This German apple cake is everything you want in a fall apple dessert -subtle yet sweet flavors, an all around delicious cake that is perfect for apple season.
All hail the glorious apple season, right? Apples are in abundance this time of year and this is THE cake to make with them.
My parents are both German and my family grew up eating European desserts, cakes like this, for example. European desserts are sweet, but not overly sweet and have a beautiful balance of flavors – like a vanilla cake with lemon zest topped with tart apples.
Whenever the weather starts getting colder I find myself craving desserts like this. It reminds me of home and my mothers’ baking. It also reminds me of something my family used to do on Sundays called Kaffee und Kuchen (translated to coffee and cake).
Kaffee und Kuchen is traditionally a short break for a family or social gathering around a piece of cake with an accompanying cup of coffee or tea. It happens in the afternoons between 3-5 pm and usually on Sundays. After recalling this tradition, I’m really questioning why I haven’t carried this tradition on with my husband…I mean, would anyone object to coffee and cake in the afternoons? Not anyone I know, that’s for sure haha!
This German apple cake would be the perfect cake to restart coffee and cake break the tradition with, or to make for any celebration!
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, plus 1 teaspoon for greasing the pan, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 packet (.32 oz) vanilla sugar (I use Dr. Oetker brand, found in most grocery stores in the baking aisle - this one)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 lemon, zested (1 tablespoon zest)
- 1/1/2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 4 apples, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350, line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and grease edges and bottom with butter.
- In a medium bowl with a stand or hand mixer cream together the butter and sugar and vanilla sugar until smooth (2 minutes). Add in vanilla extract and eggs and beat again until combined.
- Zest lemon into the batter and slowly add the flour and baking powder and beat until combined. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Lay the sliced apples on top of the batter, bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with powdered sugar (I sift mine over the cake) and then serve.
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