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Gedeckter Apfelkuchen Recipe – Covered German Apple Cake

Gedeckter Apfelkuchen Recipe – Covered German Apple Cake

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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.

apple cake

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).

gedeckter apfelkuchen recipe

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.

apple cake

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. 


German apple cake


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. 

apfelkuchen recipe


Just press and add, and before you know it, it will look like this (you can make the top edge look neater)


gedeckter apfelkuchen recipe


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.

gedeckter apfelkuchen recipe

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.

apple cake

Pull the top paper off of the dough disk, then lay the dough side over the filling. 
Remove the other paper.

gedeckter apfelkuchen recipe


Tuck the top dough so that it connects to the sides. 
I use a butter knife to press it together a bit. 

german apple cake

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

versunkener apfelkuchen recipe

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.

versunkener apfelkuchen recipe


Let cool completely

gedeckter apfelkuchen recipe

Slice and serve

gedeckter apfelkuchen recipe




  1. The description say „mix lemon juice and baking powder“ for the glaze. I believe that should be powdered sugar.

  2. I really appreciate your emails and all your wonderful information. Thank you for these awesome recipes. can’t wait to try them! I just made my mother’s Apfel Steusel Blech Kuchen. However, I used coconut oil instead of butter & my family loved it! It’s a good vegan option.

  3. Hi Karenanne,
    I am planning on trying this recipe, it looks so delicious! Are you aware of a apple cake using vanilla pudding (made with heavy cream possibly)? My Aunt Annemarie made an incredibly delicious apple cake using I am pretty sure a vanilla pudding filling. The base was cake like, much like you use in this apple cake recipe. Then she would fill, using a square cake pan, a rich vanilla pudding into the cake/crust layer. Then she would place sliced apples across the top of the cake, and bake. This cake was always served cooled. It was very delicious and unfortunately my Tante did not leave us a recipe! My mother and her sisters grew up in the Saxony area of Germany, and my family is lucky to know how to prepare many of their German recipes! However, not this one special cake unfortunately! If you have any idea of what this cake might be, please share your knowledge! Thanks so much, Alice.


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