Traditional German Apple Cake


Originally published in September 2018; updated October 2021.

Nothing says fall like the smell of apples baking in the oven, right? Fall is my favorite season for obvious reasons – the changing of the colors, the cool, crisp air, and of course, apple harvest and the recipes that go with it (like this Traditional German Apple Cake recipe I’m about to share).

To celebrate one of the best seasons, our team wanted to share this delish apple cake created by our baker friend Caroline Hurley of Taste, Love and Nourish. This cake is seriously so good and so easy to make that you could make it tonight if you wanted. In Germany, it is actually called Apfelkuchen, which literally means “Apple Cake.” This cake is traditionally known to be very soft and moist and incorporates very simple ingredients making it easy to whip up anytime. It includes some very common fall spices, including nutmeg and cinnamon. It also calls for apple sauce which always makes baked goods moister without adding in an overpowering flavor.

With the simplicity of the ingredients, combined with the delicious taste of freshly harvested apples, you have yourself a real treat with this cake. So what apples should you try in this cake? Definitely give Piñata® apples a try. Piñata® is a great baking apple as it withstands heat really well, but is still juicy, and also has a great flavor profile to add to the flavor of the cake. w It’s also readily available most months of the year. If Piñata®  isn’t an option, other great baking apples include SweeTango®Fuji, Pink Lady®, Granny Smith or Golden Delicious.

So, if you make this cake tonight, tomorrow or sometime this fall season or have a similar recipe to this one, let us know in the comments below! We are always up to hear more tips and tricks when it comes to baking cakes!


  • 4 medium Piñata® apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 12 slices
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Whip up this easy German Apple Cake when you're in need of a delicious dessert!

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  • Yield
    10 servings
  • Prep time
  • Cook time
  • Total time
  • Cuisine
    European, American
  • In Category
  • Level


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan with baking spray or butter.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the apple slices with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for two minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds. Add the applesauce and beat until combined.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture gently, just until combined.
  8. Spread the batter into the cake pan.
  9. Arrange the apple slices into concentric circles on top of the batter, very slightly pushing them in. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar on top.
  10. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Cool on a wire rack until completely cooled before removing from the pan.

Note: Use a combination of apples for best results. Try a mix of Fuji, Piñata®, Pink Lady® or Gala.

    Nutritional Information

    Per Serving

    • Calories: 331
    • Fat Content: 11.6g
    • Cholesterol Content: 99mg
    • Sodium Content: 96mg
    • Carbohydrate Content: 53.7g
    • Fiber Content: 3.1g
    • Sugar Content: 30.8g
    • Protein Content: 5.5g