Versunkener Apfelkuchen (Sunken Apple Cake)

Versunken Apfelkuchen is a traditional and very popular German dessert. ┬áThe cake gets it’s flavor from the apples, of course, but also from Almond Extract. The combo of Apples and Almond Flavor is just divine. This cake is also very easy to make. It’s a great beginner cake in general. I make this cake once per year, for my friend’s annual Oktoberfest party, and it’s always a hit. Even if you don’t have an Oktoberfest party, it’s a fabulous fall dessert.

Versunkener Apfelkuchen (Sunken Apple Cake)

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By Liz Serves: 30
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cooking Time: 35 Minutes

I only make this recipe once per year for a big Oktoberfest party that my friends host. For that reason, this is a BIG recipe. You can cut the recipe in half and use a 9x13 rectangular pan instead. I also sliced the cake into thin pieces that were easy for people to pick up with their hands and eat at a party. See photos below to see the presentation for the party.


  • Cake:
  • 2 sticks of Salted Butter (Softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Almond Extract
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Cake Flour
  • 4-5 firm apples like Honeycrisp
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) Salted Butter (Softened)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Almond Extract



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Line a 18x13 half sheet pan with parchment paper, if any of the sides of the pan are not covered by the parchment, grease them with butter.


In your mixer, add Butter and Sugar and beat together until creamy.


Add the Eggs and Almond Extract and beat until creamy.


Add Baking Powder, and Salt until just combined.


Add half of the Flour and beat until just combined.


Add half the Milk and combine.


Add the rest of the flour and then the rest of the milk.


Beat just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl one time.


Spread the batter out in the sheet pan, on top of the parchment paper.


Peel, core, & slice the apples into thin slices.


Arrange the slices in four rows down the length of the pan, slightly layering them on top of the one before and then lightly push them down into the batter with your fingers.


To make the topping, mix the Brown sugar, Flour, and Cinnamon together.


Mash the softened Butter and Almond Extract into the topping with your hands until combined and crumbly.


Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.


Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.


Let cool and then cut into slices to serve.

The apples all lined up on the cake batter:

The final cake with the topping in the oven:

This is how I served if for the party:

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