Thursday, November 18, 2010

German Apple Cake

Ignore the evidence of my gluttony that couldn't wait until after I took a picture. Even if it's not up to snuff it's still cake!

In her prime, my grandmother was one heck of a baker and one of her baking standards was her Apfelkuchen (apple cake). She seemed to always have one in the fridge or one in the works, and I know I took it for granted that there would forever be a never-ending supply of apple cake in my life. Of course that has turned out to not be true and with the advent of fall and apple season I was craving one something fierce. Unfortunately, I don't have my grandmother's recipe so I hunted around online until I found one that looked similar from the picture. And while mine turned out more or less looking right – aside from the somewhat deformed apples – that's where the similarities ended.

I guess it's time to revoke my German heritage membership card after this weekend's abysmal attempt at making my own German apple cake. How is that my grandmother was always able to effortlessly whip one up while I stood there and struggled with coring and slicing the darn apples for what felt like forever? Only to wind up with deformed-looking hunks of apple. Even worse is that I either overbaked the cake or the recipe I found wasn't close enough to her version because it's much dryer and less flavorful than what I'm used to. Huge disappointment for my first attempt at recreating one of my childhood favorites. Maybe I should stick to a simple marble cake instead since that's hard to screw up and I've been baking those since I was eight.

If any of you happens to know of a better recipe I could try please help a wayward German girl out and point me in the right direction. I don't want to give up on my dream of having apple cake like Oma used to make!

German Apple Cake

1 3/4 cup flour
2 teasp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 teasp. cinnamon
1 tip of a knife ground cloves
1 teasp. lemon zest
10 tablesp. butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teasp. vanilla extract
4 tablesp. rum or milk (rum is recommended)
2 or 3 apples

1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease baking pan. (The recipe didn't specify so I used a springform pan.)

2) In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon zest.

3) In a second bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix. Stir in flour mixture, one tablespoon at a time. Add rum or milk and mix in. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.

4) Peel apples and cut them into quarters. Core apples and score the quarters lengthwise (see picture), cutting deeply. Place apple pieces cored side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on top.

5) Bake cake for 40-55 min. until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack ten minutes, remove from pan and continue to cool on rack.


Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

I am definitely making this, it sound delicious! Thank you so much for sharing it with us...
Have a wonderful evening,

Mim Smith Faro said...

My favorite apple cake that I grew up with Jewish Apple Cake (but I'm not Jewish). Here's a link to one that looks close to what my mom makes: