German Apple Cake Recipe

Gedeckter Apfelkuchen - covered apple pie

We have various types of German apple cake and recipes abound. Here's one for a gedeckter Apfelkuchen (covered apple cake)

A slice of covered apple cake with fresh red apples in the backgroundCovered Apple Pie


For the dough:
* 400g / (3 1/3 cups) pastry flour (Type 405)
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
* 200g (3/4 cup) soft butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar sugar
* 1 pinch salt
* 2 medium eggs

For the filling:
* 1 kg (2 1/4 lb) cooking apples
* 50g (4 tablespoons) sugar
* 1 pinch cinnamon powder
* 30g (3 tablespoons) raisins - you can soak them in 2 tablespoons rum or water to make them softer
* 50g (4 tablespoons) butter
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the coating
* 200g (1 1/2 cup) icing sugar
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice


* Mix the flour and baking powder, add the other ingredients and stir using a hand mixer with kneading hooks. Briefly knead the dough with your hands, form a roll and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.

* Peel, quarter and core the apples and cut them into slices or smaller pieces, whatever you prefer. Sprinkle the apples with lemon juice to prevent they get brown.

* Melt the butter in a pan and lightly braise the apples with sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Let the mixture cool.

* Cut the dough into 2 halves, roll out the first piece of dough (larger than the size of the pan) and place it into a greased 26cm (10in) non-stick springform pan, form an edge about 3cm (1 1/8in).

* Spread the apples on the dough, roll out the rest of the dough and cover the apples. Press the edge of the cover against the dough edge you formed before.

* Prick the dough cover here and there with a fork.

* Bake in a preheated oven at about 180°C / 350°F for 45 to 55 minutes. Check the cake after 40 minutes, possibly reduce the heat to prevent the cake is getting too dark.

* Prepare a thick paste from icing sugar and lemon juice to cover the cake while it is still warm.

Guten Appetit.

If you use cups instead of a scale, please check this page for flour facts and gram to cup conversion.

Other variations of German apple cake are

  • Versunkener Apfelkuchen - a cake batter topped with apple pieces which sink into the cake during the baking process

  • Apple cake with a yeast dough topped with crumbles

  • Apfelkuchen mit Mürbeteig - the dough is a shortcrust pastry type, the cake is also topped with crumbles
Close up of a slice apple cake with crumbles on a plateGerman apple cake with crumbles

"30 years ago in London my German neighbour baked every Saturday, but would never share many recipes. My favourite was an apple cake, the top and bottom was a very thin layer of something between a pastry and a sponge cake. The filling was large chunks of firmly cooked apples. I have searched since then and never found anything like it. I have no idea how she made it, any ideas?"

This question by a reader initiated me to post the above recipe - and Jill's answer was...

"Thank you so much. The covered apple cake is exactly what I have been searching for all these years. I was searching for pies and cake. Just never realized the correct term to search for, so was never able to find. Amazing."

Are you a sweet tooth?
Here are my delicious German dessert recipes & cookies