german apple pancake recipe
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This German apple pancake recipe is a welcome variation on a classic German pancake (also known as a Dutch baby or puff pancake). It puffs up gloriously in the oven and is topped with syrupy cinnamon apples and a dusting of powdered sugar.

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It’s autumn time. Though up here in the hills, today is our first snowfall. The pellet stove has been going since early morning, and the chickens have been hiding inside their coop.

The kids, of course, had to rush out with boots and coats to play in the fresh snow. What little fall color remains on the aspens is now flocked with white. It’s really quite beautiful.

We have been enjoying the return of cozy soups and all the pumpkin and apple recipes that this season brings. This German apple pancake recipe is no exception.

a slice of German apple pancake on an antique floral plate

Though puff pancakes look so fancy on the breakfast table, they are actually really easy to whip up. They are known by name as “German” or “Dutch,” but they are actually an American creation.

My recipe is loosely adapted from the New York Times Dutch Baby Recipe by Florence Fabricant.

The batter has no leavening as normal pancake batter would, but the higher egg ratio causes the pancake to puff as it bakes–almost like a big popover. I like to add nutmeg, vanilla, salt, and a little maple syrup to my batter to give the pancake even more flavor.

A sliced German apple pancake sitting next to two red apples

German pancakes are tasty with a variety of toppings. This time of year especially, I like apple slices that have been cooked down with real maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, and ground cinnamon.

This is a perfect weekend breakfast to share with family or friends!

More Breakfast Recipes from Aberle Home

Tips

  • Avoid using a baking pan that is too large or your batter may set before it has the chance to puff up.
  • Don’t open your oven during the first 17 minutes of baking.
  • Room temperature eggs and milk, along with preheating your pan, both help the German pancake to puff fully in the oven. You can quickly bring your eggs to room temperature in a bowl of warm water and microwave your milk for about 30 seconds.
  • Top and serve the German apple pancake right out of the oven. It will begin to deflate as it cools.

Equipment

How to Make a German Apple Pancake

Step 1 – Make the Apple Topping and Preheat the Oven and Baking Pan

I like to start with the apple topping to make sure it’s done by the time the German puff pancake comes out of the oven.

Any variety of apple will work just fine. I peel my apple first, quarter it, and cut out the core. Then I cut thin slices from each quarter.

Add the apple slices to a small pan with butter, lemon juice, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt, and allow the mixture to cook down until the apples are tender (I like mine to have a bit of a bite to them) and the syrup has reduced.

the apple topping after the apples are tender and the syrup has reduced

If your apples need more time to cook once the syrup reduces, you can cover the pan, or stir in a couple more tablespoons of water to keep your syrup from becoming too thick.

While you’re working on your topping, preheat your oven to 425°F. When it has preheated, place a 10″ cast iron skillet in to preheat for 10 minutes. You can also use a similar-size stoneware pan, like I have used here.

Step 2 – Whisk the German Apple Pancake Batter and Bake

When the pan is almost preheated, you can whisk your eggs, flour, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt until you don’t see any lumps. You could also blend the batter, if you would like.

You’ll just want to wait to whisk it until right before you’re ready to bake it.

whisking the puff pancake batter

Melt the butter in a little dish to get it ready.

When your pan is hot, carefully pull it out of the oven with potholders. Pour your melted butter in first, and tilt the pan to coat the bottom evenly with the butter.

pouring melted butter into a preheated stoneware baking dish

Pour your batter in the pan, right in the center. Use potholders to return the pan to the oven to bake for 17 minutes. Then turn off your oven, and let the German pancake sit in there for 5 more minutes to finish.

pouring the batter into the center of the pan

Step 3 – Top the German Apple Pancake and Serve

The German pancake should come out of the oven golden brown and quite lofty, but it will settle as it cools. There’s always a little melted butter resting on the top of the pancake. I tilt the pan to distribute this evenly over the pancake.

I then proceed to top it with the warm apples and give the whole thing a good dusting of powdered sugar with a fine-mesh strainer.

a close up shot of the finished German apple pancake

The German apple pancake recipe will serve 2-4 people depending on the serving size. I find it serves 4 people just fine if I serve bacon or sausage alongside it.

The puff apple pancake is best served hot and fresh out of the oven. I wouldn’t recommend that you make it ahead of time. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe and love it, I would greatly appreciate if you would come back to leave 5 stars and a review! Tag me on Instagram @aberlehome to show me what you made!

german apple pancake recipe

German Apple Pancake

Yield: 2-4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes

This German apple pancake recipe is a welcome variation on a classic German pancake (also known as a Dutch baby or puff pancake). It puffs up gloriously in the oven and is topped with syrupy cinnamon apples and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Ingredients

German Pancake

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted for baking pan
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Apple Topping

  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (I used a pink lady)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (less if using a tart apple)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup water (plus more as needed)
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Apple Topping: Combine apple slices, butter, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, water, and a pinch of salt in a small pan over medium heat. Stir to combine. Once the mixture begins to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the apples are tender (but still have a bite to them) and syrup has reduced. Add more water as needed if the syrup becomes too thick or cover with a lid. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. German Pancake: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. Once oven is preheated, place a 10-inch cast iron skillet or similar size stoneware pan in the oven to preheat for 10 minutes.
  3. While the pan is preheating, blend or whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, maple syrup, nutmeg, flour, and salt until no lumps remain.
  4. Carefully remove preheated baking pan from oven and pour the melted butter into the pan. Tilt the pan to make sure the butter coats the entire bottom. Pour your egg mixture into the very center of the pan and return to the hot oven on the center rack.
  5. Bake for 17 minutes, then turn off the oven, and leave the German pancake to bake for 5 more minutes until it's puffed, golden, and the center is set.
  6. Once out of the oven, tilt the pancake to evenly distribute any melted butter that remains on the surface. Pour apple topping over the inside and spread evenly. Dust generously with powdered sugar, and slice and serve immediately.

Notes

1. Soak eggs in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to bring them up to room temperature quickly before mixing into the batter. Bring milk to room temperature by microwaving it for 30 seconds.

2. Wait to mix the batter until just prior to baking. Make sure pan preheats for the full 10 minutes before adding butter and batter.

3. Avoid using a pan that is too large, or the pancake may set before it has a chance to puff up fully.

4. Don't open your oven during the first 17 minutes of baking.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 180mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 46gProtein: 8g

*Nutrition information is not always accurate.