Like so many other foods in Germany, you won’t find just one recipe for German Apple Cake. Personally, I now keep three different recipes in my back pocket, because you never know… the apple cake must fit the occasion after all! Apfelkuchen mit Streusel vom Blech (Apple Streusel cake in a Pan) for everyday and Versunkener Apfelkuchen (sunken Apple Cake), is a more traditional Apple cake that bakes up fairly quickly both come to the table often in my household. Still, I grew up eating my mother’s Gedeckter Apfelkuchen Recipe (Covered Apple Cake), so this fabulous cake that resembles pie fits into the space closest to my heart and stomach. She baked it for Kaffeeklatsches at our house, and it always got eaten FAST! A covered Covered Apple Cake takes more time, and you will need to give it just a bit more attention, but every bite reminds you that the effort was worthwhile.
Making the cake is straightforward. A rich and buttery cake dough lines the bottom and sides of the springform pan, and then softened apples fill the center. Top the apples with a layer of rolled out cake dough, and bake. You end up with two layers of flakey pastry and a tart sweet filling of apples (and raisins). From the side, the slice of this Apple Cake resembles a piece of pie. (Which has me racing to my food history books, to search for a connection. I’ll get back to you when I find it). As for Apples… you need lots of Apples. I used 7. (Some recipes call for 2 KILOS! the 7 apples peeled and sliced weighed in around 1.4 kilos… and measured out to 8 cups sliced). My mother always adds raisins. As a child I picked them out…as an adult I can grudgingly admit that they do belong in the cake (but you CAN leave them out, or replace them with dried cranberries).
Now, before you start worrying that Gedeckter Apfelkuchen requires fancy ingredients or complicated equipment… STOP… the only essential piece of equipment you need is a 26cm Springform Pan. (Removing the cake from a standard cake pan with regular sides would end in disaster. Trust me on this.) When I reached out to my mom for the recipe, she told me she cut hers out of magazine 50 years ago, in the days before Thermomix, Microwave, Food Processors or Computers. Apples, Flour, Knife, Springform Pan, Cookpot, and Oven will cover it. I’ll walk you through it.
Gedeckter Apfelkuchen Recipe
Baking this Gedeckter Apfel Recipe- Step by Step
It’s always a good idea to read through a recipe and make sure you understand what you are doing before you get started. Personally, I understand better when I can see it. I’ve added a few pictures to clarify what the instructions mean, and to show that none of the steps are really difficult. Just take them in order, and you will have a successful bake.
Beat together the ingredients for the dough, then wrap it in plastic wrap.
This goes into the refrigerator to cool while you prepare the apples.
Peel, core, and slice the apples.
I used mostly Granny Smith with a few Honey Crisp, because I like tart. Feel free to substitute your favorite baking apple.
It looks like a lot of apples… and it is. I did lose a few slices along the way when my Tech Guy wandered through the kitchen looking for a snack.
The apples will ‘cook down’ a bit.
While the apples are cooling, take 2/3 of the dough, and start pressing it into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan a bit at a time. It will feel like there isn’t enough. There is.
Just press and add, and before you know it, it will look like this (you can make the top edge look neater)
Sprinkle the dough with a few spoonfuls of breadcrumbs to help absorb extra moisture. Spoon the apple filling into the pan.
There will probably be liquid in the saucepan… just leave it there. You want the apples and raisins, extra liquid will just make a mess.
A little that travels along with the spoon is fine (the crumbs will help). You want the filling sort of level with the top edge of the dough.
A little dome is ok, it will settle down during the baking. If there is just WAY too much, keep that out, and enjoy it as a snack.
Put the last 1/3 of the dough between to layers of waxed paper to roll out.
The paper makes it easy to transfer the disk of dough without juggling.
Pull the top paper off of the dough disk, then lay the dough side over the filling.
Remove the other paper.
Tuck the top dough so that it connects to the sides.
I use a butter knife to press it together a bit.
Bake for 50 minutes
Let cool a few minutes in the pan, then run a knife carefully around the sides (in case it’s stuck)
Then remove the ring and let it cool a few more minutes
Put the ring back on the warm cake, and spread the top with the lemon-powdered sugar glaze.
Let cool in the ring until the glaze firms up.
I prefer to put the glaze on with the ring, because I just want it on top. If you like it to drizzle down the side, you don’t have to put in the ring.
Let cool completely
Slice and serve