Easy German Apple Cake, also known as Apfelkuchen in German, prepared with raw harvest time apples.
This is a traditional recipe is authentic and from my region Tyrol Austria and Bavaria Germany.
What is the German Apple Cake?
To prepare the German apple cake, a dough is mixed together and the apples are cut and placed on top of the cake before being baked.
This is the fundamental difference to say a French apple cake.
The German Apple Cake, as the name indicates comes from the central European region.
To be more precise the apple cake, aka Apfelkuchen is a Bavarian German dessert AND an Austrian cake.
Bavaria and the touching Austrian regions have everything in common.
The name German apple cake for this dessert is a bit misleading in that sense (as it goes with many dishes from that region such as the Red Cabbage side dish) because both countries call these dishes their own.
This is because Austria speaks German but it's not Germany (I had to point this out not to appear as a traitor to my country).
Apples are the main harvest in September and October besides other local tree fruits such as pears and plums.
In those two months, you end up eating more apple desserts than ever!
We grow a lot of different apple tree variations, it's hard to put a number on paper.
Most farmers have an apple tree, most people have a house and a garden with apple trees growing.
Apple trees are to Bavaria and the alpine regions in Austria and Switzerland, what maple trees are to Canadians!
This alone is an indication that we have a huge cultivar of apple varieties in central Europe.
In fact, the garden association promotes grafting of lesser known, almost extinct varieties of apples.
My dad grafted over 5 apple varieties on one young tree, that way we get to taste different apples!
Therefore, you have to understand, the choice of apples for this German apple cake is of minor importance.
People use what's in the garden. People rarely go to buy apples in villages because they can get apples from their local farmer or the neighbors gave them apples.
I personally I love my apple cake with a sour apple variety because I don't like my cake overly sweet.
Which apple you pick is up to you and you get to control your cakes outcome that way!
To prepare a traditional apple cake, you will need only a few basic ingredients.
This includes all-purpose flour, sugar, eggs, butter, baking powder, a pinch salt, apples, and cinnamon.
The dough is mixed together, the apples are cut into slices and then placed over the dough in the mold. Simple and easy.
Some people like to add lemon zest to the dough, I skipped that because I like my cake with a cinnamon apple touch.
I would add lemon zest if I don't add cinnamon over the cake.
How to make it?
Here is an overview on how to make this cake from scratch. The full recipe with US and metric measurements is located further below in the recipe card.
Combine all batter ingredients, butter, sugar, egg, baking powder, salt, flour.
Peel and slice apples.
Pour batter into the mold and arrange apple slices over that with cinnamon and sugar.
These days apples are common all year round, however, this traditional cake is still considered a fall dessert.
Therefore, you will see this German apple cake being served around our Thanksgiving period in October, also during festivals such as the Oktoberfest food harvest folks fest.
In Bavarian homes, and Austrian homes across the border, you will most probably be invited to a slice of this apple cake.
It's served during coffee time (around 3 pm) with whipped cream.
Some people go all the way and serve up a cold sausage and cheese platter as well.
Sometimes, you bake an apple cake and share some with your neighbors.
You can bake this cake and share it with family and friends by inviting them over for a little casual chat.
That way you will catch up with "village" gossip. 🙂
A simple silicon spatula is your best friend to mix for various reasons as you can see in the video.
For the cake mold, I use an 8-inch springform because I can take out the cake easily once baked without breaking anything.
The Cake is suitable for the following diets:
Cake Recipes from the region
- Strudel dough for Apple Strudel
- Black Forest Cake
- Classic Apple Tart
- French Apple Cake (see on top below the first picture)
Dear reader, when are you planning to bake this German apple cake?
Easy German Apple Cake Recipe - Apfelkuchen
- Place the soft butter into a mixing bowl with the sugar. Mix and whisk the butter-sugar into a creamy consistency.
- Add the Eggs to the mix and blend smooth.
- Now add in the Salt and baking powder. Besides that throw in some of the flour. Start to blend the mixture and continue to add in the flour, step by step, until you have used up everything.
- Mix the whole content to a smooth batter.
- Peel your apples, cut into slices.
- Heat up your oven to 180 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a springform with a layer of baking paper at the bottom.
- Pour the batter into the mold and spread evenly.
- Arrange your apple slices on top.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar over the apple slices.
- Bake the cake for about 38 minutes or until the cake is golden on the outside and baked on the inside. Test if it's done by going into the cake with a knife. If the knife comes back clean, it's baked through.
- Use sour apples if you want a cake that is less sweet.
- You may leave the apple skin on the apples and just cut them into slices.
- One serving size equals 1 cake slice. The nutritional details are according to one serving.