A tender, moist german apple cake filled with nutty golden figs and dusted with powdered sugar after the bake. A cozy-morning dream, friends.
This would be perfect to wake up to on a holiday morning, warm from the oven, with a big mug of coffee or tea. You might have seen this before, traditionally named Apfelkuchen or “german cake” and the apple is the true star of the show here.
This post is sponsored by Yes! Apples.
Some Materials You’ll Need:
- Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
- 10in. cake pan (a 9in. will work, it’ll just be taller and you might have to bake it longer)
- Various sized mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Baking Spray (this one with flour works like a dream)
- Cake parchment paper (if your pan is non-stick, love these ones from Kana)
- Cooling rack
- Sifter/strainer to dust sugar on top
Ingredients: Strive for High-Quality in this German Apple Cake
Since this is a very paired-back recipe, you want to makes sure the ingredients you’re using are high-quality! Yes, there’s always room for a little substitution based on what you might have on hand already, but if you get beyond 2 substitutions you’re looking at a completely different flavor profile (essentially an entirely different recipe).
Basically I’m asking you to trust me! I was very intentional with the ingredients to give you a specific flavor and crumb—I promise, it delivers. Let’s break down some of the key ingredients.
Considering this is a german apple cake, the apples better be the best of the best! Which is why Yes! Apples are my go-to for baking. Their KORU variety is great for baking because you still get a bit of a crunch with each bite and they’re slow to brown—something that can’t be said of most apples.
I love the hint of almond that it brings to bakes, but I didn’t want it overpower the flavor of the apples or figs, hence the 1/2 cup versus using ALL almond flour. Yes, you could technically use all-purpose flour for the entire recipe and it would bake just fine, but you’re going to be missing out on that hint of almond which really adds to the overall flavor profile. Trust me, it’s worth the trip to the store! This is my go-to that I buy.
Dried Golden Figs
Most people are familiar with dried black mission figs (which I LOVE), but I can’t image any other fig than golden in this german apple cake! They’ve got a light, nutty, almost caramel-like flavor that adds a very welcome and subtle sweetness to the cake. It says optional, but who are we kidding? It’s a must.
You’ve probably seen recipes call for vanilla paste and thought “well I’ve got extract, I’ll just use that instead of going to the store.” While yes, it can typically be swapped 1:1, the flavor of vanilla paste is much more intense in the best way possible. It’s essentially concentrated vanilla extract and powder, with added fun of seeing the actual vanilla specks you’d get from using pods. Go for the vanilla paste—I’m begging you!
Again, trust me on the ingredients, friends! They won’t let you down.
Assembling the Cake
This cake is so easy to assemble! You’ve got room to play with how you arrange the apple quarters as well, so have fun it. I just liked how the circular pattern looked and honestly, I could have fit like 2 more quarters in the center, so just feel it out and do you! Here’s how to assemble this german apple cake:
- Grease your cake pan (I love this baking spray with flour) and if necessary, add some circle-cut parchment paper for an easier release. I just used some baking spray and did the classic upside down release—worked just fine!
- Spread your batter evenly in the pan as best you can, but don’t obsesses over it or you’ll get stuck for much too longer trying to get it perfect. Some little uneven spots are okay—they’ll work themselves out during the bake.
- If you’re adding the dried golden figs (which you should…just saying), sprinkle those evenly over the top and gently press them into the batter so they’re slightly nestled inside. The recipe calls for 1/2-1 cup, so start with a 1/2 cup and if doesn’t seem like enough, then add some more!
- Just make sure to leave about an inch border around the outside edge! This helps create a more definitive crust and lets it all bake more evenly.
- Finally, add your apple quarters spaced a couple inches apart, with the flat sides down and leaving that inch border untouched (see photos below for how I spaced and laid them out). The circular pattern allows you to fit the most in.
That’s it! Next we bake…
Baking the Cake
This german apple cake is pretty shallow, so don’t expect it to reach the top of your pan (depending on the size you’re using, mine was pretty deep). Which also means you’ll want to keep an eye on the bake so you don’t over-bake it! You want to keep that inside tender and moist—the crumb is gorgeous if baked properly.
- Bake this with one of your racks in the middle position of your oven. This allows for the most even bake and ensures the top doesn’t brown too fast.
- You’ll bake it anywhere from 40-50 minutes. So I’d start keep an eye on things around that 40 minute mark and then bake in 5 minute increments from there if a knife inserted in the middle doesn’t come out clean.
- I like me edges to be a bit more brown/crispy, so I bake mine closer to 45-50 minutes.
Visual Indicator > Baking Time
Every oven is different, so while 45-50 minutes might be perfect for mine, it may not be the same case for yours. Again, just keep an eye on things and be careful not to over-bake it! Worry more about how it looks and if the middle is baked through versus following a strict time. You got this.
Go Check out Yes! Apples
Again—these apples are my go-to every time for baking! They stay fresh for so long and are even great for snacking on while you wait for bakes to finish up in the oven. So good!
Their KORU variety is great for bakes, but I’ve also used their Honeycrisp and Snapdragon to great success!
They’re woman-owned, family-grown in New York, and truly a game-changer in the apple game. Don’t walk, run! Be sure to follow them over on Instagram right here as well.
Be sure to tag me over on Instagram (@joshisbaking) if you make this german apple cake, friends! I would absolutely love to see and share it. If you run into any issues, drop a comment below or send me a message over on Instagram.
A tender, moist german apple cake filled with nutty golden figs and dusted with powdered sugar after the bake. A cozy-morning dream.
- 3–4 medium apples, like Yes! Apples KORU variety
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp (113g)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed (58g)
- 2 large eggs (110g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract) (8g)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (140g)
- 1/2 cup almond flour (50g)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (4g)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (2g)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2–1 cup dried golden figs, trimmed, quartered (optional) (~55-110g)
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the bottom and sides of a 10in cake pan.
- Whisk both flours, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat your butter and both sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Beat in your eggs on medium speed one a time until combined, then vanilla paste until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again.
- With the mixer on low, alternate adding in your flour mixture and oil (starting and ending with flour).
- Peel, quarter, and core your apples. Thinly slice each quarter 3-4 times lengthwise without actually cutting all the way through (so the flat side remains intact and the top looks sliced through—helps keep apples from moving around). Do this just before you place them onto the batter to avoid browning. The apples will fan out a bit during the bake, but stay in place.
- Spread your batter evenly in the cake pan. Sprinkle golden figs over the top (if using), gently pushing them into the batter and leaving at least an inch border around the outside. Arrange apple quarters around the top, flat sides down, gently pushing into batter as well and leaving that border untouched (see photos in the blog above for how it should look).
- You can place your apple quarters on top of the figs, they’ll be fine! You may also not use all of the quarters you’ve prepared. Depends on how you choose to lay them out—snack on the extra!
- Bake 40-50 minutes on the center rack until the edges are golden brown and a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle (check at 40 minutes and bake in 5 minute increments from there).
- Let it cool completely in the cake pan on a wire rack (if you remove it while it’s warm, it can fall apart). Gently remove the cake from the pan (you might have to run a knife around the outside edge to help release). Once cooled completely, dust with powdered sugar before serving.
- Always bake based on visual indicators over actual baking time. If the edges are golden and the middle is baked through, it’s done! Just start checking around that 40 minute mark.
- Make sure not to cut completely through your apple quarters! By keeping the flat side intact, you prevent the apples from moving around in the batter as it bakes. It’s what gives this cake its signature look!
- As far as releasing the cake from the pan once it’s cooled, it just depends on how non-stick your pan is and whether you chose to line it with parchment or not. My pan was pretty non-stick, so I just greased it a little and was able to run a knife around the edges after it cooled and then gentle flipping it upside down to release. Just make sure to let it cool enough before trying to do any releasing, otherwise it’ll fall apart.
Check out my other recipes with Yes! Apples:
- Apple Pecan Scones
- Apple Cinnamon Pocket Pies
- Fresh Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- Apple and Almond Cream Galette
Looking for something else to bake?