Apple Kugel Recipe from Germany with Yogurt and Barley

Apple Kugel

Apple Kugel Recipe from Germany with Yogurt and Barley
Region / culture: Germany | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes | Servings: 6


Apple Kugel
Apple Kugel

Apple Kugel is a delightful and nutritious dish that combines the sweetness of apples with the hearty texture of barley, creating a perfect balance of flavors. This recipe is a modern twist on the traditional kugel, incorporating healthier ingredients like low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese, making it a guilt-free treat for any occasion. Whether served as a dessert, breakfast, or side dish, Apple Kugel is sure to impress with its comforting warmth and delicious taste.


Kugel, a traditional Jewish dish, has been around for centuries, evolving from a simple bread pudding to include various ingredients such as noodles, potatoes, and even fruits like apples. The Apple Kugel recipe, in particular, is a testament to the adaptability of this dish, incorporating modern dietary preferences while maintaining its comforting essence. This version, with its focus on healthier ingredients, represents a contemporary take on the classic, making it suitable for today's health-conscious individuals.


How to prepare

  1. Cook the barley according to the package instructions; set it aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Spray an 11x7 inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or lightly grease it.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, cottage cheese, egg substitute, corn syrup, vanilla, and 0.5 tsp of cinnamon; mix well.
  5. Stir in the cooked barley, apples, and raisins; mix well.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared dish.
  7. Sprinkle the combined sugar and remaining 0.5 tsp of cinnamon evenly over the top.
  8. Bake for 32 to 38 minutes or until the edges are set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let it stand for 30 minutes.
  10. Serve it warm or cold.
  11. Store it tightly covered in the refrigerator.


  • For those looking to experiment, consider adding nuts for extra crunch, swapping raisins for dried cranberries, or using a different type of apple for varying sweetness levels. A vegan version can be made by substituting the dairy ingredients with plant-based alternatives.


  1. ↑ To use Quick Quaker Barley, substitute 1 cup quick barley for medium barley and decrease water to 2 cup. Cook barley as package directs; set aside. Proceed as directed above.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Apple Kugel turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Use tart apples for a more complex flavor profile.

- Ensure the barley is fully cooked before adding it to the mix to avoid a chewy texture.

- Let the kugel sit for 30 minutes after baking for the flavors to meld together beautifully.

- For a crisper top, broil the kugel for the last 2-3 minutes of baking, watching closely to prevent burning.

Serving Suggestions

Apple Kugel can be served warm or cold, making it versatile for any season. For a breakfast option, pair it with a dollop of Greek yogurt. As a dessert, it pairs beautifully with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of honey.

Cooking Techniques

Baking is the primary cooking technique used in this recipe, providing a gentle heat that allows the flavors to meld together while achieving a tender texture. For an added touch, broiling the top can create a delightful crispiness that contrasts beautifully with the soft interior.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're out of barley, quinoa or farro make excellent substitutes. Greek yogurt can replace the low-fat yogurt for a protein boost, and maple syrup can be used in place of light corn syrup for a natural sweetness.

Make Ahead Tips

Apple Kugel is a great make-ahead dish. Prepare and bake as directed, then cool and store in the refrigerator. It can be enjoyed cold or reheated in the oven or microwave, making it a convenient option for busy days.

Presentation Ideas

Serve individual portions topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a thin apple slice for an elegant presentation. For a rustic look, present the whole kugel in the baking dish, allowing guests to serve themselves.

Pairing Recommendations

Apple Kugel pairs wonderfully with savory dishes like roasted chicken or brisket. For a dessert pairing, a sweet Riesling or a cup of strong coffee complements its flavors beautifully.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the kugel tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, cover with aluminum foil and warm in a 350°F (177°C) oven for about 20 minutes, or microwave individual servings for 1-2 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Apple Kugel contains approximately 250 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie option for a dessert or snack. This calorie count allows for indulgence without overdoing it, fitting nicely into a balanced diet.


This Apple Kugel recipe is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the main sources being the barley, apples, and raisins. A serving contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carb intake.


Thanks to the use of low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese, the fat content in this Apple Kugel recipe is kept to a minimum. Each serving contains about 2 grams of fat, ensuring a lighter version of the traditional dish without compromising on taste.


With the inclusion of egg whites and cottage cheese, this Apple Kugel is a good source of protein, providing about 9 grams per serving. This makes it an excellent option for a post-workout meal or a satisfying breakfast that will keep you full for longer.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the inclusion of apples and raisins. Apples are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, while raisins offer iron and potassium. Together, they contribute to a nutritious dish that supports overall health.


This recipe is free from most common allergens, including nuts, soy, and gluten (if gluten-free barley is used). However, it does contain dairy and eggs, so those with allergies or intolerances to these ingredients should take caution.


Overall, this Apple Kugel is a nutritious and balanced dish, offering a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a healthier alternative to traditional kugel recipes, suitable for a wide range of dietary needs.


This Apple Kugel recipe offers a healthier take on a traditional dish, incorporating nutritious ingredients without sacrificing flavor. Perfect for any meal or occasion, it's a versatile and satisfying option that's sure to become a favorite. With its balance of sweet and hearty elements, it's a delightful way to enjoy the classic comfort of kugel in a modern, health-conscious manner.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still remember the exact moment I discovered this recipe for Apple Kugel. It was a breezy autumn afternoon, the leaves were falling and the air was crisp. I was visiting my dear friend Rachel, who was known in our small community for her delicious baked goods. As soon as I walked into her cozy kitchen, I was greeted by the warm aroma of cinnamon and apples.

Rachel was bustling around the kitchen, pulling out ingredients and mixing bowls with a look of concentration on her face. Curious, I asked her what she was making. She smiled and replied, "Apple Kugel, it's a traditional Jewish dish that my grandmother used to make for me. Would you like to help me make it?"

I eagerly agreed and rolled up my sleeves, ready to learn. Rachel guided me through each step, from peeling and slicing the apples to mixing the batter and topping it off with a sweet crumbly topping. As we worked side by side, she shared stories of her childhood and how her grandmother used to bake with love and care.

As the Apple Kugel baked in the oven, filling the kitchen with a mouthwatering scent, Rachel and I sat down at her kitchen table with steaming mugs of tea. She handed me a slice of the warm, custardy dish and as I took my first bite, I was transported back to my own childhood. Memories of my own grandmother's kitchen flooded my mind, her warm hugs and comforting meals that always seemed to make everything better.

From that moment on, Apple Kugel became a staple in my own kitchen. I would make it for special occasions, family gatherings, and just whenever I needed a taste of home. Over the years, I tweaked the recipe to make it my own, adding a touch of nutmeg here, a sprinkle of raisins there. But the essence of the dish, that comforting blend of sweet and tart apples, creamy custard, and crunchy topping, remained the same.

I learned to make Apple Kugel not just from Rachel, but from the generations of women who came before me. Each time I bake a batch, I feel connected to my roots, to the traditions and stories that have been passed down through the years. I can almost hear the laughter and chatter of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers as they gathered in their kitchens, sharing recipes and secrets.

As I grew older, I began to pass on the recipe for Apple Kugel to my own grandchildren. I would invite them into my kitchen, just as Rachel had done for me all those years ago, and together we would create something delicious and meaningful. I would watch their faces light up as they took their first bite, their eyes widening in delight at the taste of home.

Now, as I sit in my kitchen, the scent of baking apples wafting through the air, I can't help but smile. The recipe for Apple Kugel has become more than just a dish to me. It's a piece of my history, a link to the past that I can hold onto and share with those I love. And as long as I have the ability to bake, it will always have a place in my heart and in my kitchen.


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