German Apple Cake

German Apple Cake has chunks of fresh apple, lots of fall spices, crunchy pecans, and a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. This is one of the most delicious apple desserts you will ever taste so get ready for some fall baking!!

German Apple Cake


I know it’s not quite fall yet, but I’m ready for it to be here. This past week I helped both my kids get moved into their apartments for the school year. My daughter in Charleston and my son in Atlanta. And now I’m ready for the seasons to begin to change and the fall baking to commence.


German Apple Cake with cream cheese frosting


Apples, along with sweet potatoes and pumpkin are what fall baking is all about for me. I’ve never been a huge apple pie fan but I love apples in other types of desserts like Caramel Apple Pound Cake, Crockpot Butterscotch Apple Crisp, and Frisky Apple Fritters.

German Apple Cake with cream cheese frosting


This German Apple Cake is everything you could want in a fall apple dessert. The cake batter, with lots of chunks of apple, cooks up super moist with just the right amount of spice flavoring. But undoubtedly the best part is the icing!!

German Apple Cake with chunks of fresh apple

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Watch the short video below to see how easy this cake is to make!

4.77 from 13 votes
German Apple Cake
German Apple Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

German Apple Cake has chunks of fresh apple, lots of fall spices, crunchy pecans, and a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. 

Course: Dessert
Servings: 16
Author: Christin Mahrlig
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups peeled and finely chopped tart apples, I use Granny Smith
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half or milk
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract until completely combined.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.

  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine.

  5. Fold in apples and pecans. Pour batter into prepared pan.

  6. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Let cool.

  7. Make frosting. Place cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until smooth.

  8. Add vanilla extract, half-and-half, and confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth.

  9. Spread on top of cake. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home


More Apple Desserts

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Slow Cooker Apple Cobbler

Slow Cooker Apple Cobbler

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30 thoughts on “German Apple Cake

  1. I’ve been making this for 30 years. I thinly slice the apples instead of chopping them and 2 eggs instead of 3. It is still moist and delicious! The cream cheese frosting is so delicious and rich with it, too. I have made just a glaze before and it is really good like this, too. Great cake!


  3. Delightful. I made two small changes: 1) I used 1 cup white sugar 1 cup brown sugar instead of 2 cups white sugar aaand 2) I used a mashed banana instead of vegetable oil! So dense, so soft, so tasty. Also, didn’t even need the frosting, honestly.

  4. I made this cake some weeks ago. I loved it, my parents loved it and I’m preparing it again right now (that’s why I’m checking back the recipe, i didn’t took note…) It’s moist, it’s flavourful, it’s tender, very aromatic and cover in the fridge it lasts (if you don’t eat it) for more than a week. It’s fantastic, what can I say. And you can play with different apple varieties and different nuts. As I’m not very fond of frostings, it’s even easier… Thank you!

  5. I was disappointed w/the frosting. I followed the recipe exactly as printed & my frosting was not thick enough to spread like a typical frosting. It was thin & it was almost like a thick glaze. I should have added more powdered sugar but it would have been too sweet for my taste. Any ideas of what I might have done wrong? The cake itself was delicious!

    1. You’re only adding 1 tablespoon of liquid and the rest of the ingredients are solids so I don’t see how it could possibly be like a glaze. It should be very thick. Are you sure you added the correct amounts?

  6. My home cooks class made this cake today and it is very good.
    We liked it because it’s moist, holds together when served, the nuts were a nice added texture.
    Cream cheese frosting for this cake just made this cake one all of us will make for parties and potlucks.
    Make it and enjoy it! The name German Apple Cake
    Should not keep you from making this cake.

  7. a true German apple cake or not this is so easy to make and so darn good!!! Come on people chill out!!! It kinda reminds me of a carrot cake but easier to make!!! Love it!!!

  8. Made this and not what I expected. Texture is more like a cookie than a cake. Flavor is ok but won’t make again. Just not what I want.

  9. I’m sorry but this has nothing to do with a german apple cake. Traditionally we do not use cream cheese frosting and pecan nuts are very rare.
    A german apple cake has either a dough with lots of slices or Chunks of Apples on top or kinda sunken into the dough or its like a pocket with the apples in it. Its moist and i like it with cinnamon. Lots of people have raisins in it.
    Please change the Name. This is not a german apple cake.
    Thank you.

    1. Just FYI, I live in a heavily German rural area in the US and this is the cake they make. So….. while it may not be the recipe from a specific region of Germany (and every area has a different take on their foods) it is an American German Apple Cake. The addition of pecans is probably due to the fact we are heavily wooded in them. They go in everything.

      I forego the frosting though. Its sweet and rich enough without it.

  10. This recipe sure sounds delicious, but the name is somewhat confusing. This cake is anything but german. German cooking or baking hardly ever contains pecans or cream cheese frosting.

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