Light and Delicious German Apple cake – sophisticated, easy, healthier version of a classic cake! Double the fiber and healthy fats; lower saturated fat, total fat and calories.
German cuisine offers a treasure house of opportunities for an adventurous baker. There is so much to learn and try out – the possibilities are endless.
Apfelkuchen (apple cake) is one of my favorite German cakes. The first time I had it, was years ago, when my mother in law had baked it. Ever since then I have baked it countless times.
With the classic German Apfelkuchen, I saw a possibility to improve the health quotient of the cake, in a way that people who are diet conscious and/or have special dietary needs are also able to enjoy it sometimes.
For that, I used whole wheat pastry flour, apples with the peel, oil instead of butter in the cake batter. To sweeten this light and delicious German apple cake, I used honey.
Whole wheat pastry flour is produced from soft wheat berries. It does not form a strong gluten network, resulting in a lighter texture, while enhancing the nutrition quality of the baked product.
When compared to the classic version of Apple cake, this healthier version has double the amount of fiber and monounsaturated fats, lower in calories, total fat and has about 60% less saturated fat.
Apples are loaded with health promoting phytochemicals and have been considered beneficial for lowering the risk of many diseases – diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc. They are especially good for weight management.
The peel is rich in fiber and antioxidants. So, as much as is possible, I would retain the peel in recipes. I have also discussed more about apples in my post about a Rustic German Apple Pancake.
It is merely a coincidence that both these German recipes are apple based! But, I have a lot more to share about delectable German baked treats. Stay tuned!
Photography above: bijansviewfinder.com
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- 1/4 cup olive oil light
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil light
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest grated
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 eggs large
- 1 cup pastry flour (whole wheat)
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk reduced fat
- 1 ½ pounds apples organic, sweet and juicy
- 2 tablespoons butter* grass fed, melted
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam (smooth)
- 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 325ºF*.
Grease the springform pan lightly with oil or use a cooking oil spray. Line the bottom of the cake pan very well with parchment paper.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, cream the oil with the honey at high speed. Alternatively may use a hand whisk or a food processor.
Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt and beat well at medium speed. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy.
Sift the whole grain pastry flour, cake flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient and gradually whisk it into the cake batter.
Use just enough milk and whisk it together to give the batter a slow dropping consistency. Transfer the cake batter to the springform cake pan and level it off.
Wash the apples and wipe dry. Quarter the apples and core them. Make several vertical parallel slits on the peel side of the apples.
This step should be done carefully. Make sure the cuts are deep, but not all the way to the center core portion. As that may result in the slice separating from the entire quarter. Just stop short of reaching the center core while making the slits.
Arrange the apple quarters, peel side up, all over the cake batter in a flower like pattern, starting from the periphery and working inwards. Make sure to place the quarters gently over the cake batter and do not press it down.
Brush the melted butter all over the apple quarters. Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes. Check with a cake tester or a toothpick to make sure it is baked well all the way through the center.
Take the apricot jam in a small sauce pan with about a tablespoon of water and prepare a thick honey like syrup. Using a brush, spread the apricot syrup all over the top of the hot cake. Release the springform ring and let the light and delicious German apple cake cool to room temperature.
1. When oil is used in place of butter in a cake recipe, it is usually needed in a reduced amount than the butter that would be needed. For this recipe 1/2 cup butter would be needed instead of the oil used. You may substitute a mild flavored vegetable oil for olive oil.
2. When honey is used in place of sugar, it is usually needed in smaller quantity and adjustments are made to the amount of liquid added. For this recipe 1/2 cup sugar would be needed instead of the honey used.
3. For the apple topping, I used butter which imparts a rich flavor and taste to the entire cake. I used salted butter, which interestingly will not make the baked cake topping salty but will intensify the sweetness of the apricot jam.
4. The baking temperature for the cake is lower when the batter is prepared with honey. But if only sugar is used, then the cake is to be baked at 350ºF.
5. For this recipe I used Gala apples which are sweet and juicy.
Serving Size: 1 Slice
Calories 268, Total Fat 11 g (Saturated Fat 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 7 g), Cholesterol 70 mg, Sodium 155 mg, Potassium 161 mg, Phosphorus 109 mg, Total Carbohydrate 38 g, Dietary Fiber 3.2 g, Sugars 18 g, Protein 5 g