German Apple Cake (Versunkener Apfelkuchen)

Posted on October 20, 2017

Recently, my wife and I discovered a new use for our regular blessing/curse of the ever-bearing apple tree in our front yard. This time, instead of slicing the apples and putting them in the dehydrator, we were introduced by our friends at Shafer Vineyards to an authentic recipe for a Versunkener Apfelkuchen, or German apple cake. No, it’s NOT Apple Strudel, but just as amazing. The name is great übung (practice) for your German skills and for expanding your vocabulary. 

Many people also know it as "emergency cake.”  Why, you ask? Because this cake is perfect to make when you get that call from your significant other who says, “babe, I’m bringing home a big client tonight!

This cake pairs really well with a Cabernet Sauvignon; I recommend trying it with the Shafer 2013 Hillside Select or their 2014 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy baking!




  • 2 cups organic, unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup organic, white whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups organic cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup milk, try goat milk for a nice option
  • 8 medium (about 3 pounds) apples, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Jonathan, Pippin, or any combination, peeled, cored and diced


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a kugelhopf or 10-inch Bundt pan.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the flour mixture and milk.
  • Beat the egg whites on low speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold one-fourth of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
  • Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread with half of the apples. Top with the remaining batter, then the remaining apples.
  • Bake until golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely.


The macro view of red wine in a wine glass in a dinner and hands on table behind it