German Apple Cake recipe

German Apple Cake: A Sweet Slice of Tradition

Indulge in a Slice of This Classic German Dessert

If you’re looking for a delightful dessert that combines the comforting flavors of apples, cinnamon, and a tender cake, then German apple cake is the perfect choice. This timeless treat is a beloved classic in German baking, and it’s easy to see why. With its moist, apple-studded crumb and a dusting of powdered sugar, it’s a slice of nostalgia that brings warmth to any occasion. Here’s how to create this traditional German apple cake that’s sure to become a family favorite.


For the Cake:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 3-4 medium-sized apples (such as Granny Smith or Braeburn), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

For the Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Dusting:

  • Powdered sugar (for garnish)


Baking a Slice of Tradition

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan or springform pan.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if using). Set aside.
  3. Cream Butter and Sugar: In a separate large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, which should take about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add Eggs and Vanilla: Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Incorporate Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; you want the batter to be smooth.
  6. Layer Apples: Spread half of the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan. Layer half of the sliced apples on top of the batter. Repeat with the remaining batter and apples, finishing with a layer of apples on top.

For the Topping:

  1. Sprinkle Topping: In a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the top layer of apples.

Baking and Serving:

  1. Bake: Place the cake in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  2. Cool: Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, carefully remove it from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Dust with Powdered Sugar: Once the cake has cooled, dust the top with powdered sugar for a beautiful finishing touch.
  4. Slice and Serve: Slice the German apple cake into wedges and serve. Enjoy!

Tips and Variations:

Adding Your Personal Touch to German Apple Cake


  • You can adjust the level of sweetness in this cake by using sweeter or tarter apple varieties according to your preference.
  • To prevent the apple slices from browning, you can toss them with a squeeze of lemon juice before layering them in the cake.


  • Some variations of German apple cake include adding raisins or chopped nuts to the batter for added texture and flavor.
  • Instead of powdered sugar, you can serve the cake with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgent treat.


  • Store any leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you need to store it longer, refrigerate it for up to a week.

Cook’s Note:

  • German apple cake is often enjoyed as a cozy dessert or a sweet treat with a cup of coffee or tea. Its simplicity and the comforting combination of apples and spices make it a beloved classic that’s perfect for any occasion, from family gatherings to casual get-togethers. So, savor a slice of this traditional delight and share its timeless appeal with your loved ones. Enjoy!
    • The choice of apples is crucial for the success of your German apple cake. Opt for varieties that hold their shape when baked, such as Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Honeycrisp. These apples provide a balance of tartness and sweetness that complements the cake beautifully.
    • If you want to take the indulgence up a notch, consider drizzling the cooled cake with a simple vanilla glaze made from powdered sugar and a splash of milk. This adds a glossy finish and a touch of extra sweetness.
    • German apple cake is a versatile dessert. It’s perfect as an everyday treat but also elegant enough to serve at special occasions or holidays. Consider making it for a birthday celebration, a potluck, or a cozy fall gathering.
    • This cake not only tastes fantastic but also fills your kitchen with a warm, inviting aroma as it bakes. It’s the kind of dessert that brings comfort and nostalgia with every bite.
    • Don’t be afraid to get creative with the spices. Alongside cinnamon and nutmeg, you can experiment with a pinch of ground cloves or allspice for a more complex flavor profile.
    • Feel free to make this cake your own by incorporating a handful of chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans into the batter. The crunch and nutty flavor add another dimension to each slice.
    • When serving, consider garnishing each slice with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The contrast of the cold, creamy topping against the warm, spiced cake is simply heavenly.

    So, embrace the charm of German baking with this delightful apple cake. Its simplicity, warmth, and rich apple flavor make it a beloved dessert for all seasons. Whether you’re sharing it with friends or savoring it with a loved one, this German apple cake is sure to become a cherished tradition in your kitchen. Enjoy every slice!

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