German Apple Cake Recipe

White cake plate with Versunkener Apfelkuchen, a traditional German apple cake, and a piece shown with a cup of coffee. Wunderbar!

Here's my traditional German apple cake recipe, aka Versunkener Apfelkuchen, that's sure to please. It looks so pretty and is so easy to make. It's one I learned early on in my marriage and I really depended upon it to make a good impression on the in-laws! A fresh dusting of icing sugar just before company comes, and ta-da, looks fancy.

What's so nice about this easy apple cake is that it ALWAYS turns out. And it looks so pretty too! 

German Apple Cake Recipe


  • 3 - 5 apples, see above
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp  lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Grease bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
  • Peel, quarter, and core apples. Thinly slice each quarter several times without cutting all the way through. Do this just before you place them on cake. The apples "open" when they are baked.
  • In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar, eggs and lemon juice until creamy.
  • Blend flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into sugar mixture alternately with the milk.
  • Spread batter in the pan. Arrange apple quarters as shown.
  • Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove the cake from pan.
  • Dust with powdered icing sugar just before serving. Put a tablespoon of powdered sugar into a small sieve. Gently strike the sieve with a spoon to sprinkle it evenly over cake.
  • Add 1/2 to 1 tsp almond flavoring instead of or as well as the lemon juice.

Looking for a nonstick springform pan that actually works?

This one is made in Bavaria by Zenker, one of the oldest and largest bakeware manufacturers in the world.

There's nothing quite like baking a German cake in an actual German cake pan.

Success ... every time! 

The springform I use most frequently is the 10-inch one. Click the photo to take a peek!

If you're into quick German recipes like I am, this German apple cake recipe will be one of your favorite ones you'll probably memorize! The German word for this is Versunkener Apfelkuchen translated as "sunken apple cake" ... sounds so much prettier in German than in English LOL

How to make a traditional German apple cake showing step-by-step instructions.Such a quick and easy recipe to make .... and it looks so pretty!

Which Apples?

The best apples to use are those that are both sweet and tart.  Cortlands, Golden Delicious, and Empires are great to use. However, I usually end up using whatever type of apple I have at home.

That's because this cake usually ends up being an "emergency cake." The one you make when you get that call, "Honey, I'm bringing home the boss!"

Versunkener Apfelkuchen, a traditional German apple cake all decked out for Christmas. Wunderbar!This German Apple Cake usually finds its way onto my holiday table. Always looks so pretty and it's so quick and easy to make.

This cake is absolutely delicious when served fresh, warm right out of the oven. However, it does last for a couple of days, remaining nice and moist because of the apples.

I've made this in a foil 9 x 12 inch pan ... works just as good. Great if you're taking it to a picnic. Perfect for a picnic, for a family dinner, and for a party! Always a winner!

What's an "emergency cake?"

Well, the phone just rang and company's on it's way!

My head spins -- quick dessert recipes, which one? Ah, My best cake recipe -- this one!

White cake plate with Versunkener Apfelkuchen, a traditional German apple cake, and a piece shown with a cup of coffee. Wunderbar!

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