You may have heard German Apple Pancakes referred to as Dutch Baby Pancake (originally called “Deutch”) or Apfelphannkuchen. Many years ago, a friend shared her recipe for this oven-baked pancake with me. We were both in the throes of raising small children and an oven pancake that was high in protein fit the bill to satiate my little one’s bellies. It was a great addition to our menu and I’ve been making it ever since.
In fact, my oldest daughter recently started requesting this pancake every single Saturday (especially during the winter months). My friend’s recipe has evolved over the years to have less sugar and butter.
This pancake is best with tart apples such as Braeburn or Granny Smith apples.
You can also use canned apple pie filling for your apple layer. Every couple of years I can a bunch of apple pie filling. I use that pie filling for apple crisp, pie, and this apfelpfannkuchen. For this time saver, I use 1 pint of pie filling for a dutch baby.
Batter Rest for a German Apple Pancake
You’ll note that the instructions call for the batter to rest. Traditional Dutch Baby recipes don’t have leavening in them and they require whipping eggs extensively and a long rest period. This recipe is a shortcut because it has a little baking powder instead of the more traditional and labor-intensive recipes that require an extended rest time.
For this recipe, a short rest of 30 minutes to 1 hour is necessary to allow the primary reaction with the baking powder to take place. The baking powder still has a secondary reaction in it that will take place when the apfelpfannkuchen is baked.
One last thing before we get to the recipe…if you have leftovers of this German Apple Pancake, they do store well in the refrigerator. You can just heat them up slightly before eating.
German Apple Pancake – Apfelpfannkuchen
- ½ c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. butter melted
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 lg. tart apple peeled & sliced
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- powdered sugar for dusting
To Make Batter:
- In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients, (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, & ground nutmeg).
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, milk, & vanilla extract. Beat the mixture by hand to get a fairly consistent batter. NOTE: There will be some lumps.
- While stirring the batter slowly pour the melted butter in so it doesn't clump.
- Set batter aside to rest for at least 30 minutes (up to 1 hour).
To Make Apple Layer:
- While the batter rests, heat a cast iron skillet and melt the butter for the apple layer.
- Place the sliced apples on top of the butter and sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon, & nutmeg.
- Flip the apples occasionally and cook until slightly softened.
- When apples are nearly softened, heat the oven to 425°F.
- Pour the batter gently over the cooked apples, scraping any settled batter from the bowl and into the pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F.
- Reduce oven to 375°F and bake an additional 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the pancake from the oven and dust it with powdered sugar if desired.