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Apple Kuchen or Apfelkuchen

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This Apple Kuchen or German Apple Cake was a gift for my dear father-in-law. He had been searching for his grandmother’s recipe that he remembered so fondly from his childhood. This was my attempt at bringing back those treasured memories!

Apple Kuchen on a white ceramic cake stand

Apple Kuchen

A few of you know that my seemingly healthy and dear, dear father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer not long after Christmas. When it comes to in-laws, I’ve been blessed. Kind, caring, generous…they are two of my favorite people in the world. We were hoping my father-in-law would have more time…so he could watch his grandchildren marry and spoil his future great grandchildren as he did his grandchildren. This was not to be. His disease moved quickly and ferociously…and I would send treats for him when Bill would visit for the weekend.

He and I shared our love of smoked fish, breads with nuts and dried fruit as well as all apple desserts. For years he had searched for a recipe similar to his German grandmother’s apple kuchen…and finally my brother-in-law, Dan, found “the” recipe in an old family recipe box. Dan tried his best to recreate this German apple cake, but apparently it got over-baked…”long story,” he relayed in his email.

Overhead view of a German apple cakeGerman Apple Cake

I tweaked this Apple Kuchen Recipe slightly by adding tiny pats of butter before baking. Fred remembered his grandmother dotting her kuchen with butter before popping it in the oven. There’s also a cottage cheese version…you just mix two cups of cottage cheese into the sugar/cream mixture and use that instead of the apples. I used my mandoline to slice the apples thinly…as I wanted them to get them tender during the short cooking time. It gave me great pleasure be able to give my father-in-law a taste of his childhood…

Update: my father-in-law lost his battle with cancer on Thursday. I will be forever grateful that his strong sense of family and love of God was the legacy passed to his sons and grandchildren. I was blessed to have him in my life for nearly 30 years.

Apple Kuchen or Apfelkuchen

Apple Kuchen or Apfelkuchen

This Apple Kuchen or German Apple Cake is a retro recipe from my husband's German great-grandmother


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cake yeast, 2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon to dot on before baking
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3 tablespoon light cream, half and half or milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups thinly sliced apples


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine 1 1/2 cup flour and the yeast.
  2. In pryex measuring cup or microwave safe bowl, microwave 3/4 cup milk till approximately 115-120º, then add butter,1/3 cup sugar and salt. Stir till butter is almost melted. Add to flour mixture and add 2 eggs. Beat at low speed using paddle attachment for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. stir in remaining flour.
  3. Divide in half, with lightly floured fingers, pat into two greased 9-inch round baking pans, pressing up sides to form a rim. Cover, let rise in warm place until double in size, about 45-50 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400º.
  5. Combine the beaten egg and the cream/milk. Stir in 1 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Arrange fruit atop risen dough. Carefully spoon sugar/cream mixture over fruit. Dot with tiny pieces of butter.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
  7. Yield: 2 9-inch coffee cakes
  8. Total time: 2 hours

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 497 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 106mg Sodium: 282mg Carbohydrates: 82g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 41g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 11g

May’s #TwelveLoaves theme is Open. Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual. May is all about celebrating bread and the one year anniversary of #TwelveLoaves. Do you have a favorite bread? We would love to see it. Let’s get baking!

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65 comments on “Apple Kuchen or Apfelkuchen”

  1. My dear Liz I am sorry for your loss. My hugs and love to you and your family. When I make this for myself I will remember this story. I can imagine the little pats of butter take this up to a whole new level. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. oh Liz,
    thank you for sharing such a beautiful story with us. . I am all teary eyed now. . I love that you made this beautiful apple kuchen for your father-in-law. . I’m sure it meant the world to him. I absolutely love what you wrote about him. . to have those things passed on to his sons and grandchildren is a wonderful, wonderful thing. You can’t ask for more than that. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing this post with us!

  3. Wonderful apple pie! I am sure your father-in-law will enjoy it and it will make him feel better.

  4. It’s really difficult from an emotional point of view to comment your wonderful bread-pie. I read you update and I really can send you a huge hug from here.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law’s passing, a really nice tribute Liz. Your Apple Kuchen is stunning (as always) 🙂

  6. What a beautiful dessert to remember your Father-in -law. I hope Bill, your Mother-in-law and entire family are doing okay after your tragic loss. Keeping your family in my prayers….

  7. Liz, I’d like to add my condolences to those of everyone else here. I’m so happy for you that you got to experience such a great father in-law and so sorry that he is gone from your life. You wrote a lovely tribute to him.

  8. I’m so sorry to hear your father-in-law passed. It’s always sad to lose a loved one.

    This bread is very pretty and I bet it tastes great too!

  9. Beautiful cake, Liz. I’m German on my father’s side so I grew up eating a lot of German desserts. Apple cake was always one of my favorites.

  10. I am sorry for your loss. A beautiful dish for a beautiful person, I am sure.

  11. What a party last week on Friday Flash Blog! Thanks for joining us. I hope you’ve visited some of the other community members and you’re having a splendid week.


  12. This is a lovely Cake Liz, I love apple baked goods.
    I’ve just linked up my month’s entry, Sticky Iced Buns and I’m also new to the group with this being my second time participating. It’s such a great group and I enjoy reading each story behind everyone’s baked treat.

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