This German Apple Streusel Cake aka Apfelstreuselkuchen features a deliciously moist sponge cake with Apples and a Spiced Crumble topping. It is a cake that is great when you have a lot of apples knocking about. What a great way to use them up! The cake itself is found in bakeries all over Germany and it is usually served with a hot cup of Coffee as part of an afternoon tea tradition (Kaffee and Kuchen).
Apple Streusel Cake
Last year around this time (Autumn/Fall Season/Apple Season) I was in a group on Social Media where a bunch of people were raving about a German Apple Cake Recipe.
Sadly I was all apple'd out by then, having tested and retested several Apple recipes in the weeks prior to said post.
So I left it till this year to try out this Cake and I wish I hadn't waited because this Apple Cinnamon Coffee cake is the MOST delicious Apple Cake ever. You simply have to make it!
Essentially it is an Apple Crumb Cake that is made up of a soft apple sponge cake topped with a buttery streusel topping.
This incredible cake is sometimes referred to as Apple Streusel Coffee Cake recipe too. It doesn't have coffee in it but it is served with Coffee.
Ingredients in Apple Streusel Cake recipe
The full recipe and measurements can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page. Here is what you will need to make it:
Apple Varieties to use
The most important part of this cake are the fresh Apples. The best apples for apple streusel cake are firm apples that won't turn to mush as they bake. As always, tart apples work well.
So I recommend Bramley or Granny Smith Apples. Pink Lady and Braeburns are also a good option.
Traditionally this cake doesn’t include Cinnamon but I love the flavour of Cinnamon streusel with Apples. We use 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon and it smells and tastes sooo good! You can omit it if you prefer.
A lovely flavour in this Cake. I like to use a good quality extract rather then an essence, with plenty of Vanilla flavour.
This is used in both the cake and the streusel for the top of the cake. Use softened Butter. You can also use Salted Butter (omit the salt if you do). Or use Margarine. I prefer butter as it makes for a really rich buttery cake.
We use Light Brown Sugar for it’s caramel notes and Demerara Sugar for a crunchy topping.
Adds flavour but also stops the Apple mixture from browning too much once peeled.
Large room temperature Eggs are best. These add lift, richness and tenderness.
Also known as All Purpose Flour.
To add lift.
This just brings everything together.
If you don’t have any, make your own by mixing the same quantity of Milk with 1 tsp Lemon Juice and setting aside for 10 minutes. Or use Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt.
Lemon Zest and Juice
To add some zing and citrus flavour.
how to make it
Grease a 20cm cake tin/cake pan with butter and line with Parchment paper/Greaseproof paper. Use a loose bottomed or springform pan.
Heat oven to 180C/ Gas Mark 4.
Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks. Place in a medium bowl. Squeeze over Lemon Juice and set aside.
For the Cake, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl till pale. Or add to the bowl of your electric mixer/stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Add Eggs 1 by 1 mixing between each one.
Fold the dry ingredients into wet ingredients - Plain Flour, Baking Powder and Salt. Mix on low speed till combined.
Stir in the Buttermilk.
Add the chunks of Apples and fold in gently.
Make the streusel layer by combining the sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, flour and cold butter together in a bowl. Use a spatula/food processor or your hands to form breadcrumbs. It should be crumbly. Place in the fridge until needed.
Place the batter into the prepared tin. Spread evenly.
Add the streusel topping on top of the batter and spread over evenly.
Bake for 40 - 55 minutes. The time depends on apples used and the amount of water they may release.
Check if the cake is done by inserted a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the tin before removing the warm cake from the tin to a wire rack to cook.
Serve warm with a hot drink such as Coffee.
You can add a dusting of icing sugar.
Try serving with hot Custard.
Serve with a drizzle of Cream.
Serve with Caramel Sauce.
Serve with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.
How to prepare it in advance
You can prepare the cake a day in advance.
It is best to keep the streusel crumb topping and cake batter separate until just before baking.
This cake is best served fresh on the day or the day after.
Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Tightly wrap it in 2 layers of clingfilm/plastic wrap and a layer of foil once cooled. Then place in a ziplock bag. It will keep for up to 4 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
This Apple Streusel or Crumble Cake as my kids call it, works well with a number of fruits. Such as:
Add other Spices such as Ground Ginger or Ground Cardamom for a different flavour profile. You could use Chai Spices/Pumpkin Spices too.
Make in a square 20cm tin instead for the same length of time.
Make in a loaf tin for 55 - 65 minutes.
More Delicious Dessert Recipes:
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German Apple Streusel Cake
- 2 Apples I used Bramley (small - around 300g total)
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 100 g Unsalted Butter
- 100 g Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest
- 3 Eggs
- 210 g Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- Pinch Salt
- 50 ml Buttermilk See notes on how to make your own
- 100 g Demerera Sugar Turbinado
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 150 g Plain Flour
- 100 g Butter Cold
- Grease a 20cm cake tin/cake pan with butter and line with Parchment paper/Greaseproof paper. Use a loose bottomed or springform pan.
- Heat oven to 180 C/ 350 f/Gas Mark 4.
- Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks. Place in a medium bowl. Squeeze over Lemon Juice and set aside.
- For the Cake, beat Butter, Sugar and Lemon Zest in a large mixing bowl till pale. Or add to the bowl of your electric mixer/stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
- Add Eggs 1 by 1 mixing between each one.
- Fold the dry ingredients into wet ingredients - Plain Flour, Baking Powder and Salt. Mix on low speed till combined.
- Stir in the Buttermilk.
- Add the chunks of Apples and fold in gently.
- Make the streusel layer by combining the Sugar, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Flour and cold Butter together in a bowl. Use a spatula/food processor or your hands to form breadcrumbs. It should be crumbly. Place in the fridge until needed.
- Place the batter into the prepared tin. Add the streusel topping on top of the batter and spread over evenly.
- Bake for 40 - 55 minutes. The time depends on apples used and the amount of water they may release.
- Check if the cake is done by inserted a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
- Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the tin before removing the warm cake from the tin to a wire rack to cook.