5 from 3 votes
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German Apple Cake

An easy and simple-to-follow recipe for German Apple Cake, with a step-by-step pictorial. This wonderfully moist cake has all the goodness of fresh fruit, and is treated with a special, crumbly cinnamon streusel topping (Source: 'Step-by-Step Cakes by Caroline Bretherton).
Course: Cakes, Dessert, Snack, Snacks and Treats, Tea
Cuisine: European, German, Western
Servings :1 (One) 20-cm (8-inch) round cake
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
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  • 175 g unsalted butter softened at room temperature,
  • 175 g light muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest or finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, cut into even, slim wedges

For the Streusel Topping

  • 115 g plain flour plus extra, for dusting
  • 85 g light muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85 g unsalted butter chilled, cubed


For the Streusel Topping

  • Put the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  • Rub in the butter gently with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Bring the crumbly dough together into a ball.
  • Wrap the streusel dough in cling film or a plastic bag and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat oven to 190 deg C (375 deg F). Grease a 20-cm or 8-inch loose-bottomed cake tin with butter and dust lightly with flour. Shake off the excess flour.
  • In an electric mixer, with a paddle attachment fixed on, place butter and sugar in the mixer bowl.
  • Cream butter and sugar on medium speed (between Speed 3 to 4 on my Kitchen Aid mixer).
  • Cream until the batter turns pale and creamy in colour, and is light and fluffy.
  • Add the lemon zest and cream with butter on low speed (speed 2 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) until well dispersed through the batter.
  • Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition to avoid curdling.
  • Beat until the eggs are well incorporated in the batter.
  • Sift the flour into the batter and gently fold with a metal spoon or spatula.
  • Finally, add the milk to the batter and gently mix it in until well incorporated.
  • Spoon half of the batter into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Smooth the surface with a palette knife.
  • Arrange half the apple wedges over the batter, reserving the best looking pieces for the top. Use larger apple wedges to line the circumference.
  • Fill the centre with the smaller apple wedges.
  • Spread the rest of the batter over the apples. Smooth once more with a palette knife. Arrange the remaining apple wedges on top of the cake in an attractive pattern.
  • Remove the streusel dough from the refrigerator and coarsely grate it.
  • Sprinkle the grated streusel evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes. Test with a skewer by inserting it into the centre of the cake. If the skewer emerges coated in batter, cook for a few minutes more and test again. When baking is finished, remove the cake from the oven and leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes.
  • Keeping the streusel on top, carefully remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.
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