German Apple Cake

READY IN: 3hrs 10mins
Recipe by Charmed

An out-of-the-ordinary recipe, the layers in this cake (a butter cookie crust, apples, sour cream custard and an apricot glaze) look so nice when sliced up. The flavors are wonderful -- rich, but not too sweet. And it's even prettier with white decorator icing used to pipe flowers, designs, a lattice criss-cross, or a piped edging around the top and bottom. It's from one of my favorite cook books, The Creative Chef 2. The time includes chilling time for the cookie crust dough. There will be leftover dough from the cookie crust, which I usually use to make butter cookies.

Top Review by Andolisa

This is the best, prettiest and easiest apple cake i've made yet-- a lot easier than the finished product looks. I like it better than any other German Apple Cake by far. I employ quite a few time savers but still make a great (and much faster) cake, I use a circle apple slicer to core and slice the peeled apples, than I slice each of those slices once more (16 per apple). I do not notch, and do not arrange, just "dump" each layer. I crumble the bread by hand to save time and make use of old bread (Just do it finely). Also, I used a ready made graham cracker crust the first time, sprinkling a little granola and flax seed over it, and the second time I just laid broken gingerbread cookies down in the bottom of a plain 9x13 pan. ...So i can't rate the crust part of the recipe but the sour cream custard and apple part was fantastic, beautiful and easy. I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9x13 pan, keeping the temp and time the same. I cut it into bars to serve, and it looks somewhat authentic that way as the Apple cakes you can find in German bakeries. Also, I arranged another cut apple on top of the custard before glazing as decoration (see photo). I brought it to our German church's Christmas eve reception and it was the first dessert to go, so I see that as the final vindication of a deceptively great recipe! THANKS SO MUCH FOR POSTING IT, CHARMED!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Butter Cookie Crust: In a large bowl, combine the sugar, egg, butter& flour.
  2. Using your fingertips, work the mixture together until the mixture resembles crumbs (as if for pastry).
  3. Cover the dough& refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until slightly firm.
  4. Preheat oven to 375, lightly butter a 9" springform pan and dustly lightly with flour, tapping out any excess.
  5. Press about half of the dough into the pan, covering the bottom and reaching about halfway up the sides.
  6. Save the remaining dough for another use.
  7. Peel and core the apples, and cut them in half lengthwise; then, with the point of a small knife, cut out small v-shaped strips (the cuts should be wider on the exposed skin-side of the apple and come to a v shape when you cut into the fruit, approximately 3/4 to an inch deep).
  8. Sprinkle the bottom of the cookie crust with the breadcrumbs (see note at bottom of recipe) to form a thin, even layer.
  9. Arrange the apples, rounded sides up, on top of the breadcrumbs.
  10. Using leftover apples, cut them to fill in any empty space with pieces as large as possible, as you don't want any gaps.
  11. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, heavy cream, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, cornstarch& vanilla until well-blended.
  12. Pour this mixture over the apples and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the filling is set.
  13. Remove the pan from the oven& set on a wire rack to cool (do not remove from the pan at this point).
  14. In a small saucepan, heat and stir the apricot preserves over medium heat until warm.
  15. When the cake has cooled slightly, brush the preserves carefully over the top to form a glaze.
  16. Remove the cake from the pan after the cake has cooled completely.
  17. Note: I add a little sugar& cinnamon to the breadcrumbs to make them a bit sweeter and more flavorful, since it is not too sweet a cake to begin with (I use about a tbs. of sugar and about 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, but you can omit this completely, or use amounts to your own taste).

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