I’ve spent a lot of time in Germany, particularly Berlin, and this version of apfelkuchen (apple cake) is very similar to what I’ve found in the bakeries there. Never too heavy on the sugar, European pastries are often sweetened naturally with fruit. Apples are very common, but you see many fruit tarts loaded with any seasonal fruit, as well as jam-filled sweet rolls or doughnuts, and fruit-filled cookies as well.
This easy and terrific Apfelkuchen Overnight Coffee Cake (Easy Apple Cake) is another from Wilma Taylor Schmidt (see her recipe for Scalloped Potatoes with Ham). It’s perfect for the morning of a snowy outing, as you set it up the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning. Overnight the cinnamon soaks into the chopped apples and your whole house will smell warm and inviting.
But I Don’t Have Any Buttermilk! Any Options?
Yes. In a pinch you can create a buttermilk substitute that will do the job adequately. There are several ways, and most likely you have at least one of these items on your shelf already:
- Add one tablespoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup and fill to the 1 cup line with milk.
- Add one tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring cup and fill to the 1 cup like with milk.
- For every one cup of buttermilk called for, add 1 3/4 tsp of Cream of Tartar to the dry ingredients, then add the milk with the wet ingredients. (Cream of Tartar will just clump into a ball if you add it to the milk.)
- Mix together 3/4 cup of sour cream with 1/4 cup milk.
Apfelkuchen Overnight Coffee Cake
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Brown Sugar divided
- 2/3 cup Butter softened
- 2 lg Eggs
- 1 cup Buttermilk or Sour Milk
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Cinnamon divided
- 1 cup Apples peeled, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup Black Walnuts or Pecans optional
- Crystal Sugar for topping optional
- Combine by whisking, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Cream sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar with butter.
- Mix in eggs, buttermilk and flour mixture just until well-combined. Fold in apples with a spatula.
- Pour batter into a 9X12″ greased baking pan or Bundt pan.
- Combine remaining brown sugar and nuts with 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter.
- Cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, uncover and let stand for 30 minutes while oven is heating.
- Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
- You can drizzle the cake with a thin powdered sugar icing, if desired.
I top my Apfelkuchen like the Germans do, with some crystal sugar. It won’t melt into the moist cake like regular granulated sugar will. Check out the offerings at The Prepared Pantry