If you’re looking for a sweet, filling breakfast or dessert, then you’ve found your match in the German apple pancake.
Inspired by German dessert delicacies of old, this wonderful (or should we say,wunderbar) recipe is a real treat to prepare and a serious delight to eat.
You’ll need your favorite cooking apples to get started with this oven-baked apple pancake recipe, so get down to the orchard, and make sure your Apple peeler is ready to go!
Keep reading as we explain how to prepare the best German pancakes with apples!
How to make German apple pancake
German apple pancakes are delicious oven-baked pancakes that work particularly well as a dessert or as a filling, sweet breakfast. An egg and flour pancake batter is topped with apple slices, but there’s also plenty of sugar found in this recipe.
German apple pancake recipes are a little bit different from traditional, US-style pancake recipes, however. This pancake is almost cake-like in its thickness and consistency, and it’s baked in the oven rather than being griddled or fried in a skillet on the stovetop. You’ll need a large, oven-proof skillet or circular baking dish for the best results.
Like all pancakes, though, this one is delightfully sweet to taste, and a slice of German apple pancake can be topped with whipped cream, ice cream, maple syrup, or any of your favorite pancake toppings (why not try crispy bacon, too, if these are for breakfast?).
Right, let’s learn how actually to make a German apple pancake!
German apple pancake recipe
The recipe below yields enough German apple pancakes for 4 large servings.
- 1 large cooking apple (peeled, cored, and sliced)
- 4 large eggs
- ½ c of all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp of baking powder
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- ½ c of divided white sugar
- 1 c of milk
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp of unsalted butter (melted)
- ¼ c of unsalted butter
- ½ tsp of nutmeg
- ½ tsp of cinnamon powder
- Salt to taste
- Mix together the pancake batter in a large mixing bowl. Crack the eggs, measure out all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Whisk all of the ingredients together thoroughly, and then slowly pour in milk while stirring the batter together.
- Mix in vanilla extract, 2 tbsp of melted butter, and nutmeg for flavoring. Cover the batter, then allow it to stand for at least half an hour.
- While the batter is standing, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 10-inch skillet or baking dish (must be oven proof) with melted butter.
- Mix together ¼ c of sugar with cinnamon powder and nutmeg. Brush this mixture onto the baking dish, too.
- Peel, core, and slice your large cooking apple. Layer the slices over the butter and sugar on the sides and bottom of the skillet.
- Place the stovetop on medium heat, then allow the ingredients in the skillet to heat up slowly. When the skillet is hot, pour in the pancake batter so it rests evenly in the skillet.
- When the oven has preheated, leave the pancake to bake for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and allow the pancake to bake at lower heat for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the oven, and serve your German apple pancake fresh with toppings of your choice!
German apple pancake recipe FAQ
What’s the difference between a Dutch apple pancake and a German pancake?
If you’re a pancake connoisseur, then you might be wondering why this recipe sounds uncannily familiar. You might have already enjoyed, or tried baking, similar Dutch baby apples pancakes. In fact, the two types of pancakes are identical - they just have different names!
The confusion arises from the fact that the German pancake was mistaken for a ‘Dutch’ pancake. As the legend goes, the term ‘Deutsch’ (which means German, in German!) was taken for meaning Dutch when the first American restaurateurs started cooking up this pancake style.
What’s the difference between German pancakes and American pancakes?
German pancakes are quite different from American pancakes (the style that we, of course, see as being ‘traditional’ pancakes!).
German pancakes are baked, and this results in a much larger pancake that’s a lot thinner and fluffier. On the other hand, American pancakes are usually griddled, so they end up being much thicker and much denser.
In terms of flavor, both are quite similar, however. Both are sweet, of course, but the German pancake is often prepared in a much more savory manner - particularly when tart-cooking apples are involved in the recipe.
What are the best types of apples to use?
For the best results, you need to make sure that you’re using cooking apples. Large cooking apples hold up really well when they are baked, ensuring that you have that crisp, appley texture, rather than a soggy mess of apple!
Our favorite cooking apples are the classic Granny Smith apples. These are large, and they keep their shape really well in the oven. However, they can be quite tart, so if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to even out the bitterness with added sugar.
It’s also possible to use sweeter, red apples instead of green cooking apples. Remember, though, they’ll fall apart much more easily in the oven.
Do I need a blender for German apple pancakes?
A blender can really help you to mix up the best batter, as it makes the hard work of whisking so much easier.
That being said, you can still prepare great batter with a hand whisk or even with a fork. You just have to put in a little more muscle to get the best results!
Why didn’t my German pancakes rise?
The recipe requires baking powder which acts as a leavening agent and helps the pancakes to rise during the baking process. German pancakes aren’t designed to be super thick, but we only need them to rise slightly.
If they haven’t risen at all, though, consider using more baking powder next time around. Another common problem is that the skillet isn’t hot enough when it goes into the oven or that the oven itself hasn’t had long enough to preheat. The heat steams up the batter and causes it to rise, so make sure everything is hot before baking!
What are the best German apple pancake toppings?
German apple pancakes can be prepared as a sweet treat or dessert or as a savory breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, really!).
There are plenty of great toppings that you can use to finish your German pancakes off, including the following favorites:
- Maple syrup
- Crispy bacon
- Whipped cream
- Heavy cream
- Ice cream
- Icing sugar
- Extra apple slices
Don’t be afraid to get experimental, too. These pancakes are really great as a savory option, and you can try melting cheese over the top or baking chorizo or ground sausage meat into the batter!
How long do German apple pancakes last?
As with all pancakes, German apple pancakes are best enjoyed fresh and hot from the oven. If you can’t eat all the slices in one sitting, then place the leftovers in a resealable container and leave them in the fridge.
You can reheat the leftover pancakes in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop up to 3 days later.
German apple pancake: the final slice
That’s it for our outrageously delicious German apple pancake recipe. This great pancake recipe is a lovely dish to bake for breakfast or serve as a dessert. It’s sweet, fruity, and it’s packed full of tasty goodness!
We love to enjoy our German apple pancakes with thick cream or ice cream on top, but we’ll let you decide the best way to finish this spectacularly sweet treat (bacon and maple syrup never goes amiss in the mornings!).
If you’re looking for a new style of pancake to try, then why not give our baked German apple pancake a go in the kitchen?