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Apple Kuchen or Apfelkuchen #TwelveLoaves

Home » Bread Recipes » Apple Kuchen or Apfelkuchen #TwelveLoaves
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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 it, but apparently it got over-baked…”long story,” he relayed in his email.

I tweaked it 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

  • 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

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!

Want to join the #TwelveLoaves group? It’s easy!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this May, 2013, and posted on your blog by May 31, 2013.

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65 comments on “Apple Kuchen or Apfelkuchen #TwelveLoaves”

  1. Gorgeous kuchen, Liz. The story behind the tart is heart-touching. Very wonderful tribute to your father-in-law =)

  2. Beautiful kuchen and such a lovely tribute to your father-in-law!

  3. Your Father In Law sounded like a beautiful and wonderful man. I’m so sorry for your loss. I love hearing of relationships like yours. I love that his legacy lives on through your family. Such a blessing! Lovely post, Liz. Beautiful and delicious Apple Kuchen 🙂

  4. This post is beautiful, Lizzy! Everything you make is gorgeous and I can tell it was made with love!

  5. Gorgeous as always Liz. Your photography and stories are amazing. I admire your talents.

  6. How sad, I am sure this would have brought your father in law great joy. Look after yourself 🙂

  7. What a wonderful post. So touching. Lovely cake.

  8. Lovely post , Lizzy ! And pretty delicious apple kuchen 🙂 Hope is well with all of you ….

  9. Hi Lizzy! Sorry to hear about your father-in-law…. God bless you and the family…

  10. Lovely tribute to your father-in-law. And delicious buttery apple cake!

  11. The second this post opened I remembered your unbaked pic in fb and thought about your fil again. It is a blessing to have such great personalities in our lives, even though they need to go. This is really gorgeous Liz, and the best tribute to him! Hope Bill and the kids (the whole extended family really) have a peaceful week.

  12. Darlin’! This is such a fabulous recipe. Those heirloom recipes are always the best and they bring so much meaning when you bake them. The best ingredient to everything my Grandma ever made was love and I like to think that I give a piece of her to my family every time I make one of her recipes now. Thank you for sharing a special piece of your family with us. Krista @ A Handful of Everything

  13. I am very sorry for your loss, Liz. How wonderful that you two had so many food loves in common and that you could share this cake with him.

  14. I am sorry for your loss. Isn’t it special that in-laws can add such joy to our lives? So often you hear of tension in the in-law relationship and it is wonderful to hear of the love and joy you shared with your father-in-law. This is a beautiful apple kuchen. Hope you can make it again in the future and share happy memories with your family.

  15. It is such a wonderful thing to find and preserve old family recipes. How lovely of you to honor your father-in-law with this beautiful apple kuchen that he so very much wanted. I know it is something my family would very much enjoy too.

  16. What a wonderful way to honour your father-in-law! Family recipes such as these evoke so many memories and make many new ones as well. He has left you and your family with a “goodly heritage” and blessed legacy! This recipe looks wonderful – you make it all look so easy. Huge hugs to you.

  17. A sweet and beautiful tribute to your darling father-in-law. I’ve been thinking of you all this week and the weeks since you found out he was so sick. I’m so very sorry that he passed. You were blessed with his kind soul for 30 years-what a gift. Your apfelkuchen looks incredible…this is my favorite kind of dessert, Lizzy. xo

  18. I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Please accept my condolences. This is a lovely tribute to honour your father-in-law. Your apple kuchen looks lovely and family recipes like this, are homey and comforting. Take care.

  19. Whoa…touching story and such a great tribute to your FIL. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes but my heart full of happiness that you had this wonderful man in your family and that your were able to give him such joy and happy rememberences of his childhood. Sending Texas Hugs!!

    ps: I can hardly wait to try this Kuchen!!!

  20. Oh dear Lizzy Im so sorry I adored my Father in law two (he pass away about 3 years) and still miss him.
    Send you love and huggs to you and family!

    This applekuchen look amazing, I bookmarked.


  21. I’m so very sorry to hear about the passing of your father-in-law.
    Condolences to you and your family. {{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}.
    This recipe sounds wonderful, looking forward to trying it.

  22. I’m so glad this recipe was found, Liz, so that wonderful memories can be recreated from a beloved family recipe. Especially since it was a favourite of your dear father-in-law. This is a beautiful kuchen for a beautiful, touching post.

  23. 30 years you’ll always have Liz, sorry to hear your sad news..

  24. Liz, so very sorry to read about your-father-in-law – but from your very touching post it is obvious that he was a very special person. Your Apfelkuchen that you created based on an old family recipe looks like such a special tribute to such a wonderful person. Do take care!

  25. Such a gorgeous apple dessert, Liz. So sorry to hear of your family’s loss.

  26. Liz, I am so sorry. I lost my mom to lung cancer 6 years ago … such a sad way to go. I am sure he knew how loved he was. xoxoxoxo

  27. I am so sorry for your loss, Lizzy, and especially for your husband’s loss. May God bless you guys and comfort you during this time. How blessed you were to have him in your life. Your tribute brought tears to my eyes; so precious!

    Such a perfect cake! Our Dan loves anything with apple when it comes to desserts, otherwise he is not really a dessert fan. My youngest son, Jonathan, likes desserts as do I and my hubby.

  28. How wonderful to have been blessed with amazing in-laws. It’s great you had such a close relationship with your father-in-law but how sad he was diagnosed with such an aggressive cancer. And what a lovely dessert to bake in his honour xx

  29. Not many people can say that about their in-laws. What a blessing.

  30. Great recipe. And whenever you make it I’ll bet you’ll think of your father-in-law. Such a nice way to remember him!

  31. I’m so sorry for your loss! How lucky you are to have such an incredible father-in-law!

  32. I am so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. This is my first visit to your blog and it feels… strange… to be reading something so personal and heartbreaking, but in a way I am glad that through the blogging world we can be ‘sisters’ from the outset! Thinking of you and praying for your family. This recipe is a beautiful tribute to your father in law’s heritage and it’s something that you and your family can continue to enjoy in memory of him. I will try your method and see how it turns out. A very special dessert indeed.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Laura. The outpouring of sympathy has been amazing…so a big thanks to you and everyone who has taken the time to comment throughout the week. xoxo

  33. I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law’s passing. He sounds like he was a truly amazing person and you were lucky to have known him! I’m glad he was around long enough to give you and your family such wonderful memories 🙂

    This cake sounds amazing. I would totally try the cheese version. Mmm.

  34. Liz, hope your family is doing okay through all of this. What a sweet tribute to your father-in-law to post this wonderful looking kuchen. I’m an expert on kuchen as I think they put kuchen in my bottle instead of milk. I grew up on it in a small German community in Wisconsin. I thought everyone in the world ate kuchen quite regularly until I left home. I have to say your kuchen looks quite delicious and authentic!

  35. I am so sorry for your loss, Liz. Sweet tribute to your father in-law.
    A German yeast cake….we used to have it a lot during the harvest time. Really delicious with afternoon coffee or tea.

  36. I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law, he sounded like a wonderful man and you a wonderful daughter-in-law. How nice to have recreated a childhood memory for him. Your kutchen looks perfect and I’m sure delicious. I’m saving this to my ZipList.

  37. Hi Liz,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.

    Nice of you to bake this wonderful apple kuchen for father-in-law and you have been made him feeling good before his departure.


  38. Absolutely gorgeous, Liz! I love German cakes and pastries…
    I am so sorry for the loss of you father-in-law. May the Lord comfort your family and you.

  39. I am so sorry for your loss, Liz. Keeping you and your family in m thoughts and prayers.
    What a beautiful recipe to continue to enjoy the memory of your father-in-law.

  40. I’m sorry for your loss. He sounds like a great guy, and he will be greatly missed.
    This is such a beautiful recipe. I have so many apples I don’t know what to do with them. I need to try something like this soon!

  41. Sorry about your loss, you have my condolences. I wouldn’t trust myself with a recipe like this, especially considering I haven’t baked in a such a long time.

  42. So sorry about your loss. What a beautiful post you shared Liz. This Apple Kuchen looks stunning. Hugs and love to you, my friend.

  43. Food does bring us together and keeps a legacy alive. What an honor you did for him with his cake! And how lucky all of you are to have had him in your life.

  44. Oh, I’m so sorry Liz. But at least you have fond thoughts and memories which is more than many of us have. That says a lot for the kind of person he was and the kind of person your husband must be. Food does stir memories and I am sure this recipe will stir many. Take care.

  45. I am so sorry for your loss, Liz. I’m sure your father-in-law is in a better place now and had great living experience with you as his loving daughter-in-law. Take care, Liz.

  46. I find that making and enjoying the foods of those we love one of the best ways to love, remember and celebrate those no longer with us. A very touching post, I am so sorry for your loss.

  47. Liz, so sorry for your loss! Great recipe to remember him with, and my husbands grandmother has been asking for me to make her kuchen actually, so I will have to try out your recipe.

  48. I’m sorry to you and your family’s loss, Liz. What a wonderful tribute to your father-in-law.

  49. Oh dear Liz, I am so very for your loss, please accept my sincere condolences. It seems that the C is taking more and more of the one’s we love.
    I’m so glad your BIL found the recipe and it’s so generous of you to share it with the world, thank you. I have a very good girlfriend who is German and I know she will appreciate such a lovely cake on our next get together. It’s a beautiful tribute to your father in law.

  50. What a lovely post and tribute to your father-in-law, Liz! The Apple Kuchen is gorgeous! xox

  51. 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!

  52. 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!

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

  54. 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.

  55. 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) 🙂

  56. 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….

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 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.

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

  61. 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.


  62. 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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