German Sunken Apple Cake

4.9/5 - (8 votes)

I recently tried making a German Sunken Apple Cake(Versunkener Apfelkuchen) and it turned out to be absolutely delicious! I saw the recipe in several places. They each were very similar. However some recipes put slits on the apple quarter where others did not. That is a matter of personal choice.

The recipe was surprisingly simple and had only a few steps.

First, I creamed butter and sugar together, then added vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, I combined flour, salt, and baking powder before mixing it into the wet ingredients.

I greased and lined a 9-inch/23cm cake pan with parchment paper, and spread the batter evenly in it. Instead of pressing them into the batter, I arranged quartered apples with slits in them around the edge and in the centre of the pan. Then the cake was ready to bake for between 35 and 40 minutes.

German Sunken Apple Cake
German Sunken Apple Cake

I chose Braeburn apples for my cake. For me they are just perfect. However any crunchy eating apple, such as Gala or Granny Smith will work well too. Small apples work best for the cake. The recipe needs 3 or 4 small ones.

My Cake

The magic happened in the oven as the cake batter rose up to beautifully encase the apples. After baking for about 35 minutes, a skewer inserted into the cake came out clean. I removed the cake from the oven. I then brushed some heated apricot jam over the top to create a glossy glaze. Letting it cool in the pan for 15 minutes, I transferred the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

German Sunken Apple Cake
German Sunken Apple Cake

Once sliced, I couldn’t resist tasting it. The cake had a lovely and soft texture, while the apples had softened yet still retained a slight bite. It was a perfect dessert, especially when served with a side of custard. I highly recommend trying this amazing German Sunken Apple Cake recipe!

German Sunken Apple Cake – Video

Another lovely cake recipe is Rhubarb & Ginger Cake.

German Sunken Apple Cake

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Cakes, DessertsCuisine: GermanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3 to 4 small apples, such as Braeburn, Gala etc

  • juice from 1/2 a lemon

  • 120g(8 1/2 tbsp) softened unsalted butter

  • 125g(10 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 200g(1 1/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 8g(2 tsp) baking powder

  • 1.5g(1/4 tsp) salt

  • 10ml(2 tsp) vanilla extract(or vanilla bean paste)

  • 3 medium eggs(large in USA)

  • 45g(2 tbsp) apricot jam


  • Peel the apples and cut them in half.
  • Scoop out the core from the centre of each 1/2 and trim the top and bottom.
  • Cut the halves of apple into half again to make quarters of apple.
  • Use a sharp knife to make several slits into the top of each quarter of apple(don’t cut right through).
  • Brush just a smear of lemon juice all over the surface of the apples to prevent browning and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
  • Grease a 9inch/23cm round cake pan and line the base with parchment paper. I used a springform pan but any pan of that size will be fine.
  • Mix the baking powder and salt into the flour and set aside.
  • Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream them together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, with the vanilla extract and whisk until fully combined.
  • Add the flour mixture into the bowl and mix until fully combined. If using a hand mixer do it on low speed. Do not overmix.
  • Place the batter into the prepared pan and level it off over the entire base.
  • Place the apples onto the batter, without pressing down, slit side up. Arrange them around the edge in a circle and then some in the centre too. There will be gaps that will allow the cake batter to rise up and encase the apples.
  • Place the pan into the oven and bake for between 35 and 40 minutes, until the batter has risen and coloured. A skewer poked into the cake should come out clean.
  • Heat the apricot jam to make it loose.
  • Brush the jam over the surface of the cake and leave it in the pan for 15 minutes. Then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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