german apple pancake


This is the third time I’ve tried to photograph this so I could blog about it. The first time was over a year ago when I didn’t know how to use my hand-me-down point-and-shoot camera. The photos are either yellow or they’re unevenly lit, and there’s a bunch of distracting stuff in the background. The next set has good lighting, but it just looks like powdered sugar dusted over…something. Who knew that a German apple pancake would be so hard to photograph?


I used to order this in restaurants, back before I knew how easy it was to make at home. There’s nothing more to it than sautéing apples with sugar and cinnamon, pouring batter into the pan, and baking everything. The only challenge is inverting the whole thing onto a platter, but I just aim for “rustic” so I don’t have to worry about it looking perfect.


I’ve combined my favorite parts of two recipes to get one that was perfect for me. My mom gave me a recipe a few years ago, that, as is typical for recipes I get from my mom, is missing an important ingredient from the ingredient list – apples. Regardless, it is the apple portion that I like best from her recipe. There’s enough butter so that they’re not sticky, but not so much that they’re greasy.


For the batter, my mom’s recipe calls for the eggs to be separated and the whites to be beaten to stiff peaks, then folded into the remaining ingredients. I don’t really like the resulting spongy texture. Instead, I mix all of the ingredients in the blender. The resulting pancake is dense and even-textured, with enough flavor to support the apples without overpowering them.


When my mom makes her recipe, she arranges the cooked apple slices in a pretty pattern in the skillet before topping them with the batter. When she inverts the cooked pancake, the pattern is retained. I tried it once, but I couldn’t see the arrangement of apple slices, especially after a dusting of powdered sugar, I guess because of the different batter I use, so I don’t bother arranging them now.


So maybe this isn’t the most impressive-looking breakfast ever. But believe me that the taste makes up for the looks entirely. It’s sweet but not overbearing, and the batter supports the apple filling perfectly. Plus, there’s an apple per person, so I like to convince myself that it’s sort of healthy.


One year ago: Macaroni and Cheese – Yum.  Love this stuff.

German Apple Pancake

Serves 2

I don’t worry too much about what kind of apple I use for this. McIntosh is probably a bad choice, since they’re so soft, but anything else seems like it would be okay. I usually use Empire.

I was a little uncertain about putting a nonstick skillet in the oven at first. But, I took the plunge and haven’t had any problems. You could try wrapping the handle (that’s the part that is least likely to be heat safe) in foil, or, if you’re very concerned, transfer the apple mixture to a greased pie pan before adding the batter and baking everything.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (see note)
2 large eggs
¾ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
½ cup (2½ ounces) flour
powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 400C.

2. Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt; stir. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated in the butter, add the apples and spread them into a single later. Cook without stirring until the apples begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely soft and maybe even a little caramelized.

3. Meanwhile, place all remaining ingredients except flour in blender and process until mixed, about 15 seconds, wiping down sides if necessary. Add flour and continue processing until it’s incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

4. Pour the batter evenly over the apples. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until pancake is firm and puffed, about 10 minutes. Invert onto plate, dust with powdered sugar, and serve.



  1. This looks so good and so comforting. Thanks for the great post.

  2. Looks pretty impressive to me!! 😀

  3. It might not look very pretty, but it’s certainly making me hungry 🙂
    I’ve tried making this before with so-so results, so I think I’ll try doing it your way and your Mom’s way (folding in the egg whites) and compare.

  4. fingers80 says:

    I made this once with a recipe from Cooking Light! You’ve reminded me about it, and now I want to make it again….like, right now. 😉

  5. I have always been a fan of apples cooked this way. This looks fabulous 🙂

  6. mmmm this seems perfect for a winter morning!
    and fairly healthy too, definitely adding to my try soon list.

  7. I have always wanted to make one of these! And Dutch Baby too (not sure how it’s different). Looks fantastic!!

  8. Some delicious foods are more photogenic than others. It still looks tasty and your process photos are beautiful. =)

  9. joelen says:

    This looks awesome. If you’re ever interested in reading about the history of the German Apple Pancake, I have a blog post about it. It stemmed from a culinary lecture I attended back in 2007 and I was able to meet and speak with the author of a book who dedicated a lot of research on German Apple Pancakes. LOL. You can find it here:

  10. Laura (biogrrll) says:

    My husband’s great-grandfather is from Germany so he loves anything German. : ) This looks delicious so I think I’m going to have to give it a whirl for him soon! : )

  11. Even me who generally feels so-so about apples thinks this looks mighty fine!

  12. This looks so good! It is making my stomach rumble this morning! If only I had time to make it real quick…

  13. I love apples and I love pancakes. What can i say about this post? ….simply delicious:)

  14. This looks yummy. I think I will have to try it out for breakfast tomorrow. I love anything with apple and cinnamon.

  15. Mmm, looks like I found Breakfast this morning. Thanks for this!

  16. Laura De. says:

    Hi Chris – ever been to the Original House of Pancakes? They have an amazing apple pancake called the Big Apple – and its BIG, delicious and I dare you to eat it all! Give it a try some day:) One of my favorite spots to eat in Grosse Pte.


  1. […] have a strong German background too. So, I thought a German recipe for brunch would be fitting and THIS recipe fit the bill. OMG holy delciousness is all I can say! Sooooo yummy and also a lot easier […]