This is a very traditional German cake recipe, with a classic flavor combination of apples and almonds. This almond apple kuchen is made with almond paste, which gives it a very moist and tender crumb.
About This Almond Apple Kuchen Recipe
This almond apple kuchen recipe is adapted from Luisa Weiss’s marvelous Classic German Baking book, one of our favorite recent recipe book purchases. In the book, Weiss admits that she struggled to find the perfect apple almond cake, until, days before her book manuscript was due, she found this one on the back of an almond paste box. We love this story since it exemplifies so many of our favorite aspects of baking – the role of manufacturers in recipe development (often paired with inventive home bakers), and the way the way no good baker actually invents a recipe. We merely adapt a great one to suit our own taste.
Kuchen is the German word for cake. One of our favorite things about this word is that it has traveled around the world. On a trip to Chile, we discoverd that a mountainous area in the southern tip of the country had been settled by German immigrants in the 19th century, who had brought with them recipes for cakes, still known as kuchen, although now adapted to Chilean cuisine. Our favorite hybrid Chilean-German cake is known as “Kuchen Borracho” (drunken kuchen) and combines apples with rum.
What Kind of Apples Are Best for This Cake?
We like a sweet, tart, and crisp apple for this recipe, so usually opt for granny smith. If you like your apples on the sweet side, you can also substitute fuji, or pink lady. Unlike an American apple pie, we woudln’t recommend using a range of different kinds of apples all at once in this recipe.
Love apples? So do we! Check out some of our favorite baked goods featuring apples.
Useful Tools for Making this Almond Apple Kuchen
Almond Apple Kuchen
- parchment paper
- 9-inch cake pan
- 6 small apples or 4 medium apples
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 7 oz almond paste
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 14 tbsp unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 9 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- Preheat oven to 350 F and place a rack in the middle position. Grease the sides and bottom and line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
- Peel, halve, and core 3 of the apples (if using small apples) or 2 of the apples (if using medium apples). Slice apples thinly. Toss the apple with half of the lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.
- Peel, halve, and core the remaining apples, then cut into small cubes. Toss with the remaining lemon juice and set aside. Grate the almond paste and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the salt and melted butter and beat on high speed until smooth (2-3 minutes).
- Add the sugar and almond extract and beat until combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift the dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, and baking powder) into the wet ingredients.
- Return to the mixer, and beat on low speed until well combined.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to fold the diced apples into the cake batter.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the batterFan the sliced apples decoratively in concentric rings around the top of the cake, then gently press the apple slices into the cake with your hands.
- Bake the cake in the heated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. This cake is very very moist, so you may find that the top and outer edge of the cake are brown before the center is cooked. Be sure to test before you remove the cake from the oven and, if it's getting too brown, cover the top of the cake with foil to allow the center to fully cook without burning the top.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. Warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan on the stove or in a bowl in the microwave. Brush the top of the cake with a layer of hot jam while the cake is still warm.
- Let the cake cool before running a thin knife around the sides of the springform pan to remove the cake from the pan.
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