These traditional German apple cake recipes are perfect for making a fall dessert when you have plenty of apples in your pantry, and you find yourself craving a moist delicious cake that's especially good when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Are you out of apples? You can always substitute peaches or pears or plums, and these recipes will turn out moist and delicious cakes as well. The perfect homemade dessert when you want to serve a special comfort food.
German Cookery for the English Kitchen (1906)
6 ounces butter
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 pounds apples
6 ounces sugar
4 ounces currants
10 ounces (2-1/4 cups) cake flour
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 ounces sweet almonds
In addition: 1/2 gill (approx. 1/2 cup) sour cream, a little extra sugar, and 4 egg yolks.
Cream the butter in a large bowl, add 1 egg, 2 extra yolks, 2 ounces sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and then the flour, and mix to a paste.
Roll out flour mixture and line the bottom and sides of a shallow, broad, cake pan (a springform pan can also be used, if preferred). Bake a little bit, just a few minutes (350°F), but not completely.
Grate the almonds and mix with 2 tablespoons of sour cream in a small bowl. Spread on the cake and sprinkle over with grated breadcrumbs.
Peel the apples, cut them into thin slices and mix with the currants and 4 ounces sugar. Place these on the breadcrumbs and pour over them remaining sour cream, beaten up with 4 egg yolks and a little sugar.
Place in the oven and finish baking.
Make some puff paste with 1/2 pound butter and 1/2 pound (1-3/4 cups) flour. Roll out thinly in two even layers. Place one layer upon a buttered sheet of tin.
Peel 3/4 pound apples, cut them into slices, stew them in 1/2 pound white sugar and 1/4 pint water. Drain superfluous water off.
Sprinkle over the paste on the tin with breadcrumbs, place the apples on it, cover with the other even layer of paste, brush over with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in a moderate oven (350°F) for 1/2 hour.
Cut into squares and eat with a dollop of whipped cream.
With a Saucepan Over the Sea (1902)
3 ounces of creamed butter, 6 ounces of white sugar, 5 whole eggs, the peel (lemon zest) of 1/4 of a lemon, and 1/2 pound (1-3/4 cups) of cake flour are stirred in a medium bowl to a light dough, which is put into a buttered prepared pan, sprinkled with grated bread crumbs, covered thickly with apple slices.
Pour over top of the traditional apple cake an icing made of 1 cupful of sour cream, 3 eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract to flavor. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F).
For the dough take 3/4 pound (2-3/4 cups) of flour, 1/2 pound of freshened butter, 3 ounces of sifted confectioners' sugar, 1 egg, 2 spoonfuls of water, 2 spoonfuls of rum, fresh apples, wine, sugar, lemon peel, and whole cinnamon.
Stir the butter to a cream in a large bowl, then add sugar, egg, rum, water, and flour, stir all for a short time, put into bottom of the pan, and with a flat wooden ladle press out the dough, having it a little thicker on the sides so as to form an outer edge of the cake; sprinkle some grated bread over the bottom.
In the meantime, cook thickly sliced apples in wine, white sugar, lemon peel, and whole cinnamon until half-done, and after they are cold lay them neatly on the cake and bake (350°F) to a golden — not brown — color.
Boil down the remaining juice until quite thick, and when the beautiful cake is served pour it over the apples.
Butter a pan, sprinkle over it some grated wheat bread and fill with alternate layers of grated roll (or brown bread) and apple slices. Over each layer put sugar, pieces of butter, and a little fruit jelly. Then bake the cake (350°F), having grated bread for the top layer, for 1 hour.
Half an hour before the cake is done make a cream for it, using 1 cupful of sour cream, the yolks of 4 eggs, 3 ounces of sugar, and 1-2/3 ounces of grated almonds, pour this over the cake and then bake until done and allow to cool on a wire rack.
365 Foreign Dishes (1908)
Make a biscuit dough; roll out very thin and put on a well-buttered, prepared cake pan. Have ready some apples. Cut in quarters; lay closely on the cake; sprinkle thick with brown sugar; add some cinnamon and a handful of currants.
Pour some fresh melted butter over top of the cake; set in the oven to bake until done (350°F). Serve warm cake with a cup of coffee.
Peel and chop 5 large apples, add to chopped apples 1 ounce butter, 3 ounces of sugar, and rind and juice of a lemon (about 3 tablespoons lemon juice).
Cook and stir until smooth, add yolks of 3 eggs, and 2 teaspoonfuls of cornstarch. Cook 20 minutes, press through a sieve, and let it cool.
Make into balls, dip in egg and crumbs, fry brown in a pot of boiling lard (or vegetable oil). Put a bit of Angelica or citron in the end of each to imitate a stalk, add a simple dusting of confectioners' sugar or vanilla sugar, arrange on a nice dish, and serve cold with a white sauce.
The Book of Household Management (1861)
10 or 12 apples
Sugar to taste
Rind of 1 small lemon
3 large eggs
1/4 pint of cream or milk
1/4 pound of butter
3/4 pound of good short crust
3 ounces of sweet almonds
Pare, core, and cut the apples into small pieces, a thin slice is preferred; put sufficient moist sugar to sweeten them into a basin; add the lemon peel, which should be finely minced, and the cream; stir these ingredients well, whisk the eggs, and melt the butter; mix altogether, add the sliced apple, and let these be well stirred into the mixture.
Line a large round torte plate with the paste, place a narrow rim of the same round the outer edges of the cake, and lay the apples thickly in the middle.
Blanch the almonds, cut them into long shreds, and strew over the top of the apples, and bake (350°F) from 1/2 to 3/4 hour, checking at the low end of the time range so that the almonds do not get burnt: when done, strew some sifted sugar over the top, and serve.
This torte may be eaten either hot or cold.
The German apple cake recipes are best baked in a moderate oven (350°F) with the rack in the middle position, and always insert a wire cake tester in the center of the cake to ensure the cake bakes properly.
Granny Smith apples are delicious in this German cake, and an apple corer is preferred over a paring knife should you plan to be making many cakes. You can also speed preparation time a little bit by using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
Cover your baked delicious apple cake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil or place in an airtight container to ensure a moist cake before serving, especially if you're planning to serve it the next day. Happy baking!