There is nothing more classic German than homemade Apfelkuchen. This old-fashioned German apple cake recipe combines simple but quality ingredients to produce a deliciously moist apple cake that will take you down memory lane!
This German apple cake recipe takes me back to my childhood when my mom or my Oma would bake it or when we would stop by the local German bakery in Stuttgart to buy a slice to enjoy while strolling through the Fussgängerzone (pedestrian zone) of downtown.
Like most traditional cakes the ingredients are simple but the outcome is absolutely wonderful. For the best results choose quality butter.
This Apfelkuchen recipe lends itself well to adaptation. You can stir the apples into the batter, mix some into the batter, place some on top, or place all of them on top in a pattern of choice. You can also substitute with pears, apricots, plums or peaches.
This German apple cake is deliciously moist and only improves the following day!
German Apple Cake Recipe
The process is very simple and involves stirring the diced apples into the batter, pressing a few apples on top of the batter, and then baking. Serve the cake on its own, with some whipped cream, or serve it with vanilla ice cream and/or a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.
Optional Toppings for German Apple Cake
Three additional toppings you can apply to your Apfelkuchen:
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar once the cake is cooled
- Combine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon with 1 tablespoon sugar and sprinkle over the HOT cake straight out of the oven, then let cool.
- Bring 2 tablespoons apricot jam and 1 tablespoon water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Brush the glaze over the HOT cake straight out of the oven and then let it cool.
Can you Freeze German Apple Cake?
Yes! Wrap well and place it in a ziplock bag or plastic container. It will freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from freezer and let it thaw.
For more delicious German baked goods be sure to try our:
- German Plum Cake
- Cherry Marzipan Streusel Cake
- Rhubarb Streusel Cake
German Apple Cake (Apfelkuchen)
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet-tart apples (about 4-5) (e.g. Granny Smith, Jonagold, Braeburn, Gravenstein, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady)
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons quality unsalted butter , softened at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs , room temperature
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 packet Vanillezucker
- OR 1 teaspoon quality vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 10 to 11 inch springform pan or a pan with a removable bottom.
- Peel the apples, remove the core, dice/slice them (not too thick), place them in a bowl and stir in a tablespoon or two of lemon juice (to prevent browning). Set aside until the batter is ready.
- In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until pale and creamy/frothy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next egg. Stir in the flour until combined but don't over-stir.Pour the apples into a colander and let them drain. Set aside a few pieces/slices to press into the top of the cake at the end. Stir the apple pieces into the batter and scoop the batter into the greased pan. Use the apple pieces you set aside and press them into the top of the batter. Bake for 40-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake until comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then remove it to let it cool completely.
- If using the sugar cinnamon or apricot jam toppings (see blog post "Optional Toppings" for instructions), apply it while the cake is hot and then let the cake cool. If using powdered sugar, sprinkle it over the cake once it's cooled. Serve the cake on its own, with some whipped cream, or serve it with vanilla ice cream and/or a drizzle of homemade caramel sauceStore the cooled cake in a cake saver or airtight container. This cake will be even more moist the next day. Will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or can be refrigerated a little longer.