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Apple Crumble Cake – German Cake

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A soft and moist German apple crumble cake with a crisp streusel topping, a perfect autumn cake recipe.

This apple crumble cake is a typical German cake. A soft tray bake apple cake made with sour cream, covered with apples, and topped with crispy streusel.

apple crumble cake

I still have so many apples in my cellar, different sorts of apples I have received from different neighbors and friends. So, I try to integrate apples in many of the dishes I cook and the cakes I bake these days.

I could not really pick a favorite, I do love apple cakes generally and I particularly loved each one I have ever posted, but the apple cake with whole apples, the apple muffins or the apple cake with meringue are some of the first to come to mind.

cake with sour cream and apples

German Apple Streusel Cake

This apple crumble cake is a typical German kind of cake, a so-called sheet cake or Blechkuchen. You can find this kind of cake in every bakery or coffee shop in Germany, you could probably get to taste one sort or another at any birthday party you will attend around here, a nice Blechkuchen is always part of the menu, so to say.

And why not, this kind of cake is delicious, easy to make and extremely versatile. You can make it with almost any kind of fruit or berries you can think of (plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, currants, blackberries, blueberries and so on), you can make a short crust base or a yeast dough base.

You can also top it with a poppy seeds mixture instead of fruit or berries, make a quark cheesecake in this form or a fluffy cake topped with only butter and sugar (Butterkuchen).

You can leave the cake with just the fruit on it or cover the fruit with a glaze, top the cake with streusel/crumble, meringue or with a sour cream/heavy cream mixture. You can add different kinds of nuts, coconut flakes or oats.

Really, I have seen and eaten so many versions of this kind of Blechkuchen, and still I would never get tired of them, because they are always so good and different.

apple cake with sour cream


You will need the typical ingredients to make the dough:

  • all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • some vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
  • cinnamon

Sour cream:

  • What makes this apple crumble cake different is the fact that you will split the batter in two and mix half of it with sour cream. You will use the plain batter to make the base and the sour cream half to top the cake.
  • I used regular sour cream with 10% fat content.


  • You will also need apples, about 750 g/ 1.6 lbs.
  • Apples come in very different sizes, especially if they are not coming from a supermarket, so it is rather hard to say how many apples would make this quantity, perhaps about 5 medium ones.
  • However, the exact number is not crucial, just use as many apples as necessary to cover the dough generously.


How to make?

Crumbles or streusel:

  • To make the streusel you could either mix the ingredients in the food processor until the mixture turns to crumbs or cut the cold butter into the flour with the help of a butter knife.
  • You can also make the streusel with your hands rubbing the cold butter into the flour mixture until you obtain the crumbs. However, if using your hands only rub the butter and the flour with your fingertips, the palms of your hands are too warm for this procedure.
  • I always hold my fingers under cold water before doing this, I dry them well and then I start rubbing the butter into the flour.
  • Place the crumbles in the fridge until ready to use.


  • Clean and chop the apples into small cubes. There is no need to peel them.
  • Place the apple pieces in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Toss well, the lemon juice will prevent them from getting brown.


  • Making the base of the cake is super easy, much easier than making a yeast dough.
  • Beat the soft unsalted butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix well again.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between.
  • In another bowl mix together the flour and baking powder. Add this mixture, in 3 or 4 batches, to the egg mixture.


  • Split the batter in half. Mix half of the batter with the sour cream and set aside.
German apple cake


  • Line a baking tray of about 30×40 cm/ 12×16 inch with baking paper.
  • Evenly spread the batter without the sour cream on the tray.
  • Spread the apple cubes evenly on top of the batter.
  • Spread the second half of the batter, the one containing the sour cream, over the apples.
  • Top with the crumbles.
  • Bake for about 50-60 minutes in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
how to make apple crumble cake
how to make apple crumble cake

Make in advance

  • The apple crumble cake can be made one day in advance.
  • It will keep in airtight containers for at least 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • You can also freeze it. Place in airtight containers with pieces of parchment paper between the layers.
  • Defrost at room temperature.


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apple crumble cake sliced
piece of apple crumble cake

Apple Crumble Cake - German Cake

A soft and moist German apple crumble cake with a crisp crumb topping, a perfect autumn cake recipe.
4.45 from 43 votes
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Course: Cakes
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 390kcal
Author: Adina


  • Crumble:
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 125 g/ 4.4 oz/ ½ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ scant 2/3 cup unsalted butter very cold
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Batter and topping:
  • about 750 g/ 1.7 lbs tart apples about 5 medium
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 200 g/ 7 oz/ ¾ + 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter soft
  • 200 g/ 7 oz/ 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sachets vanilla sugar or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 6 eggs medium Germany, large US
  • 450 g/ 1 lb/ 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 300 g/ 10.6 oz/ 1 ¼ cup sour cream


  • The recipe can be easily halved and baked in a springform of about 26 cm/ 10 inches.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray of about 30x40 cm/ 12x16 inch with baking paper.

Crumbles in the food processor:

  • Place the flour, sugar and cinnamon in the food processor.
  • Pulse shortly to mix.
  • Add the very cold butter, cut into cubes, and process shortly until you have crumbles.

Crumbles without food processor:

  • Mix the flour, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl, place the cold butter cubes on top and cut the butter into the flour until you obtain crumbles.
  • If doing this with your hands, only use your fingertips, if you use your palms the butter will get warm too quickly.
  • Place the crumble in the fridge until ready to use.


  • There is no need to peel the apples. Clean and chop them into small cubes. Toss well with lemon juice, it will prevent them from getting brown.


  • Place the soft butter in a bowl and beat until fluffy.
  • Add sugar, vanilla sugar or vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix well.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder in another bowl. Add them to the egg mixture in 3 or 4 batches.
  • Divide the batter in two equal parts.
  • Leave one batch as it is and mix the second batch with the sour cream. Set aside.

Assembling the cake:

  • Spread the batter without the sour cream on the prepared tray.
  • Spread the apple cubes evenly on top of the batter.
  • Spread the sour cream batter over the apples.
  • Top the cake with the crumbles.
  • Bake the cake for about 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.
  • If the cake starts to get brown long before the baking time is over, cover it very loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.

    The cake can be made one day in advance.


Serving: 1square | Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 127mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 7th of October 2021

This recipe was delicious! I halved it and baked in a 12” square pan using two huge farm apples. It was also surprisingly not too sweet which I prefer. Would definitely make this again and will try freezing it as well.


Friday 8th of October 2021

Hi Marisa, so glad you liked it. Freezing is fine, most crumble cakes are good for freezing.


Wednesday 6th of October 2021

I made this cake yesterday. I agree that the instructions are a little confusing, and measurements seem off. Description of the batter- VERY THICK, almost like cookie dough. The half that is mixed with sour cream was a little more spreadable. Not sure why the need for parchment paper on the bottom of baking dish, perhaps just butter and flouring would suffice (not sure). The amount of apples seems like a lot, but it was needed due to the amount of batter. Also, the bottom batter which is thicker probably absorbed a lot of the apple liquid when baking. I think the batter needs to be thinner still (maybe by adding apple cider). Apples DO NOT need to be peeled.. they cook for 1 hr and there are no rough bits at all, especially if you cut the apples to at least 1 inch. Now the crumble on top, definitely too much and needed more butter. Ended up being very sandy/crumbly and a bit messier than I would have liked. All in all, it was still very tasty- but maybe some minor adjustments to the measurements. (ie. more liquid for the batter, and more butter for the crumble, and maybe 1/3 less).


Thursday 7th of October 2021

Hi Nicole. I am glad you liked the taste of the cake. The measurements might seem odd if you use cup measuring; I always recommend using a scale; it makes a world of difference when baking.


Sunday 17th of May 2020

Thank you, Siegurd.


Sunday 17th of May 2020

Love this Blechkuchen. Especially, the metric and standard measurements make it really easy to add the ingredients.

Tanya Hersant

Wednesday 5th of February 2020

Hi. I'm so excited to try this. It's in the oven right now. Could you please clarify the oven temperature? Is it 200 deg c without a fan forced oven? Should I drop it to 180 deg if I have fan forced? Thank you for your time ?


Wednesday 5th of February 2020

Yes, Tanya. I always drop the temperature by 20 degrees when using the fan oven.