German Apple Cake with Streusel Topping

This 3-layer German Apple Streusel Cake is easy, beautiful, and absolutely delicious! If you’ve got apples, you’ve got to make this German cake. Serve with a side of freshly whipped cream. Yum!

Apple cake (Apfelkuchen in German) is popular in Germany. You’ll find it in bakeries, cafes, and on kitchen tables for afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen. There are various kinds of German Apple Cake. If you like streusel, you’ll love this variation. If you’re looking for an apple cake without streusel topping, try my German Apple Custard Cake.

This German Apple Cake has three tasty layers:

  1. Tender yeast cake base
  2. Cinnamon sugar apples
  3. Almond streusel topping

Like many German cakes, this one is not overly sweet. The yeast cake balances the sweetness of the apples and streusel topping. (If you’re looking for another type of yeast cake recipe, try my Bee Sting Cake).

I used about five apples in my cake but you can add more if you’d like. The streusel on top is a little different compared to the streusel I use in my German Plum Cake – this streusel has ground almonds. The three layers – yeast cake, apples, and streusel – combine to create a super tasty dessert!

What You Need to Make this German Apple Streusel Cake:

Here are the ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Instant yeast
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
  • Milk (room temperature)
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Apples
  • Lemon juice & zest
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground almonds (I buy this at Trader Joe’s but you can grind almonds in a food processor if you prefer – just make sure to stop before it becomes almond butter!)

Here are the baking tools you need:

  • Mixing bowls (small & medium)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • 9-inch Springform pan
  • Parchment paper or round Silpat mat
  • Wire cooling rack

How to Make German Apple Cake with Streusel Topping

The first step is to make the yeast cake. Add flour, yeast, sugar, vanilla sugar (or extract), milk (room temperature), melted butter, and salt to a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix until it forms a dough.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it’s smooth and no longer sticky. Don’t add too much extra flour. If you don’t want to do this by hand you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.

Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to to 350F/180C.

Then, wash, peel, and slice the apples. Place apple slices in a mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice and zest.

In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla sugar, and pinch of salt.

Next, prepare the streusel topping. Add ground almonds, flour, sugar, vanilla sugar (or extract), and salt to a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix with a whisk or wooden spoon until well combined. Dice the butter and add it to the flour. Use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until it goes from being dry to sticking together in clumps.

Line your springform pan with parchment or a round Silpat mat (I usually grease the bottom of the pan so the parchment will stick better) and then press the yeast dough into the pan.

Place the apples on the yeast cake. You don’t need to be exact with your placement because the streusel topping will cover most of the apples. If you like a lot of apples, you can add more than my recipe suggests.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the apples, and then top the apples with the streusel.

Bake the cake at 350F/180C for about 45 minutes. The streusel should be golden brown.

When the cake is finished, let it cool for a few minutes in the springform pan, then release and remove the springform pan. Once the cake has cooled, slice and serve with freshly whipped cream. Enjoy!

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German Apple Cake with Streusel

German Apple Cake with Streusel

Yield: 9 slices
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Cake

  • 4 Cups [500g] Flour (all purpose) 
  • 2 tsp [2.5 oz / 7 g / 1 packet] instant yeast 
  • 1/2 Cup [100g] sugar 
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp extract)
  • 1 Cup [200 ml] milk (room temp)
  • 7 TBSP [100g] butter (melted)
  • Pinch of salt

Apple Filling

  • 3-5 apples (or more!) 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon + zest 
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt 

Streusel

  • 1/4 Cup [40g] ground almonds 
  • 1 Cup [150g] flour
  • 1/2 Cup [100g] sugar
  • 7 TBSP [100g] butter 
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • Pinch of salt 

Instructions

    1. Add flour, yeast, sugar, vanilla sugar (or extract), milk (room temperature), melted butter, and salt to a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix until it forms a dough.
    2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it's smooth and no longer sticky. Don't add too much extra flour. If you don't want to do this by hand you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.
    3. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough stand for 30 minutes.
    4. Pre-heat the oven to to 350F/180C.
    5. Wash, peel, and slice the apples. Place apple slices in a mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice and zest.
    6. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla sugar, and pinch of salt.
    7. Add ground almonds, flour, sugar, vanilla sugar (or extract), and salt to a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix with a whisk or wooden spoon until well combined.
    8. Dice the butter and add it to the flour. Use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until it goes from being dry to sticking together in clumps.
    9. Line the springform pan with parchment or a round Silpat mat (I usually grease the bottom of the pan so the parchment will stick better) and then press the yeast dough into the pan.
    10. Arrange the apples on the yeast cake.
    11. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the apples.
    12. Top the apples with the streusel.
    13. Bake the cake at 350F/180C for about 45 minutes. The streusel should be golden brown.
    14. When the cake is finished, let it cool for a few minutes in the springform pan, then release and remove the springform pan. Once the cake has cooled, slice and serve with freshly whipped cream.

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About Author

I love baking, traveling, and sharing delicious recipes for European Christmas Cookies! I used to live in Germany, have worked on 4 continents, and now enjoy baking and blogging from my adopted home in North Carolina, USA.

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