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German Apple Cake

This is a great cake to make if you have extra apples in the house. If you don't have any apples, you can substitute peaches or plums. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

  • Yield: Makes 1 8-inch square cake
German Apple Cake

Source: Mad Hungry, October 2010


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 to 4 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Cortland, or Winesap


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch square pan or equivalent-size baking dish.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/3-cup sugar with the cinnamon. Squeeze lemon juice into a medium bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples into the bowl. Add the cinnamon-sugar mixture and toss to thoroughly coat each apple slice. Arrange the apple slices on top of the batter in overlapping rows, pressing lightly into the batter. Bake for 45 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


Reviews (8)

  • Maria Reina 25 Sep, 2014

    I just watched the video that goes with this recipe and she added 2 teaspoons of vanilla and the juice of a whole lemon. Strange that it's not reflected in the written recipe?

  • Maria Reina 27 Sep, 2014

    I actually did this two times ... the first as written and then adding an additional teaspoon of vanilla, as she states in the video. You only need half a lemon for the apples. She says to use a whole one on the video, but it's not necessary.

  • Aubadaub 3 Aug, 2014

    This cake was really easy to make. It looked really beautiful and it tasted great. I will definitely be making this again!

  • trystal 30 Aug, 2013

    Traditional German pan cake is more like a shortbread, and, not fluffy like a cake. This is the perfect recipe. I used cherries instead. Blueberries can also be substituted.

  • jeanetteaz 20 Jun, 2013

    I doubled the expanded over the pan, looks like a deflated souffle, the droppings on the bottom of the oven floor CAUGHT FIRE. Martha, Martha, Martha. I am a little disappointed here. I will have to channel my inner pre-diabetic PAULA and serve it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Maybe some powdered sugar on top. Or I could make a nice caramel sauce. I will not be deterred!

  • hellcat 8 Oct, 2011

    Just realized I baked it at 350 instead of 375. Probably my fault it collapsed. In that case, I will try it again.

  • hellcat 8 Oct, 2011

    Cake was cake collapsed also. I think I'll go with a different German cake recipe the next time. Not a keeper for me.

  • lemonlovertoo 20 Oct, 2010

    This rustic cake was very tasty, but I'm not sure why when I took it out of the oven it had colapsed down. I didn't forget the baking powder. Nonetheless, it was still very delicious.

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