If you are looking for a quick way to make an impressive German apple cake, look no further. This cake is attractive-looking and so easy to make, a child can do it.
In fact, my son DID do it when he was not even 10 years old, just because he loved the way that cake looked and he also wanted apple cake fast, no, NOW.
So I challenged him to make it himself, and with this recipe, it was REALLY, REALLY EASY.
“Sunken apple” cake is named such because of the apple quarters that are pressed into the batter and then sink in as the cake bakes. You can either leave this cake as is, or as I did, top it with streusel.
Yes, that will chip away at the “sunken apple” impression, but it is oh so VERY delicious. In any case, in Germany you would always pair this cake with sweet heavy whipped cream, and streusel makes everything better anyhow.
Choose a good baking apple, such as Cortland, for this one, because you want the apple to melt in your mouth.
German baking is not very sweet (double the sugar if it is not sweet enough for you), but sweet enough for me. And the tartness of a good baking apple will give this cake just the right twist to make it a sure hit as a dessert, or as we would eat it in Germany, for “Coffee Hour”.
You have not heard of coffee hour? Coffee hour is that in-between meal before dinner where you serve coffee and cake. It is a German institution!
This cake should freeze well, and you can make a variation of it with any other fruit you choose, such as pears (even out of the can!) or sour cherries. Enjoy!
German “Sunken Apple” Torte with Streusel
From Dr. Oetker’s “Backen Macht Freude”
- 25 g butter
- 750 g apples, preferably a good baking apple
- 125 g butter, at room temperature
- 125 g sugar
- 20 g vanilla flavor
- a pinch of salt (omit if you are using salted butter)
- 10 g lemon flavor
- 3 eggs
- 200 g all-purpose flour
- 1 knifetip* baking powder
- 1 – 2 tablespoons* milk
- 100 g all-purpose flour
- 50 g sugar
- 10 g vanilla flavor
- 1 knifetip* ground cinnamon
- 80 g butter, at room temperature
*denotes REAL utensils
To Make the Torte:
- Preheat your oven to 355 F. Peel and core the apples, quarter and slice the quarters LENGTHWISE a couple of times. Melt the butter until it is liquid, but not hot.
- With your wire attachment, whip the butter until it is smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, flavors and salt; keep mixing until all is incorporated into a smooth paste.
- Add each egg separately and beat at high speed for about 30 seconds. Sift the flour and baking powder and add alternating with the milk in 2 portions at low speed until incorporated fully. Do not overmix.
- Fill the batter into a greased springform of about 9 inch in diameter.
- Press the apple quarters into the batter, starting in the center and working your way out in concentric circles. Lightly brush with melted butter.
- For the streusel, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until all forms a coarse meal, then loosely spread around the cake.
- Make sure your baking surface is in the lower third of your oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Optional: dust with powdered sugar.
TIP/NOTE: Immediately when the cake comes out of the oven, loosen the rim of the springform. Separate the cake from the bottom with a cake lifter or long, thin knife, but let it cool enough before transferring it to a cake plate.