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German Apple Cake with Custard and Streusel Topping

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Oma’s Best German Apple Cake with Custard and Streusel Topping – a Delicious Apple Cake with Shortcrust Pastry, creamy Custard filling, and a crispy hazelnut cinnamon crumble topping. Jump to Recipe

a slice of german apple cake with custard and apple chunks topped with streusel topping.

German Apple Cakes – I love them all! Today, I want to present you with another apple cake after you loved my German Apple Custard Cake and Grandma’s German Apple Cake with Streusel.

This traditional German Apple Cake with Custard is not only delicious but also a quick and easy cake to make with simple ingredients.  A simple batter, a thick layer of vanilla custard as a middle layer, then juicy chunks of apples and hazelnut crumble as a top layer. 

a sliced whole German apple cake with custard and topped with crumble topping.

Grandma’s German Apple Cake with Pudding and Streusel. Honestly, for me, it’s definitely the best apple cake I have made in a long time if not one of the best things I’ve made all year, and a superb recipe for family gatherings because you can never go wrong with crispy crumble topping, fresh apples and vanilla custard all presented in nice distinct layers. 

Traditional German Apple Cake with custard, apple chunks, and hazelnut crumble topping.

Lovers of apple pie will be all over this traditional German Apple Pie aka. Apfelkuchen. So incredibly moist and super delicious!

It’s not like those magic custard cake recipes you might have seen but more like an apple custard pie. Not served with a custard sauce but the custard is baked right within this delicious cake alongside fresh apples. 

This apple vanilla custard cake is made in a 9 inch springform pan and consists of delicate shortcrust pastry, a delicious creamy homemade vanilla custard layer with egg yolks topped with finely chopped apples, and a crispy cinnamon hazelnut streusel on top of the cake. 

a fork being inserted into a piece of German Apple Cake with Custard and Hazelnut Streusel.

Serve yourself a big piece of this traditional German cake and let’s get cozy! I wear, I could heat the entire cake, it’s that good. 

This delicious German apple cake is a fantastic recipe for fall and winter! A cherished family recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. And let’s be honest – apple cake isn’t just a dessert. When the aroma of apples and cinnamon fills the kitchen, you automatically feel comforted.

ingredients needed for making German Apple Cake with Custard.

Ingredients

Now, let’s get into the delightful details. Here are the ingredients that make this German apple cake with custard and crumble topping extra special: The exact measurements are in the recipe card below. 

  • Apples:  The heart of this cake is the apples. Use apple varieties that are perfect for baking. For that extra touch of flavor, I recommend tart, firm varieties like Braeburn or granny smith. Refer to my post about the best apples for baking for more information.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Vanilla: A hint of cinnamon and real vanilla gives the apple cake an irresistible aroma. These spices are the key to its unmistakable taste.
  • Shortcrust Pastry: The base of the cake is a buttery shortcrust pastry that’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Make sure you use good quality unsalted butter. 
  • Crispy Streusel:The top payer is a crispy hazelnut crumble topping with cinnamon. 
  • Vanilla Custard / German Vanilla Pudding: And last but not least, the vanilla pudding! The original German recipe uses 2 sachets of Dr Oetker Vanilla Custard Powder ( you can order them here for cheap) but you can use cornstarch and just add some vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. It turns out wonderfully creamy thanks to a blend of whole milk and cream. Two egg yolks ( use fresh eggs)  also make their way into the filling, giving the cake a wonderfully luxurious, creamy texture and a great color.  A bit like pastry cream and we want it to be rich so use full-fat milk and cream for best results. 

How to Make German Apple Cake with Custard 

step by step instructions on how to make shortcrust pastry by hand to make German Apple Cakes.

  1. Grease a 9 inch springform pan (Ø 26 cm) with a bit of butter and dust it with some flour. For the shortcrust pastry, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl. Knead the dry ingredients with the cold butter until you have a crumbly dough. Add the egg and knead everything into a smooth dough. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. For the streusel, combine the flour, cold butter, sugar, cinnamon, hazelnuts, and salt in a bowl. Rub the ingredients together between your hands until streusel form. Chill the streusel until ready to use. In the meantime, prepare the pudding.

step by step instructions on how to make vanilla custard and apple filling for German apple cake recipe.

  1. For the vanilla pudding, heat the milk and cream in a small pot, reserving 5 tbsp of milk. In a separate bowl, whisk the pudding powder, sugar, and the remaining milk until smooth. Once the hot milk mixture comes to a boil, pour the prepared pudding mixture into it while stirring continuously. Let it boil for 2 minutes, then remove it from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
  2. Mix a ladleful of the hot pudding into the egg yolks, then return this mixture to the hot pudding in the pot. Heat it again on medium-low heat while stirring until it thickens. Allow the pudding to cool, covering the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Take the shortcrust pastry out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F) with both top and bottom heat (160°C or 320°F for convection).
  4. Peel the apples. Cut the apples into small chunks and drizzle with some lemon juice.
  5. On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 5 mm, then place it in the springform pan, leaving a 4 cm-high edge. Smooth the edge with a kitchen knife.

step by step instructions on how to assemble German Apple Cake with custard

step by step instructions on how to top German Apple Cake with apple chunks and hazelnut crumble.

  1.  Give the pudding a quick stir by hand and then spoon it in clumps onto the shortcrust pastry. Spread the apple pieces on top of the pudding and generously cover them with the Streusel.
  2. Bake the Cake for 50 Minutes – 60 Minutes. You want the crumble to be browned but not burnt. If it browns too quickly, top with aluminum. Let the cake cool on a rack after baking. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely, then refrigerate for the best flavor. You could dust the finished cake with some icing sugar and call it a day. 

Which Apple Variety is Best for this Cake?

For this apple cake, I recommend juicy apple varieties that are suitable for baking. Boskop apples are an excellent choice as they are juicy and aromatic, and they maintain their texture when baked.

Granny Smith apples are another good option because they have a slightly tart flavor that pairs wonderfully with the sweetness of the cake. In general, tart and firm-fleshed apples work best for apple cakes as they don’t become too mushy during baking.

a half-eaten piece of German Apple Crumble Cake with Custard with a fork.

Tips for rolling out Shortcrust Pastry:

Rolling out the shortcrust pastry requires a bit of finesse. Here are a few tips:

  • Ensure that the dough is sufficiently chilled. Chilled dough is easier to handle and sticks less.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape it into a flat disc.
  • Start rolling from the center of the dough and gently roll it outward, applying even pressure to achieve a uniform thickness.
  • Occasionally, flip the dough to ensure it doesn’t stick to the work surface.
  • Be careful not to roll the dough too thin, as it could become too fragile during baking.
  • When placing the dough in the springform pan, leave about a 1.5-inch (approximately 4 cm) border around the edges. This border will form the sides of the cake.

How Long Should the Cake Cool Before Cutting It?

The cake should cool on a rack after baking, ideally for at least 30 minutes to an hour. A cake that is too hot may be too unstable to cut, so patience is key. If you can muster the patience to let it cool even longer, the flavor will improve.

a slice of German Apple Cake with Custard and Crumble Topping on a white plate.

Can I Freeze the Cake?

Yes, you can freeze this apple cake to preserve it for later. To do this, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap or foil and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. This helps preserve the flavor and prevents freezer odors from seeping in. The cake typically stays good in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, simply leave it at room temperature or thaw it in the refrigerator.

Can I Prepare and Store the crumble topping in advance?

Yes, you can prepare and store the streusel in advance. You can make the streusel before baking and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to sprinkle it on the cake. This is a great way to save time when preparing the cake for a special occasion. The chilled streusel will be just as crispy and delicious as freshly prepared.

ein Stück Omas Bester Apfelkuchen mit Vanillepudding und Streusel.
5 from 1 vote
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German Apple Cake with Custard & Crumble Topping

Oma's Best German Apple Cake with Custard and Streusel Topping - a Delicious Apple Cake with Shortcrust Pastry, creamy Custard filling, and a crispy hazelnut cinnamon crumble topping.

Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Keyword Apple Cake with Custard, German apple cake, German Apple Crumble Cake
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Chilling 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 210 kcal

Ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 200g
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg grated
  • 1/3 cup sugar 70g
  • 7 tbsp cold butter 100g
  • 1 egg size M

Custard

  • 2 cups whole milk 500 ml
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 2 packets of vanilla pudding powder or use 8 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cups sugar 70 g
  • 2 egg yolks

For the Streusel

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 120 g
  • 6 tbsp cold butter 75 g
  • 1/2 cup sugar 75 g
  • 1/3 cups chopped hazelnuts 50
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt

filling

  • 4- 5 apples peeled + chopped

Instructions

  1. Grease a springform pan (Ø 26 cm) with a bit of butter and dust it with some flour. For the shortcrust pastry, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl. Knead the dry ingredients with the cold butter until you have a crumbly dough. Add the egg and knead everything into a smooth dough. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. For the streusel, combine the flour, cold butter, sugar, cinnamon, hazelnuts, and salt in a bowl. Rub the ingredients together between your hands until streusel form. Chill the streusel until ready to use. In the meantime, prepare the pudding.
  3. For the vanilla pudding, heat the milk and cream in a small pot, reserving 5 tbsp of milk. In a separate bowl, whisk the pudding powder or cornstarch, sugar, and the remaining milk until smooth. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, pour the prepared pudding mixture into it while stirring continuously. Let it boil for 2 minutes, then remove it from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Mix a ladleful of the hot pudding into the egg yolks, then return this mixture to the hot pudding in the pot. Heat it again while stirring until it thickens. Allow the pudding to cool, covering the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Take the shortcrust pastry out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F) with both top and bottom heat (160°C or 320°F for convection). On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 5 mm, then place it in the springform pan, leaving a 4 cm-high edge. Smooth the edge with a kitchen knife.
  5. Give the pudding a quick stir by hand and then spoon it in clumps onto the shortcrust pastry. Spread the apple pieces on top of the pudding and generously cover them

 

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This looks just like one of the apple cakes I remember seeing in a bakery in Munich! Cannot wait to try it

  2. 5 stars
    Mega lecker war der Kiki! Das mit der Sahne macht den Pudding echt nochmal cremiger und die Eigelb geben nochmal mehr Farbe dazu. Ein Traum

  3. Aha, der passt mir total super fürs kommende Wochenende in den plan. Hört sich lecker an, sieht fein aus und mit Pudding habe ich Apfelkuchen noch nie zubereitet. Danke für den Tipp. Liebe Grüße, Anja

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