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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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 70 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (about 4 to 5 apples)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-in. tube pan. Combine the first 3 ingredients; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Combine oil and orange juice and add alternately with dry ingredients to egg mixture. Beat until smooth; add vanilla and beat well.
  • Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Arrange half the apples over the batter. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle half over the apples. Top with remaining batter, apples and cinnamon mixture.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool 1 hour before removing from pan. Cool, apple side up, on a wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 353 calories, 15g fat (1g saturated fat), 47mg cholesterol, 256mg sodium, 50g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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  • Karen
    Dec 21, 2020

    I assume his should only be made in a tube pan with a removable bottom if the apples are supposed to be on the top of the cake, and so not a Bundt pan?

  • Kathy
    Nov 7, 2020

    Made it today - DELICIOUS! Added a little more vanilla, diced the apples - used four (4) cups, sugared Bundt pan after greased, and baked 80 minutes, five (5) minutes less might have been better while moist. And, an FYI, extra light good quality olive oil works well and what I use when baking as just my preference and it produces good results. So glad to have come across this recipe and one I plan to make again and again.

  • Maryann
    Sep 16, 2020

    We found this reciepe for german apple cake years ago in this magazine called Country something while waiting to have our car seviced. It said the cook was Grace Reynolds of Bethlehem Penn. I tore it out and my husband whos the one likes to baked took it home and we tried it Oh my it was so so good. We ended up baking lots and lots of them trippling reciepe and givinfmg them away to everyone. To this day people still ask for this cake. Thank you Grace for sharing. Maryann and Pat Olguin. [email protected]

  • Christine
    Nov 29, 2019

    Started making this cake in 1968 the recipe was passed down to me from my mother in law. I have substituted pears for the apples. Sometimes I put cherries or nuts in the batter with apples.

  • live418
    Dec 19, 2017

    dose it have to be a bundt pan or willl turn out diffrent if i dont use one don't have one and went went to the gorey store was hoping they had a foil one but no will try the dollar general torow cus have all the ingredients

  • josh123
    Oct 21, 2017

    This cake is excellent. Have made it several times.

  • 2124arizona
    Jul 3, 2017

    I credit this cake for getting me started baking many years ago. We love the cinnamon apples in this recipe! It's a special cake!!

  • Cthebird
    Sep 13, 2016

    I had this in my family for years before seeing almost the same exact recipe here. It is definitely a winner! My cake (almost same amount of ingredients) looks much bigger than what is pictured here. It also takes a little longer to bake. I combine the cinnamon and sugar in the beginning and toss into the apples and set aside while I make the batter. I also use a bit more sugar and cinnamon to toss the apples in.

  • OceanMan
    Mar 16, 2016

    Four stars on the recipe as written above. My pregnant wife really likes this cake. I've changed this recipe around and she likes it even better. I add some crushed walnuts to the batter (I just eyeball the amount). I toss the apples and cinnamon/suger mix in a ziploc rather than sprinkling it. Try using Pam's "happy cooking" spray on tube pan then sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar around the pan before added the 1st layer of batter, makes for a sweet outter layer (however, I cut the sugar in the recipe to about 1 3/4 cups). Prep time is a lot faster if you use a food processor and apple cutter and I find if your apples are large 3 is more than enough. My oven cooks this cake in 75-80 minutes in a 12" tube pan. Easy cake to make with kids... plus they can eat the extra cinnamon/sugar covered apple slices.

  • suzyz
    Jan 23, 2016

    This was an amazing cake! So easy to make. I cut the sugar to 1 1/2 C and used butter in place of canola. Everything tastes better with butter. :) Everybody raved! Had to make another on the next day, because it was devoured.