on June 19, 2013:

I can relate, my mom was also German. I remember well all of the delicious cakes that she would make. My favorite was her Christmas Stollen. Thanks for sharing this great recipe which I will be making.

Dianna Mendez on June 19, 2013:

This is a new idea for me and you can bet I would love this with my coffee. Looks really good!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 19, 2013:

Thanks Rose - It really is not a difficult recipe, just a little time baking, but the results are awesome. Glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for reading and commenting.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 19, 2013:

delicious cake ! You can bake some and open your own bakery shop! A professional baker I should say. Lovely photos-well taken and photo guides were helpful for a beginner like me. I have never add apples into my cakes. Voted useful

Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on June 18, 2013:

Wow, this looks like the perfect apple pie for me. I love apple pie with thin slices and not overpowering with apples. This is a great recipe!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 18, 2013:

Thanks so much for all of the support tillsontitan! I hope it brings back nice memories when you make it. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 18, 2013:

I really appreciate your kind comments Kathryn. I love streusels so I bet it's good. It's hard to find those plums around here, but when I do, I usually make this cake. It's really good and a little different. Thanks again for reading and commenting and sharing too! Have a nice evening.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 18, 2013:

Hi Bill - I hope you enjoy the recipe! It really is good and you definitely have apples in Washington. We got a basketful from a friend a couple years ago and they were good! Thanks for reading. Have a nice evening.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 18, 2013:

This looks like a great recipe to use with all that wonderful summer fruit. Thanks!

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on June 18, 2013:

This looks wonderful. Although not of German ancestry my mother made a delicious fresh apple cake and it was one of our family favorites. Brings back such good memories. :)

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on June 18, 2013:

Glimmer, this looks like a fantastic cake to impress the family with. It must taste wonderful. I will have to try this for our next family gathering supper. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe. Your photos really enhance the hub.

Up, Useful, Awesome, Interesting, bookmarking

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on June 18, 2013:

This looks absolutely scrumptious! The recipe does not look too difficult so I have got to try this. I love your images. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

Mary Craig from New York on June 18, 2013:

Glimmer thanks for the recipe! My Mom used to make this as does my sister-in-law but I never had the recipe. Your pictures are, as they say, picture perfect and this recipe will be well used.

Voted up, useful, interesting, shared and pinned.

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on June 18, 2013:

Wow, this looks great! I used to make something that has a similar look to it, Apple Streusel Kuchen, from my Mom's old cookbook. But this looks spectacular! I love anything with apples, so I am a fan of this. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us, as well as the sweet family story behind it.

It must have been great enjoying German foods as a child.

I like the variation you added. The Italian Plums version sounds delicious, too.

Great job on the photos. I wish I could just reach into the screen and grab a nibble of it!

Voted up and sharing.

Have a wonderful day!

~ Kathryn

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 18, 2013:

Well I'm sold!

I have never heard of apple cake. I thought it was a misprint and it was supposed to be apple pie. I live such a sheltered life. LOL

Thanks for the recipe. I do believe Bev and I will be trying this one, since we live in the Apple Capital of the United States. :)

I hope you are well.

bill