Old World German Apple Crumb Cake (Gedeckter Apfelkuchen mit Streusseln)

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secondchancebaker 1

"Yesterday Mom visited & for the first time together we baked my favorite apple dessert from my childhood, Gedeckter Apfelkuchen mit Streusseln. You’ve never tasted anything like this before, that is unless you’ve been blessed with a German mother who survived WW II. During that time she learned to cook & bake from her mother & grandmother using simple ingredients & to not waste a thing. An apple tea recipe has been submitted also. This is an Old World scratch cake recipe that has been handed down for generations. The aroma of baking apples will fill your home & stir your appetite. Enjoy!"
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105 min. 24 servings yields 3 cakes
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 24 servings



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  1. This recipe is made in stages to prevent the baking powder from getting a head start. The technique is different from any I have ever used so follow the directions. You will be very pleased w/ the results.
  2. Wash apples. Peel, quarter, & cut cores from the apples. (Save PEELS & CORES - See Old World Apple Tea Recipe). Place the quarters in a large bowl w/ 2 tblsp. lemon juice & enough water to cover them. Slice apple quarters into thin slices & place in a 3 quart or larger cooking pot. Drizzle lemon juice over apple pieces, cover w/ lid. Set aside.
  3. In mixing bowl cream 2 sticks butter. Mix in 1/2 c. sugar then alternately, (eggs one at a time) & sugar mixing completely after each addition. Add a pinch of salt & vanilla & stir until just blended. Set aside.
  4. Topping: In another mixing bowl add flour & sugar, mix together, add butter. Cut butter into dry ingredients using pastry blender or your hand. Set aside.
  5. HEAVILY butter & flour 3 GLASS pie pans or 3 glass 9 x 9 x 2 GLASS baking dishes. (You want something w/ slightly rounded corners & bottom edges to ease removal of the cake and glass will prevent over browning.)
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. To batter, sift in flour 1/2 cup at a time. Midway add baking powder to flour & sift in as well. Stir after each addition until the dry ingredients are well incorporated to form a thick sticky batter somewhere between a box cake & bread dough consistency. Do not over mix or you will develop the gluten. If batter is too thick it will be difficult to spread into pans & if too thin apples will settle through to the bottom of the pans while baking.
  8. Spoon into each pan 1/3 of the dough. Spread evenly w/ spatula. Start at one end & spread it around the bottom & just a little bit up the sides. Because the batter is so sticky it can come up off of the pan w/ the spatula. Maintain batter/spatula contact until the pan is completely covered.)
  9. Lay the apples next to each other in a pinwheel design & go around until you reach the edge. If using square pans, start at one side & work your way to the opposite.
  10. Lightly sprinkle apples with sugar,(then cinnamon if using).
  11. Pick up a handful of crumb topping at a time. Squeeze it into a large clump then gently break the clump onto pieces as you cover the apples. This will create both large & small crumbs.
  12. Place pans onto center rack of oven. Bake 50 - 60 min.
  13. Test center of cakes w/ tooth pick. When it comes out clean they are done. An easy estimate is if you still see bubbling through the crumbs they’re not done.
  14. Remove pans from oven to rack until completely cool.
  15. These cakes will store well at room temperature covered w/ aluminum foil for 1 week. Serve plain or w/ a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
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