A slice of German apple and rhubarb marzipan cake

German apple cake or rhubarb coffeecake with marzipan

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The German apple cake or rhubarb cake ((Apfelkuchen or rhabarbakuchen) is a classic teatime treat, or Kaffe und Kuchen o’clock as it’s called there.

This recipe I’m sharing is a keeper as you may find out. It calls for basic ingredients and yet the result is a decent classic Apfelkuchen (German apple cake), with rhubarb if affinities, which shows how versatile it is.

A slice of German apple and rhubarb cake

German apple and rhubarb cake @Credit: Nada Kiffa

German’s baking tradition

I realised that Germans have a thing for streusel toppings in cakes and tarts. In fact, there is a myriad of baked goods having this crumbly mix as a topping but also the same dough will be the base of the tart.

I usually enjoy any fruit tart topped with streusel topping. When fresh berries are in season. All bakeries would have different tarts-pies or trays to be sold cut into bars.

In a spring day, I keep this cake over the counter for a couple of days. In a summer day, I’d suggest you put it in the fridge and take it out 30 min before serving.

Let’s get baking!

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German apfelkuchen (or rhabarbakuchen)

The German coffeecake with a layer of crumble is a very versatile cake. While the classic apple version is very common accross Germany, the seasonal fruits are easily used as a substitute. My other favourite version has to be the rhubarb cake with a marzipan-enriched crumble. Heaven!

Cake mix

  • 115 gram caster sugar
  • 115 gram butter (soft, at room temperature)
  • 160 gram flour (sifted)
  • 2 eggs (standard size)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (or cinnamon)

Fruit mix

  • 3 apples (or 3 stalks of rhubarb)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (1 extra tbsp if using rhubarb)


  • 160 gram flour (substitute ¼ with marzipan 50/50)
  • 85 gram butter (in cubes)
  • 85 gram brown sugar (demerara will do)
  • ½ TSP mixed spices (or vanilla sugar for flavour)
  1. Watch me make the cake on my YouTube channel:


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