Lucy's Friendly Foods

German Apple Cake aka Apfelkuchen- vegan style

Late September is definitely apple season and if you have an apple tree, or maybe your neighbours leave out baskets of freshly picked fruit, then you’ll be looking for a myriad of apple recipes to use up those bounteous apples.

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I usually make apple pie and crumble, apple chutney and maybe some apple compote, but this year I’ve been experimenting with new apple recipes, with this gorgeous traditional German apple cake, or Apfelkuchen, being one of the real highlights.

This is one of those homely, traditional bakes that tastes just great, it doesn’t need any fancy icing or decoration; the flavours and textures of the apple and sugar garnished cake are all you need to have the perfect teatime treat.

You could add a layer of diced and spiced apples to the centre of the cake, but i opted for a beautiful light and fluffy cinnamon scented sponge, topped with slices of apple that melt into the cake whilst baking and a crunchy sugar coating. It really is a delightful Autumnal bake.

Apfelkuchen is delicious alongside a cup of tea, but equally at home with a good glue of warm custard or sweeten creme fraiche for a warming and comforting pudding.

To make sweetened creme fraiche simply combine some creme fraiche (I use the Oatly version) with icing sugar and vanilla to taste.

German Apple Cake (Apfelkuchen) – vegan style

makes 1 18-20cm cake dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course cake
Cuisine German
Servings 8


  • 1 18-20cm springform cake tin


  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 25 g custard powder or corn flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 150 ml dairy-free creme fraiche or yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 ml oat milk
  • 80 g dairy-free margarine
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • For the topping:
  • 1 or 2 eating apples
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp icing sugar (to decorate if desired)


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Grease and line a spring-form cake tin
  • Sift together the flour, custard powder or corn flour and bicarbonate and set aside
  • In another bowl, mix together the creme fraiche/yogurt, oat milk and vanilla and set aside
  • Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Alternately add the flour and milk mix (about 1/3rd of the mix each time) and stir well between each addition.
  • Pour into the cake tin and level off.
  • Peel and core the apples and finely slice
  • Decoratively lay the apple slices onto the top of the cake.
  • Mix together the Demerara sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle an even layer over the top of the apple slices.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes until he cake is cooked through and golden on top.
  • Cool briefly in the tin before unmoulding and cooling on a wire rack. Once cool, dust with icing sugar and enjoy.
Keyword Apfelkuchen, German apple cake

2 Responses

  1. Can you please clarify steps 1 & 2?
    In step 1, is it the demerara sugar & cinnamon listed under topping? In step 2 where are the streusel ingredients & quantities please?

    1. Hello, apologies for that, they were mistakenly added as the sponge is similar to another cake and I used those instructions as a template- all should be fixed now 😀

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