“Apfelkuchen”, pronounced Ap-fel-koochen, is one of the many Apple Cakes popular throughout Central Europe. The Apfelkuchen is usually baked around Hanukkah or Christmas, and is enjoyed as an accompaniment to teas, coffees or even a cold glass of beer.
The Apfelkuchen is a simple, delightfully buttery and moist cake that tastes best when warm, served with a side of caramel, whipped cream, or even some vanilla ice cream. The crisp sugar-crusted apples on top serve as the cake’s crunch factor, while the cake itself is crumbly and soft.
I’ve used some dark brown Muscovado sugar to caramelize the apples on top (which is why it looks burnt, but is actually not burnt at all). The cake is best eaten the same day, immediately after baking, but if you must store and re-heat it, don’t microwave it, or the apples will get soggy. Just heat it in an oven at 180 C for 10 mins or so 🙂
I served the cake with some homemade peanut butter caramel, that went well with the sweetness of the apples. Also, while my cook doesn’t look quite pleasant (this being my first attempt), it tasted really good. And I always believe it’s the taste that matters eventually 😀
Also, even though apple and cinnamon are a match made in heaven, I personally do not like cinnamon at all, even in Apple pie. So I skipped it and used nutmeg 🙂
For Cake Batter:
- Salted Butter – 1/2 cup or 113 gms, room temperature, cubed
- Sugar – 1/2 cup or 100 gms, powdered
- Eggs – 2, room temperature
- Almond extract or vanilla – 1/2 tsp
- All-purpose flour – 1 cup or 125 gm
- Baking powder – 1 tbsp
- Nutmeg – a pinch
- Red apples – 2 or 3 small sized ones, peeled, cored, sliced into wedges
- Lemon juice – to keep the apples from browning
- Nutmeg – for topping
- Dark brown Muscovado sugar – 1/2 cup
- Preheat the oven to 190 C and prepare a 9-inch tart pan/baking dish or springform pan with cooking spray, butter or oil. Grease well.
- Using a stand mixer or electric beater, cream the sugar and butter well, then add the eggs one by one, and the vanilla or almond extract.
- Sieve the flour and baking powder and slowly, add the mixture into the creamed sugar-butter-egg mixture and beat well until combined. The batter will be smooth and sticky.
- Spread this evenly in your pan using a greased spatula (this helps to spread the batter evenly all over).
- Lay the apple wedges in your choice of pattern around the top of the batter.
- Mix the nutmeg with the sugar and sprinkle it over the apples.
- Bake the cake in the pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. If needed, give it 5 to 10 minutes more.
- Once cooled, take out to serving plate, cut and serve with warm caramel, whipped cream, ice cream or plain.