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38 of Oma’s Best German Recipes

These German-inspired recipes will take you back to Oma's kitchen.

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Oma’s Apfelkuchen (Grandma’s Apple Cake)

My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to “Grandma’s apple cake.” They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio

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Spaetzle DumplingsTaste of Home

Spaetzle Dumplings

These tender homemade spaetzle noodles take only minutes to make and are a natural accompaniment to chicken. You can use this spaetzle recipe with chicken gravy or simply buttered and sprinkled with parsley. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio

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Easy SauerbratenThe musical "Waitress"

Easy Sauerbraten

This easy sauerbraten recipe is a tasty example of traditional German fare. Its definitive pickled tang is pleasing and sure to delight German food lovers. —Patricia Rutherford, Winchester, Illinois

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Slow-Cooked Sauerkraut Soup

We live in Lancaster County, which has a rich heritage of German culture. Our dishes often include sauerkraut, potatoes and sausage. We enjoy this recipe on cold winter evenings, along with muffins and fruit. —Linda Lohr, Lititz, Pennsylvania

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German Red CabbageTaste of Home

German Red Cabbage

Sunday afternoons were a time for family gatherings when I was a kid. While the uncles played cards, the aunts made treats such as this traditional German red cabbage recipe. —Jeannette Heim, Dunlap, Tennessee

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Grampa’s German-Style Pot RoastTaste of Home

Grampa’s German-Style Pot Roast

Grampa was of German heritage and loved the Old-World recipes given to him by his mother. I made a few changes so I could prepare this dish in the slow cooker and give it a slightly updated flavor. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Bee Sting Cake

This bee sting cake (aka bienenstich) may look daunting, but it’s well worth the effort. Take each step at a time, and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Bratwurst SupperTaste of Home

Bratwurst Supper

After trying a few bratwurst recipes, I've found this meal-in-one is ideal for camping since it grills to perfection in a heavy-duty foil bag. Loaded with chunks of bratwurst, red potatoes, mushrooms and carrots, it's easy to season with onion soup mix and a little soy sauce. —Janice Meyer, Medford, Wisconsin

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German Potato DumplingsTaste of Home

German Potato Dumplings

Potato dumplings (called Kartoffel Kloesse in Germany) are a delightful addition to any German feast. The browned butter sauce is delectable.—Arline Hofland, Deer Lodge, Montana

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Chocolate LebkuchenTaste of Home

Chocolate Lebkuchen

Having lived in Germany, I try to keep my German cooking as authentic as possible. This lovely lebkuchen recipe is a culinary Christmas custom. —Cathy Lemmon, Quinlan, Texas

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German Beef RouladenTaste of Home

German Beef Rouladen

Until I entered kindergarten, we spoke German in our home and kept many old-world customs. We always enjoyed the food of our family's homeland. Mom usually prepared this for my birthday dinner. —Helga Schlape, Florham Park, New Jersey

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Rich Fruit Kuchens

This German classic is such a part of our reunions, we designate a special place to serve it. Five generations flock to the "Kuchen Room" for this coffee cake. —Stephanie Schentzel, Northville, South Dakota

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Pork Schnitzel With Dill Sauce Exps6957 Th143193c04 22 1b Rms 4

Pork Schnitzel with Dill Sauce

Schnitzel is one of my husband’s favorites because it reminds him of his German roots. An appealing dish for guests, it’s ready in a jiffy. Pop it on buns for a fun handheld option. —Joyce Folker, Paraowan, Utah

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LebkuchenTaste of Home

Lebkuchen

It's tradition for my family to make these German treats together. The recipe came from my great-grandmother's cookbook, and judging from the amount of requests I get, it has certainly stood the test of time. —Esther Kempker, Jefferson City, Missouri

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Cranberry ConserveTaste of Home

Cranberry Conserve

I'm 95, and I still remember my grandmother from Germany making this lovely, delicious conserve for the holidays. She'd give it to family members and friends. It tastes great served as a relish alongside meat or even spread on biscuits. -Mildred Marsh Banker, Austin, Texas

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German Apple CakeThe musical "Waitress"

German Apple Cake

With the long, cold winters we have here, this German apple cake recipe has warmed many a kitchen. The cake is perfect for breakfast, dessert or as an evening snack. I’ve made it for many parties, and I’ve always received compliments on it. —Grace Reynolds, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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Pfeffernuesse Cookies

Pfeffernuesse Cookies

A German holiday tradition, these fragrant cookies pack a warm rush of spices in every bite. Also called peppernuts, they go wonderfully with coffee or tea.—Joanne Nelson, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

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Deluxe German Potato SaladTaste of Home

Deluxe German Potato Salad

I make this salad for all occasions—it goes well with any kind of meat. I often take this salad to potlucks, and there's never any left over. The celery, carrots and dry mustard are a special touch not usually found in traditional German potato salad. —Betty Perkins, Hot Springs, Arkansas

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Fruit-Filled Spritz Cookies

Fruit-Filled Spritz Cookies

From the first time I baked these cookies, they've been a divine success. Old-fashioned and attractive, they make a perfect holiday pastry. —Ingeborg Keith, Newark, Delaware

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Bavarian Pot Roast

Bavarian Pot Roast

Since all my grandparents were German, it's no wonder that so many Bavarian recipes have been handed down to me. Because the Midwest has such a large German population, I feel this recipe represents the area well. —Susan Robertson, Hamilton, Ohio

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Spiced German CookiesTaste of Home

Spiced German Cookies

These buttery spice cookies are a cross between sugar cookies and gingerbread, creating the best of both worlds. —April Drasin, Van Nuys, California

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Oktoberfest Pork RoastTaste of Home

Oktoberfest Pork Roast

This recipe was adapted from one my mom used to make when I was growing up. It has all of our favorite "fall" flavors, such as apples, pork roast, sauerkraut and potatoes. I often coat the slow cooker insert with cooking spray to prevent the potatoes and meat from sticking.—Tonya Swain, Seville, Ohio

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Raspberry Custard Kuchen

Back where I grew up in Wisconsin, people have been baking this German treat for generations. We love it for breakfast or as a special dessert. It's no fuss to fix and impressive to serve. —Virginia Arndt, Sequim, Washington

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Homemade Sauerkraut

You only need two ingredients (and a little patience) to make fresh, zippy homemade sauerkraut at home. Put down that jar and get those brats ready! —Josh Rink, Taste of Home Food Stylist

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Authentic German Potato Salad

This authentic German potato salad recipe came from Speck’s Restaurant, which was a famous eating establishment in St. Louis from the 1920s through the ‘50s. I ate lunch there almost every day and always ordered the potato salad. When the owner learned I was getting married, he gave me the recipe as a wedding gift! —Violette Klevorn, Washington, Missouri

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German PancakeTaste of Home

German Pancake

Piping hot and puffy from the oven, this golden pancake made a pretty presentation for a skier's theme breakfast I hosted. Served with homemade buttermilk syrup, it's an eye-opening treat. Make several German pancakes if you're feeding a crowd, and keep in mind that my easy syrup tastes great on waffles and French toast, too. —Renae Moncur, Burley, Idaho

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Slow-Cooker German Potato Salad

Here's the dish everyone looks for at our parties, so we always double the recipe. It was handed down from my mother-in-law and has been a family favorite for years. —Stacy Novak, Stafford, Virginia

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Oktoberfest StrudelsTaste of Home

Oktoberfest Strudels

My husband, being born and raised in Wisconsin, loves bratwurst sausages. So I tweaked this strudel recipe to include some of his favorite filling ingredients and it was an instant hit. Serve with extra mustard for dipping. —Cleo Gonske, Redding, California

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German Beer Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

German Beer Cheese Spread

We love recipes inspired by our German heritage. This tangy spread is fantastic served alongside everything, including pretzels and pumpernickel or crackers and sausage. Choose your favorite beer—the flavor really comes through. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida

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German Plum TartTaste of Home

German Plum Tart

The buttery crust of this fruit-filled treat melts in your mouth. You can substitute sliced apples or peaches for the plums with great results. I've used this crust with blueberries, too. —Helga Schlape, Florham Park, New Jersey

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Potluck German Potato Salad

Potluck German Potato Salad

This is a big hit at church potlucks. One man says he comes only so he can eat my potato salad! —Kathleen Rabe, Kiel, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooked Reuben BratsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Reuben Brats

Sauerkraut gives these beer-simmered brats a big flavor boost, but it’s the special chili sauce and melted cheese that put them over the top. Top your favorite burger with some of the chili sauce; you won't be sorry. —Alana Simmons, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

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German Apple Strudel

This gorgeous strudel has just what you crave this time of year: thin layers of flaky crust and lots of juicy apples. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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Slow-Cooker SauerbratenTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Sauerbraten

My family is of German Lutheran descent, and although we enjoy this traditional beef roast, I never liked the amount of time and fuss it takes to make it. This recipe is so good and oh-so-easy. It's great served with dumplings, spaetzle, veggies or a salad. —Norma English, Baden, Pennsylvania

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Bavarian Apple Sausage Hash Exps Sdon18 195731 E06 13 3b 6

Bavarian Apple-Sausage Hash

This awesome recipe reflects my German roots. In the cooler months, nothing is as comforting as a hearty hash. Serve this versatile recipe as a side dish at a holiday meal or as a brunch entree over cheddar grits or topped with a fried egg. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO

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Stollen Butter Rolls

Our family enjoys my stollen so much they say it's just too good to be served only as a holiday sweet bread. I created these buttery, less-sweet dinner rolls so we can satisfy our stollen cravings anytime. —Mindy White, Nashville, Tennessee

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German Noodle BakeTaste of Home

German Noodle Bake

This is a recipe I serve each year for my holiday open house because everyone looks for it. Store-bought noodles can be substituted, but I prefer homemade noodles...and so does everyone else. —Kathleen Meineke, Cologne, New Jersey

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Almond-Filled StollenTaste of Home

Almond-Filled Stollen

I’ve been making this during the holiday season for nearly 50 years. When we flew to Alaska one year to spend Christmas with our daughter’s family, I carried my stollen on the plane!—Rachel Seel, Abbotsford, British Columbia

Jacqueline Weiss
Jacqueline is a blogger and writer, passionate about sharing the latest in helpful tips and trends in food and cooking. In her spare time, you’ll find her trying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen.