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German Apple Cake

This delicious cake can be served warm as a dessert, or as a tea time treat, accompanied if you like by cream, custard or ice cream. For a vegan version, simply substitute the butter and cream with non-dairy products.

If you’re someone who finds cake-making a challenge, then this recipe is for you. There is no creaming, rolling or rubbing in involved, no kitchen gadgets are needed, and the ingredients are readily available all year round. But it’s also a great seasonal recipe if you have a surplus of apples or windfalls this autumn, especially Bramleys.

In fact you don’t even need to use apples. I have experimented with finely chopped raw rhubarb (using ground ginger instead of cinnamon), ripe pears (ditto), and for a Christmassy version, have added a few spoonfuls of mincemeat to the apples. You can adjust the quantity (and type) of sugar to your taste.

I usually make this in a roasting tray which results in a thinner product, but a deeper, round or square ceramic dish works just as well.


  • 125g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 375g cooking apples
  • 60g sultanas
  • 30g chopped walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 60g demerara sugar


Preheat the oven to 170⁰C/350⁰F or gas 4.

Line your oven dish with baking paper, or grease with a little melted butter.

Heat the butter gently until just melted, and allow it to cool.

Meanwhile sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

Peel and core the apples and cut into fine dice. Put them into a bowl, and combine with the nuts, sultanas and cinnamon.

Stir the sugar and the egg into the cooled butter and pour onto the flour. Combine thoroughly to make a stiffish dough.

Reserve one third of the dough and set aside. Place the rest into your oven dish and using your fingers, press it evenly across the base and about 2 cm up the sides. It doesn’t matter what it looks like! Spread the apple mixture evenly over the base and sprinkle on the demerara sugar. Take the reserved dough and dot it over the top.

Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with a little extra caster sugar if you like.

Posted in Erika’s Kitchen on Oct 01, 2023