German Apple Cake Wiener Apfelkuchen Recipe

Home-baked apple pie with sliced almonds and icing sugar
Westend61 / Getty Images
  • 2 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 50 mins,
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings apple cake
Ratings (4)

German wiener apfelkuchen (apple cake from Vienna) is an apple cake recipe with a shortcrust base, chopped apples, and a lemon-flavored cake layer.

The sugar and almonds sprinkled on top make a delightfully crunchy topping. It's a great change from pie.

This authentic recipe calls for an 11-inch (26 cm) springform pan but a 10-inch pan will suffice. You just might need to bake the cake a little longer.

What You'll Need

  • For the Crust:
  • 1 2/3 cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
  • 9 tablespoons (125 grams) cold butter
  • 1 large room-temperature egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • For the Apple Filling:
  • 2.2 pounds (1 kilograms) apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • For the Cake:
  • 13 tablespoons (184 grams) room-temperature butter
  • 2/3 cup (125 grams) sugar
  • 1 large room-temperature egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup (100 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
  • 15 tablespoons (200 milliliters) heavy whipping cream
  • For the Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons (48 grams) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) sliced almonds
  • For the Pan:
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) room-temperature butter
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) breadcrumbs or all-purpose flour

How to Make It

Make the Crust

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 2/3 cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and baking powder in a bowl.
  2. Cut in 9 tablespoons cold butter as for pie dough until small crumbs form.
  3. Use 4 to 6 tablespoons of the egg-water mixture to moisten the crumbs. Stir just until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Make the Cake Batter

  1. Cut each quarter apple into 3 long pieces, then cut crosswise into small trapezoids. Sprinkle with lemon juice, toss and set aside.
  1. In a large bowl, beat together 13 tablespoons softened butter with 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg and lemon zest.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup flour with baking powder (and a dash of salt if using unsalted butter). Add to creamed butter mixture alternately with whipping cream and beat until smooth. Set aside.

Assemble and Bake the Cake

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Butter an 11-inch springform pan and sprinkle with breadcrumbs or flour, shaking out excess.
  2. Roll out the crust and line the pan, piecing crust as necessary to form a 1- to 1 1/2-inch lip.
  3. Place drained apple slices in the crust.
  4. Spoon cake batter over apple slices as if you were setting dumpling batter on a stew, then smooth over apples to edges.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons almond slices then 4 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over batter.
  6. Bake for 1 hour at 350 F, then turn off oven and leave the cake for another 15 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and filling should be moist but set.
  7. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan for best taste. Serve with whipped cream. Refrigerate any leftovers.