German Apple Cake

usThe best part about getting married in an apple orchard is that we get to return to our wedding venue every fall to pick apples.

Autumn is my very favorite time of year. Not just for all things pumpkin flavored, or the cooling crisp air, or gorgeous foliage (although all that is super wonderful). No, fall is my favorite because it stirs something in my blood. It wakes up a restlessness in me, makes me view everything with fresh eyes. It’s a season both melancholy and electrifying and it makes me feel alive and awake.

I worried a bit, when we first moved here, because fall is such a quintessential New England thing. How could autumn anywhere be as soul-stirring as it is in New England? In the land of perpetual winter, would fall even make an appearance?

Yes. There is fall in Minnesota. It may be short-lived, but it’s here.


Last weekend David and I spent the morning at the apple orchard where we were married. We walked through the woods and among all the apple trees. We wandered past the gazebo where we spoke our vows, and the hidden, shady nook where we spent our first few moments alone as husband and wife. We ate apple cider and fresh donuts and sat on wooden benches at the top of a hill over looking hundreds of apple trees and talked about how we’ll bring our daughter here next year, and each year after that, and tell the stories of this magical place where Mama and Papa got married.

We left the orchard with a modest armful of apples, and when we got home I made this cake.

apple cake


German Apple Cake

This recipe has been in my recipe box so long I no longer remember where I first found it. I know I tweaked it a great deal over the years. It is immensely forgiving and adaptable (brown sugar, cranberries, nuts!). And delicious. It’s one of David’s favorites.

This is a coffee cake, a snacking cake, a so-close-to-a-muffin-you-can-eat-it-for-breakfast cake. You can dress it up with a caramel sauce or a cinnamon glaze if you’re feeling jazzy, but we usually just sprinkle it with powdered sugar and chomp away.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 (depending on your sweet tooth. I like it with 1/4) cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups apples – peeled, cored and diced


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour cake pan (or bundt pan, or glass dish–whatever. This works well no matter what).
  • In a mixing bowl; beat oil, applesauce, and eggs until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat well.
  • Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and ground cinnamon together in a separate bowl. Slowly add this mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the apples by hand using a wooden spoon. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool fully, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This cake keeps very well covered at room temperature for a few days, but it will get more moist (which I love) as time goes by. You can also store it in the fridge for a week, assuming it will last that long.


About Kelly

Kelly grew up in the suburbs of Boston, mere minutes from the Atlantic ocean. For several years she lived in New York City where she found the two loves of her life: Publishing and David. She moved to the Twin Cities for her husband, and eventually managed to pick up the pieces of her career as well. Although she’s learning to appreciate lakes, she misses the ocean ferociously.

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