Appelkoek Recipe - Traditional Dutch Dessert with Fresh Apples


Appelkoek Recipe - Traditional Dutch Dessert with Fresh Apples
Region / culture: Netherlands | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 25-30 minutes | Servings: 6-8



Appelkoek, a delightful apple cake, is a traditional Dutch dessert that combines the sweetness of apples with the rich, comforting texture of a homemade cake. This recipe offers a simple yet delicious way to enjoy the flavors of apples, wrapped in a soft, fluffy cake that's perfect for any occasion. Whether you're looking for a cozy dessert to complement your dinner or a sweet treat to enjoy with your afternoon tea, Appelkoek is sure to satisfy your cravings.


The history of Appelkoek can be traced back to the Netherlands, where apples have been a staple ingredient in many dishes for centuries. This apple cake is a testament to the Dutch tradition of creating simple, hearty, and delicious baked goods. Over the years, Appelkoek has evolved, with each family passing down its own version of the recipe. Today, it remains a beloved dessert in Dutch cuisine and has gained popularity worldwide for its delightful combination of flavors and textures.


How to prepare

  1. Peel and cut the apples into eighths (wedges).
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt with 4 tbsp of the sugar.
  3. Cut in the butter/margarine.
  4. Combine the egg and milk, and add them to the flour mixture.
  5. Turn the batter into a greased 8-inch square cake pan.
  6. Press the apple wedges partly into the batter.
  7. Combine the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle them over the apples.
  8. Bake at 425°F (218°C) for 25 to 30 minutes.


  • Add a pinch of nutmeg or allspice to the cinnamon sugar mixture for added warmth.
  • Incorporate chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans into the batter for a crunchy texture.
  • Substitute half of the apples with pears for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Appelkoek turns out perfectly, consider the following tips and tricks:

- Use tart apples like Granny Smith for a nice balance of sweetness and acidity.

- Ensure your butter is cold when cutting it into the flour mixture to achieve a crumbly texture.

- Do not overmix the batter to keep the cake light and fluffy.

- Arrange the apple wedges in a decorative pattern for an appealing presentation.

- Allow the cake to cool slightly before serving to enhance its flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Appelkoek can be served warm or at room temperature. For an extra indulgent treat, pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. A sprinkle of powdered sugar or a drizzle of caramel sauce can also enhance its flavors.

Cooking Techniques

For an even bake, ensure your oven is properly preheated and place the cake pan in the center of the oven. Using a toothpick or cake tester to check for doneness ensures the cake is perfectly baked without being overdone.

Ingredient Substitutions

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

- To reduce the fat content, substitute the butter with applesauce or a light butter alternative.

- Almond milk or oat milk can replace cow's milk for a dairy-free option.

Make Ahead Tips

Appelkoek can be made a day ahead and stored at room temperature, covered. This allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the overall taste of the cake.

Presentation Ideas

Serve slices of Appelkoek on a platter garnished with fresh apple slices and mint leaves. A dusting of cinnamon on the plate can add a decorative and flavorful touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Appelkoek pairs beautifully with a cup of strong coffee or tea. For a dessert wine option, consider a Riesling or a light Port to complement the apple flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Appelkoek in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days. To reheat, warm slices in the microwave for a few seconds or in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Appelkoek contains approximately 300 calories. The calories are primarily derived from carbohydrates and fats, making it a satisfying dessert option.


A single serving of Appelkoek contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbohydrates in this recipe are flour and sugar, providing energy. Apples also contribute natural sugars and dietary fiber.


This recipe contains about 10 grams of fat per serving, mainly from butter. Using unsalted butter helps control the sodium content, and the fat contributes to the cake's moist and tender texture.


Appelkoek provides around 4 grams of protein per serving. The protein comes from the egg and milk, which also add to the cake's richness and structure.

Vitamins and minerals

Apples are a good source of vitamin C and potassium, contributing to the nutritional value of Appelkoek. Additionally, milk adds calcium and vitamin D, while eggs provide vitamin B12 and selenium.


Common allergens in this recipe include gluten (flour), dairy (butter and milk), and eggs. Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution.


Overall, Appelkoek is a moderately calorie-dense dessert with a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It also provides essential vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious option for a sweet treat.


Appelkoek is a classic Dutch apple cake that offers a delightful blend of sweet and tart flavors, wrapped in a soft, fluffy texture. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, it's a perfect dessert for any occasion. By following the tips and variations provided, you can customize the recipe to suit your taste and dietary needs, making Appelkoek a versatile and beloved treat in any kitchen.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of wonder I felt when I first saw this recipe for Appelkoek. It was a crisp autumn day, the leaves were turning a fiery red and the scent of cinnamon filled the air. I was visiting my friend Elsie, who was known for her delicious baked goods. As I walked into her kitchen, I saw her pulling a steaming tray of apple cake out of the oven. The aroma was intoxicating, and I couldn't resist asking her for the recipe.

Elsie smiled warmly, her eyes twinkling with mischief. "Ah, you want to know the secret to my famous Appelkoek, do you?" she teased. I nodded eagerly, my stomach rumbling in anticipation. Elsie pulled out a worn, stained notebook and began flipping through the pages. "I learned this recipe from my grandmother, who learned it from her mother before her. It's been passed down through the generations in our family," she explained.

As Elsie walked me through the steps of making Appelkoek, I listened intently, taking notes and asking questions along the way. The recipe was simple yet elegant, a perfect blend of sweet and tart flavors that danced on the palate. I could already imagine the warm, buttery cake melting in my mouth, accompanied by a steaming cup of tea on a chilly afternoon.

After Elsie had finished explaining the recipe, she handed me a copy of it written on a yellowed piece of paper. "Now it's your turn to carry on the tradition," she said with a smile. I thanked her profusely, promising to make the Appelkoek for my family and friends.

That evening, I returned home with a spring in my step and a newfound excitement for baking. I gathered all the ingredients for the Appelkoek and set to work in my own kitchen. The apples were crisp and juicy, the cinnamon fragrant and warm. As the cake baked in the oven, the sweet scent filled my home, wrapping me in a cozy blanket of nostalgia and comfort.

When the Appelkoek was finally done, I couldn't wait to taste it. I cut myself a generous slice and took a bite, closing my eyes in bliss. The flavors exploded in my mouth, a symphony of sweetness and spice that was pure perfection. I knew then that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen, a beloved tradition to pass down to future generations.

Over the years, I perfected the recipe for Appelkoek, making small tweaks here and there to suit my own taste. I shared it with friends and family, who all raved about its deliciousness. Each time I made the cake, I felt a connection to Elsie and her grandmother, a bond that transcended time and space.

As the years went by, I added my own twist to the recipe, incorporating local ingredients and new techniques I had learned along the way. The Appelkoek evolved and grew, becoming a reflection of my own culinary journey and experiences. But at its core, it remained a tribute to Elsie and her family, a reminder of the power of tradition and the joy of sharing food with loved ones.

Now, whenever I make Appelkoek, I think of Elsie and the day she shared her recipe with me. I remember the sense of wonder I felt that day, the excitement of learning something new and the joy of creating something delicious from scratch. And as I take a bite of the warm, buttery cake, I am filled with gratitude for the culinary heritage that has been passed down to me, a gift that I will cherish and share for years to come.


| Apple Recipes | Cake Recipes | Dutch Desserts | Dutch Recipes |

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