Easy Apple Cake Recipe
This recipe is from my great grandmother with adaptations.

The beginning of this apple cake recipe has been passed down four generations from my great grandmother to my grandmother to my mum and now to me. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Although this is a German apple cake recipe, apple cake is popular all around the world. The base recipe is easy to make and contains simple ingredients (nothing fancy) which makes it easy to adapt. By adding different spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon or even nuts, seeds and different fruits you can make this recipe your own.

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Great grandmas apple cake

Suitable for:

Time: 20 min preparation, 45 min baking

Serves: 8-10 slices

Utensils: mixing bowl, 22 cm in diameter spring-form, measuring cup, mixer, spoon

Ingredient List For The Apple Cake Recipe:

  • 240g of butter (at room temperature)
  • 240g of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
    Or ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 240g of Standard white flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 125ml of milk

Apple Topping:

  • 3 apples, peeled, quartered and de-cored


Preheat the oven to 180C°. Convert!

  1. Cream the butter. Mix in the sugar and the vanilla essence. Then beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well for about 1 minute at high speed.
  2. Add the flour and baking powder while slowly pouring in the milk. Pour the finished mixture into a round cake form.
  3. At last peel the three apples, quarter them and de-cored them. Either distribute the quarters in a circular pattern on top of the batter or spread evenly the small sliced pieces.

While the cake is baking the fruit will sink into the batter, because the apples have a larger surface area they will sink into the middle. If you chose cherries as topping they most likely sink to the bottom of the cake.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Optional: For additional decoration dust with icing sugar.


Alternative Toppings:

We tried and liked.

  • 1 glass of cherries (drained, checked for pits or fresh ones washed and pitted)
  • 3 pears (peeled, the core removed, quartered, or diced
  • 1 glass blueberries (drained or fresh)
  • 6 apricots (halved and the stone removed)

Adaptations to the apple cake recipe:

For me this recipe has too much fat(butter) and sugar. I love coconut, so I added

  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut and
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 

just for the taste. This variation goes well with cherries as well as with apples.

I then went on to reduce the sugar content and the butter content, leaving me with

  • 120g of butter and
  • ¾ cup of sugar.

Spelt Flour

We use spelt flour for most of our baking. It behaves very similarly to white flour. If you have a light gluten intolerance in most cases spelt flour can be eaten. My brother had a slight reaction to gluten but it was tested that he could tolerate spelt flour.

Gluten free apple cake recipe variations:

Buckwheat flour or coconut flour are gluten free suggestions. The outcome returns a slightly denser cake.

buckwheat flourBuckwheat Flour


coconut flourCoconut Flour


millet flourMillet Flour

When we replace the standard white flour with buckwheat flour we don’t add any desiccated coconut. Pear goes well with the buckwheat flour. We still add vanilla essence to this variation.

Gluten Free Apple Cake Recipe Using A Millet – Coconut Flour Mix

The millet and coconut flour mix is an exciting gluten free cake variation that became our favourite apple cake recipe. If you seek more inspiration visit FoodToGrow on Pinterest.

millet - coconut flour apple cake

Gluten Free Apple Cake Ingredient List:

millet flourMillet Flour
coconut flourCoconut Flour
  • 120g of butter
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla sugar
    ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence

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  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup of millet flour and ½ cup of coconut flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 125ml of milk

Topping for the gluten free cake:

The image example shows apple. Of course there is no limitations. Select a fruit of the season or your preferred one.  Cherries, blueberries, pears, or apricots return great results when baked.

  • 3 medium sized apples quartered or diced
  • 1 glass of pitted cherries (checked for stones) / fresh pitted cherries work fine as well
  • 3 medium sized pears quartered or diced


Preheat the oven to 180C°. Convert!

  1. Cream the butter. Mix in the sugar and the vanilla essence. Beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Then add the eggs and beat well for about 1 minute at high speed. Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder while slowly pouring in the milk.
  2. Pour the mixture into a round cake tin. Press your desired topping slightly into the batter (this flour mixture doesn’t rise as much and stays slightly denser).

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes.

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