German Apple Cake

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The Charm of German Apple Cake: More Than Just a Dessert

Hello to my lovely readers and fellow food enthusiasts! At “Pretzel and Me,” we dive deep into the heart of German culinary treasures, and today, we’re unveiling the mystique surrounding the beloved German Apple Cake, fondly known in our mother tongue as “Apfelkuchen.”

A Timeless Classic

Every bite of the German Apple Cake is a bite into history. This dessert, with its lush apples and sweet, spiced batter, is more than just a cake—it’s a testament to centuries of German baking traditions. The comforting warmth of the freshly baked cake intertwined with the tartness of the apples tells tales of grandmothers and mothers passing down their cherished recipes through generations.

The Regional Delight

What’s truly fascinating about the Apfelkuchen is its adaptability. From the wine regions to the coastal towns, every part of Germany has its unique take on this classic. Some prefer a crumbly shortbread base while others go for a fluffy sponge. And then there are the adventurous souls adding a touch of calvados or rum for an extra layer of flavor!

Perfect for Every Occasion

Whether it’s a cozy family gathering, an autumnal celebration, or just a simple afternoon tea, the German Apple Cake fits every bill. Its universal appeal lies in its perfect balance of sweet and tart, making it a versatile dessert that complements various beverages and moods.

Pairing with “Apfelkuchen”

Speaking of beverages, let’s talk pairings. A slice of this cake alongside a cup of hot black coffee is heavenly. For those colder days, try it with a warm mug of apple cider – it accentuates the apple flavors in the cake, making it a harmonious pairing.

Customize to Your Heart’s Desire

The beauty of German Apple Cake lies in its adaptability. Want to add a twist? Incorporate some raisins soaked in rum or layer the apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Each addition makes the cake uniquely yours while still holding onto its traditional German roots.

Unlocking the Secret: Tips & Tricks to Bake the Perfect German Apple Cake!

There’s nothing quite as inviting as the aromatic allure of a freshly baked German Apple Cake wafting through your home. A classic gem in the treasure trove of German desserts, this delightful treat is synonymous with cozy afternoons and the tender warmth of family gatherings. At “Pretzel and Me,” we believe that baking is an art, and every art form has its secrets. Today, we unveil the tips and tricks to perfecting the art of the Apfelkuchen!

  1. Choose Your Apples Wisely
    The soul of a great German Apple Cake lies in the quality of the apples. Go for tart and firm apples. Granny Smiths are a popular choice; their tangy flavor contrasts beautifully with the sweet, spiced batter. Ensure they are crisp and fresh. The balance between the tartness of the apples and the sweetness of the cake is the first step to a mouth-watering Apfelkuchen.
  2. The Right Flour Matters
    To achieve that perfect, moist yet fluffy texture, using cake flour can make all the difference. It gives the cake a tender crumb that beautifully complements the soft, baked apples.
  3. Spice it Up!
    While traditional recipes are minimalist, don’t be afraid to experiment with spices. A dash of cinnamon, a sprinkle of nutmeg, or even a hint of cardamom can elevate the flavor profile of your German Apple Cake, making each bite a delightful mystery.
  4. Sweeten with Care
    Balance is key. Since you’re working with natural sugars from the apples, be mindful with the added sugar. Taste as you go, ensuring that perfect harmony between tart and sweet.
  5. Bake with Precision
    Every oven is unique, knowing yours is essential. Keep an eye on the cake and perform the toothpick test to ensure it’s baked to golden perfection. It should come out clean, with moist crumbs clinging to it – a signal that you’ve hit the jackpot of tender and moist!
  6. Let it Rest
    Patience, though torturous when a delicious Apple Cake is involved, is a virtue. Letting the cake rest allows the flavors to meld together, making every slice a harmonious blend of the tart apples and sweet, spiced cake.
  7. Serve with Style
    A dusting of powdered sugar, a dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, can transform your German Apple Cake from a homely classic to a gourmet delight. Presentation is part of the experience, make every slice a visual treat!

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The authentic German Apple Cake is a harmonious blend of tart apples and sweet, spiced batter. Its timeless charm has graced our tables for generations. But for those adventurous souls among us, sometimes a dash of creativity can transform the traditional into the extraordinary.

  • Incorporating Nuts:
    Consider the addition of crushed nuts to the batter or as a garnish. Almonds, walnuts, or pecans not only add a delightful crunch but also a rich, earthy flavor that beautifully complements the sweet and tart notes of the cake.
  • Spicing it up:
    While cinnamon is a tried and true companion to apples, don’t shy away from experimenting with other spices. Cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice can bring an exotic aroma and taste, adding depth and complexity to each bite.
  • A Splash of Spirits:
    For an adult twist, consider infusing your cake with a splash of dark rum, brandy, or calvados. Soaking the apple slices or raisins (if you choose to add them) amplifies the flavors, making every slice a celebration.
  • Fruit Fusion:
    Who said you must stick to apples alone? Add another layer of flavor by incorporating pears or berries into the mix. This fruitful fusion not only adds color but also an exciting flavor profile, making every bite a delightful surprise.
  • Serving Style:
    Presentation is key. Consider serving your German Apple Cake with a dollop of homemade whipped cream infused with a hint of vanilla or almond extract. Alternatively, a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce can elevate the cake to new culinary heights.
  • Tantalizing Toppings:
    Garnishing your cake can make a world of difference. Consider a sprinkle of toasted coconut, a dusting of powdered sugar, or even a brûlée top for a crispy, caramelized finish.

A Dessert to Cherish

The German Apple Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s an experience, a journey, a story. It embodies the spirit of German baking traditions, bringing families together, and adding sweetness to countless memories.

Join us next time as we dive into another German delicacy, sharing its rich history and the love it brings to tables worldwide. Until then, immerse yourself in the delightful world of Apfelkuchen and let its flavors whisk you away to the charming German towns and their heartwarming traditions.

Cheers to many more culinary adventures, only on “Pretzel and Me.”

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German Apple Cake - Apfelkuchen

Experience the exquisite taste of an old-fashioned German Apple Cake, or "Apfelkuchen." This delightful cake harmoniously blends the moist, tender crumb of a perfectly baked cake with the sweet and tart essence of juicy apples, all beautifully accented by a hint of cinnamon. It’s a celebration of simplicity and flavor, making it a cherished treat for cozy family gatherings or festive occasions.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Apfelkuchen, German Apple Cake, German Cuisine, Traditional Desserts
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 525kcal


  • 9-inch round cake pan


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter softened
  • 2 large Eggs
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 4 medium tart Apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 tbsp. Powdered Sugar (optional), for garnish

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 6 tbsp. Cold Unsalted Butter cut into pieces


Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Baking Dish:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal.

For the Cake:

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
    2 cups All-Purpose Flour, ½ cup Granulated Sugar, 2 tsp. Baking Powder, ½ tsp. Salt, 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • In another bowl, mix together the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract until well combined.
    2 large Eggs, ½ cup Milk, 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract, ½ cup Unsalted Butter
  • Gradually add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
  • Gently fold the sliced apples into the batter.
    4 medium tart Apples
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, spreading it out evenly.

For the Streusel Topping:

  • In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
    1 cup All-Purpose Flour, ½ cup Granulated Sugar, ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon, ¼ tsp. Salt
  • Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    6 tbsp. Cold Unsalted Butter
  • Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the cake batter.

Bake the Cake:

  • Place the cake in the preheated oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Garnish with powdered sugar.
    2 tbsp. Powdered Sugar
  • Slice the cooled German Apple Cake into wedges and serve. It pairs delightfully with a cup of coffee or tea.


Tips and Tricks:

  • Apple Choice: Choose a tart apple variety like Granny Smith for a delightful contrast to the sweet cake.
  • Testing Doneness: The cake is done when it’s golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.


  • Add Nuts: Sprinkle chopped walnuts or almonds on top of the cake before baking for an extra crunch.
  • Spice It Up: Incorporate ground nutmeg or allspice into the batter to enhance the flavor profile.
  • Serve with a Topping: While this cake is delicious on its own, consider serving it with a dollop of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce for an extra indulgent touch.
Experience the warmth and comfort of traditional German baking with this timeless Apfelkuchen recipe. Each slice promises a delightful mix of tender cake and flavorful apples, making it a favorite to be enjoyed time and time again. Guten Appetit!


Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 710IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 3mg

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