If you love the flavors of apple and cinnamon and you’re in the mood for a luscious fall treat, this is the recipe for you! It’s tasty and quick and best of all, it starts with a boxed mix!
What is Apple Kuchen?
While traveling with my step-mom I heard about her favorite fall apple cake. When she sent me the recipe card a couple of weeks later, I was surprised to see the name “Apple Kuchen” at the top. To be honest, I’d never heard of Apple Kuchen before!
Turns out Apple Kuchen is a German Apple Cake. In the traditional “from scratch” version the batter of the cake rises up around the apples (which are sliced fresh and arranged beautifully, for effect).
This is a much simpler version that starts with a boxed mix and a can of apple pie filling. Still, the results are tasty and perfect for fall.
Apple and Cinnamon, Perfect for Fall
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for fall. The changing of the leaves. The cooler weather. The increased risk of hurricanes.
Okay, maybe not that last part (though we are at a higher risk in September, here along the Gulf Coast). Mostly, I’m looking forward to things cooling down. (Our temperatures have been off the charts!)
I’m also really, really excited about fall baking.
There are certain flavors we associate with autumn. Pumpkin pie spice. Cinnamon. Apple. Maple. Brown Butter. These are all scents and flavors that make us think of a crisp fall day. Nothing says Thanksgiving or Fall Festival like cinnamon and spice.
Over the past week I’ve been focused a lot on fall desserts. I baked a delicious Apple Pie Cobbler. And then I turned my attention to treats for kids–Mini Bundt Cake Pumpkins, Oreo Spiders, Chocolate Covered Pumpkins, Easy Candied Pecans, and so on.
Tonight I stared at the recipe card for Apple Kuchen and toyed with the idea of making it for a new friend.
In spite of the late hour, I headed to the kitchen to gather my ingredients. Thank goodness I had absolutely everything I needed on hand. Hopefully you will, too.
Ingredients for Apple Kuchen
You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. For now, here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need for this easy Cinnamon Apple Cake.
- yellow cake mix
- room temperature butter (cubed or grated)
- shredded coconut
- apple pie filling
- granulated sugar
- ground cinnamon
- sour cream
- egg yolks
Let’s Bake Cinnamon Apple Cake
This came together so easily. In some ways it reminded me of a dump cake, but in this case the cake part goes on bottom.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put your cake mix In a large bowl. Add grated (or chopped) butter and coconut. Mix together until it forms a coarse crumb.
Dump into unbuttered 9 x 13- inch pan. Pat down.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove.
Place apples on top of the partially baked cake.
In a small bowl mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Pour half of the mixture on the apples.
In a separate bowl mix together sour cream and egg yolks.
Add the remaining cinnamon and sugar to this mixture and pour over the apples. Spread the mixture. (It probably won’t cover the full pan, but will be close.)
Bake for an additional 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Cut into slices to serve.
Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
What to Expect from this Apple Cake
When I first opened the oven door and saw the top of the cake, I thought it wasn’t done yet. I had expected it too look more cobbler-like (like a dump cake, since this is a similar process). Not even close!
Turns out the apples and sour cream/egg mixture bake into their own topping above the cake. They don’t work their way down into the cake, itself.
I was intrigued.
I set the cake to cool and went back later to take a serving. Only then did I get the whole picture. The top layer is almost cheesecake-like in texture, but it has the delicious flavor of apples and cinnamon. The sour cream adds a tart element I hadn’t expected but it pairs beautifully with the apple.
Some folks would say that this is a coffee cake. Perhaps the traditional Apple Kuchen is textured that way, but not this version. Some would call it an Apple and Cinnamon Tea Cake, but that doesn’t sound quite right to me, either.
The cake underneath is this version is almost shortbread-like in consistency and taste really yummy with the addition of the apple mixture on top. For a moment I was reminded of my Luscious Lemon Bars. They don’t start with a cake mix but they do have a similar shortbread crust.
I think this cake would be delicious served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Because I didn’t have any on hand I opted for a scoop of whipped cream. Delicious!
Variations on this recipe
Now that I see how easy it was to mix up this recipe, I can imagine it would be good with any of the following flavors of canned pie filling:
I would probably omit the cinnamon for most of those fillings. (Though, I would leave it for the peach.)
I’ve been thinking about substitutions for the sour cream, which might not pair well with some of the other fruits. It might be fun to use a softened cream cheese with sugar (and perhaps a dash of heavy cream to thin it down a bit).
The possibilities are endless!
Other Fall Cakes You Might Enjoy
If you’re in the mood for fall flavors, I’ve got quite a few things that might be of interest to you. Here are some of my favorites:
- Apple Pie Cobbler with Crescent Rolls: This one will blow you away, friends. It’s my favorite new recipe and it’s perfect for fall!
- German Chocolate Bars (from scratch): The combination of chocolate, coconut and pecans makes this tasty recipe perfect for fall!
- Apple Pie Monkey Bread Muffins: These are so easy, perfect for a fall morning!
- Apple Spice Skillet Cake: This is an easy, rich skillet cake, loaded with apple and spice!
- Monkey Bread with Canned Biscuits: This pull-apart cinnamon infused monkey bread is gooey and delicious!
- Old-Fashioned Cobbler with Homemade Pie Crust: This one is perfect for the fall. The flavors and texture will simply blow you away.
- Check out this Apple Pie Pinwheels recipe from Julia’s Simply Southern. It looks easy and delicious!
That’s it for this post, friends. I hope you enjoyed this kuchen cake recipe. I’m so tickled to try a new-to-me dish. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this German Apple Cake.
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- 1 yellow cake mix
- 1/2 cup room temperature butter (cubed or grated)
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 - 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 egg yolks
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put your cake mix In a large bowl. Add grated (or chopped) butter and coconut. Mix together until it forms a coarse crumb.
- Dump into 9 x 13- inch pan. I buttered mind but the recipe doesn't call for that.
- Pat down.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Place apples on top of the partially baked cake.
- In a small bowl mix together the granulate sugar and cinnamon. Pour half of the mixture on the apples.
- In a separate bowl mix together sour cream and egg yolks. Add the remaining cinnamon and sugar to this mixture and pour over the apples.
- Spread the mixture. (It probably won't cover the full pan, but will be close.)
Bake for an additional 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.