German Apple Cake Wiener Apfelkuchen Recipe

Home-baked apple pie with sliced almonds and icing sugar
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  • 2 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 50 mins,
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings apple cake
Ratings (11)

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 all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 9 tablespoons butter (cold)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature, beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
  • For the Apple Filling:
  • 2.2 pounds apples (peeled, cored and quartered)
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • For the Cake:
  • 13 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 lemon (zest)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 15 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • For the Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almonds (sliced)
  • For the Pan:
  • 1 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons 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.