Apfel Kuchen Recipe from Hungary - Delicious Apple Cake Recipe

Apfel Kuchen

Apfel Kuchen Recipe from Hungary - Delicious Apple Cake Recipe
Region / culture: Hungary | Preparation time: 2 hours | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 8


Apfel Kuchen
Apfel Kuchen

Apfel Kuchen, or Apple Cake, is a beloved dessert that finds its roots in the heart of German cuisine. This delightful treat combines the sweetness of fresh apples with a soft, yeasty dough, creating a dessert that's both comforting and satisfying. Perfect for any occasion, from family gatherings to cozy autumn evenings, Apfel Kuchen brings a piece of German tradition to your table.


The history of Apfel Kuchen dates back centuries in Germany, where apples have long been a staple ingredient in many dishes. This recipe, in particular, has evolved over time, with each region adding its own twist. Traditionally, it was made during the apple harvest season as a way to celebrate the bounty and to bring families and communities together. Today, it continues to be a symbol of hospitality and warmth in German culture.


How to prepare

  1. Heat the milk until scalding, then add the butter and 1.5 tbsp of sugar. Stir well until the butter and sugar are dissolved.
  2. In a small bowl, add the yeast to the water along with the other 1.5 tbsp of sugar.
  3. Put 2 cups of flour in a large bowl and add the cooled milk, yeast mixture, eggs, and salt.
  4. Beat the mixture well.
  5. Add the additional flour and work the dough until it comes away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. The dough should be very soft and sticky. If it is too thick, add a few teaspoons of warm water.
  7. Cover the dough and let it rise until it doubles in bulk.
  8. When the dough is ready, generously grease the pan with butter. Do not flour it.
  9. Put a third of the dough in each pan. Butter your hands to prevent the dough from sticking.
  10. Using your fingers, push the dough to the outer edges of the pan. The dough may not want to stay there, but as you push the apple slices down into the dough diagonally and overlapping like tiles on a roof, it will remain in place.
  11. Arrange the apple slices in a concentric spiral, placing them close together.
  12. Sprinkle each kuchen with a third of the topping and dot with butter.


  • There are many ways to vary this recipe to suit your taste or make use of what you have on hand:
  • Add a layer of marzipan beneath the apples for a sweet, nutty flavor.
  • Incorporate raisins or cranberries among the apple slices for added sweetness and texture.
  • Experiment with different spices, such as nutmeg or allspice, to complement the apples.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Apfel Kuchen turns out perfectly, consider these tips:

- Use a variety of apples for a more complex flavor. Mixing tart and sweet apples can enhance the taste.

- Make sure the dough is soft and sticky before letting it rise; this will result in a lighter, airier cake.

- When arranging the apple slices, press them firmly into the dough to prevent them from moving during baking.

- Allow the kuchen to cool slightly before serving to let the flavors meld together beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

Apfel Kuchen is best served slightly warm, with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. For a festive touch, sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon before serving.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the preparation of the yeast dough, which requires patience and a gentle touch. Ensuring the dough is properly risen and soft will result in a better texture in the final cake.

Ingredient Substitutions

Vegan butter and almond milk can be used as dairy-free alternatives.

- For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free flour blend in place of regular flour.

- Honey or maple syrup can substitute for sugar for a different sweetness.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough for Apfel Kuchen can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Allow it to come to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.

Presentation Ideas

Serve your Apfel Kuchen on a rustic wooden board for a charming, country-style presentation. Garnish with fresh apple slices and a sprig of mint for a touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

Apfel Kuchen pairs beautifully with a cup of strong coffee or a glass of sweet Riesling. The acidity of the wine complements the sweetness of the apples perfectly.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Apfel Kuchen covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the oven or microwave before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Apfel Kuchen contains approximately 350 calories. This makes it a hearty dessert option, perfect for sharing.


A single serving of Apfel Kuchen contains approximately 60 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of these carbohydrates is the flour and apples, providing energy and dietary fiber.


Each serving of this delightful cake contains about 10 grams of fat, mainly from the butter. This contributes to the cake's moist texture and rich flavor.


Apfel Kuchen provides around 5 grams of protein per serving, coming from the egg yolks and milk. This contributes to the nutritional balance of the dessert.

Vitamins and minerals

This dessert is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, particularly from the apples. These include Vitamin C, potassium, and a small amount of calcium and iron from the other ingredients.


Common allergens in this recipe include gluten (from flour), dairy (from milk and butter), and eggs. Those with sensitivities should take note.


Overall, Apfel Kuchen is a moderately indulgent dessert that offers a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals from the apples. Enjoying it in moderation can be part of a balanced diet.


Apfel Kuchen is a timeless German dessert that combines the simplicity of fresh apples with the comfort of a homemade cake. With its rich history and versatile recipe, it's a delightful treat that brings warmth and sweetness to any table. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or add your own twist, Apfel Kuchen is sure to be a hit with family and friends.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl, that I first learned how to make Apfel Kuchen. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was visiting my aunt Helga in the small village of Heidelberg. She was known for her delicious baking, and I always looked forward to spending time in her kitchen, watching her work her magic. On this particular visit, she was making Apfel Kuchen, a traditional German apple cake that she had learned to make from her own grandmother.

As I watched her carefully measure out the ingredients and mix them together, I couldn't help but be fascinated by the process. The smell of cinnamon and apples filled the air, and I knew that I had to learn how to make this wonderful cake for myself.

I asked my aunt if she would teach me how to make Apfel Kuchen, and she was more than happy to pass on her knowledge. She showed me how to peel and slice the apples, how to make the perfect cake batter, and how to sprinkle the top with a crunchy streusel topping.

As the cake baked in the oven, the sweet smell wafted through the house, and I knew that I had found a new favorite recipe. When the cake was finally done, my aunt cut us each a slice and we sat down at the kitchen table to enjoy it together.

The combination of sweet apples, warm spices, and tender cake was perfection, and I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen. I made sure to write down every step of the process, so that I wouldn't forget a single detail.

When I returned home from my visit, I wasted no time in trying out the recipe for myself. I gathered the ingredients, followed the steps that my aunt had taught me, and soon I had a beautiful Apfel Kuchen of my own baking in the oven.

When it was finished, I couldn't wait to share it with my family. They all raved about how delicious it was, and I felt a sense of pride knowing that I had learned how to make such a special dessert.

Over the years, I have continued to make Apfel Kuchen for my family and friends, each time bringing a little taste of Germany into our home. I have tweaked the recipe here and there, adding my own personal touch, but the basic recipe remains the same.

I have shared the recipe with many people over the years, passing on the tradition that was passed down to me. I have taught my own grandchildren how to make Apfel Kuchen, just as my aunt taught me, and it brings me joy to see them carrying on the tradition.

The memory of that first time learning how to make Apfel Kuchen will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the beginning of a love affair with baking, a tradition that has been passed down through generations, and a recipe that will always bring a smile to my face.


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