German Apple Pancake is a healthier version that is so tender and custardy. The taste is reminiscent of a French toast with caramelized apples! So Yum!
WHAT IS A GERMAN APPLE PANCAKE?
German Apple Pancake is known as Apfelpfannkuchen in German. It is a one dish breakfast or brunch recipe in which a large pancake is prepared by pouring a basic pancake batter over caramelized apples and then baking or cooking it until it is golden brown.
The batter is often unleavened but there are some recipes with a leaving agent added. When the unleavened apple pancake is fully cooked, the batter rises close to the rim of the pan and puffs up. So they are sometimes referred to as puffy apple pancakes. Another name that is also used is “Dutch apple pancakes“.
These baked apple pancakes are so easy and quick to make. And are a crowd pleaser. Wake up to a lazy morning and make these puffed apple pancakes for the whole family just in one pan!
Looking for more sweet, healthy or healthier and tasty breakfast ideas? Check these out:
- Carrot Halwa Pancakes
- Barley Porridge with Blueberries
- Chocolate Hazelnut Honey Crescent Rolls
- Mango Chia Coconut Smoothie Bowl
NUTRITION BENEFITS – HEALTHIER APPLE PANCAKES
Traditional pancake recipes use a standard amount of sugar and butter. But the recipe here uses butter and sugar judiciously, making sure to capture the flavor of butter while using olive oil for the rest of the process.
And it uses some sugar for the shiny and syrupy caramelized apples, while using dates to sweeten the batter. So these changes considerably lower the total saturated fat and refined sugar, while the taste is still excellent.
I also use part whole wheat flour and unpeeled organic apples. That helps retain some fiber. If you like using only whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour, absolutely go for it.
Apples are known for their rich phytochemical profile and are associated with a reduced risk for major diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes etc. They have been found to be beneficial with weight management through the effect on satiety.
Some research has shown that the fiber in apples affects the friendly gut bacteria, thereby boosting immunity. The flavonoid rich apples have been associated with a decrease in inflammation markers and also less weight gain. And the pectins and polyphenols in apples enhance lipid metabolism.
HOW TO MAKE GERMAN APPLE PANCAKES – TIPS AND TRICKS
- Do not over mix the batter.
- Caramelizing the apples optimally is essential for full flavor.
- Make sure to preheat the oven to the suggested temperature.
- Allow the baked pancake to cool for a few minutes and loosen the edges from the pan
- You can choose other flavors for this German apple pancake batter. Such as almond, citrus etc.
- Add some nuts if you like.
- Buttermilk can be substituted for milk.
- The batter can be sweetened with ripe banana instead of dates. Mash it really well with a fork and mix it into the batter, but make sure to lower the amount of milk to 1/3 cup, reduce the amount of flour by two tablespoons.
- Applesauce is another thing to try instead of dates, making adjustments to the amount of milk and flour.
- You do not have to make this baked German apple pancake only for a brunch or a breakfast. It can be served with evening tea or for dessert!
Photography above: bijansviewfinder.com
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This post was first published on 31st January, 2016 and has been updated.
Healthier German Apple Pancake
- 1/2 cup milk reduced fat
- 2 tablespoons dates medjool, chopped, packed (or brown sugar)
- 2 eggs large
- 1/2 cup flour (half whole wheat + half all purpose flour) 65 g
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 apples organic, sliced, 250 g
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 pinch salt
- Confectioner's sugar (optional)
- Maple syrup (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Blend the dates with milk in a high speed blender to a smooth mixture.
- Combine the date-milk (or milk + brown sugar), eggs, whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, vanilla extract, olive oil and whisk it lightly, but do not over mix. Let it rest.
- Take a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Melt the butter over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon brown sugar and stir few minutes. Then lay the thinly sliced apples and sauté for about 5 minutes until the apples soften, turn slightly golden and caramelized.
- Sprinkle the spices, salt and stir gently. Next make sure that the apple slices are uniformly laid out in the skillet.
- Pour the pancake batter evenly over the top of the apples. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes. It should puff up and turn golden brown. Start checking with a cake tester or a toothpick after 15 minutes of baking time to make sure the inside is baked.
- Transfer the skillet on to a wooden surface and let it rest few minutes. The pancake may deflate a little bit after taking it out of the oven. Loosen the pancake gently on all sides using a butter knife or spatula.
- With the help of oven mitts flip the baked pancake carefully onto a serving plate. The iron skillet is heavy, so this requires strong hands and a good grip!!
- To serve, you may decorate with confectioners sugar and use maple syrup, if desired. The pancake should be sweet enough without the syrup.
Dairy Free German Apple Pancakes:Make pancakes with almond milk, hazelnut milk, cashew milk, soymilk etc and trans-free butter substitutes, coconut oil.
Gluten Free German Apple Pancakes:Make pancakes with gluten free oat flour and almond flour (1/3 part almond flour)
Vegan German Apple Pancakes:I have not tried it myself. But you could try with vegan egg substitutes such as chia seed and flax seeds. And use the above listed nut milks and vegan butter.
High Protein German Apple Pancakes:Serve with a scoop of ricotta cheese.
Other options:Pears, peaches, plums, bananas, pineapple, berries (no pre-cooking needed) can be used in place of apples. For more tips and serving suggestions check out the blog post above.
Serving Size: 1/6th of the large pancakeCalories 155, Total Fat 6 g (Saturated Fat 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3 g), Cholesterol 77 mg, Sodium 62 mg, Potassium 136 mg, Phosphorus 80 mg, Total Carbohydrate 21 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 12 g, Protein 4 g