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Potluck German Apple Cake

My mother made this German apple cake for my brothers and me when we were kids. It's an excellent choice for a Christmas potluck or actually any time of year. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 55 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chopped peeled tart apples
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; add to egg mixture and mix well. Fold in apples and nuts. Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter. Add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth. Spread over cake. Refrigerate leftovers.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Unless otherwise specified, Taste of Home recipes are tested with lightly salted butter. Unsalted, or sweet, butter is sometimes used to achieve a buttery flavor, such as in shortbread cookies or buttercream frosting. In these recipes, added salt would detract from the buttery taste desired.
  • Cinnamon comes in two basic types: Ceylon and cassia. Ceylon cinnamon’s delicate, complex flavor is ideal for ice creams and simple sauces. The spicy, bolder cassia cinnamon (often labeled simply as cinnamon) is preferred for baking.
  • Try all of our best apple dessert recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 455 calories, 24g fat (6g saturated fat), 57mg cholesterol, 212mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate (42g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • Robert
      Sep 25, 2020

      I make this cake often, always moist & tart especially in the Fall... i also add shredded sweet potatoes into recipe @ 2 C... I call it sweet potato & apple cake... yummy

    • bentures
      Nov 21, 2019

      Have probably made this recipe 10 times. It's yummy. I do have to make some modifications as follows: - only need to bake for 45 minutes - use about a 1/4 cup less sugar in the cake and it was plenty sweet - for the icing, I can't seem to be able to get a thick enough and complete spread of icing on the cake with the recipe as is. Instead, I simply use 1.5 blocks of cream cheese with 2 cups of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla and it's perfect.

    • Esther
      Nov 3, 2019

      Great recipe- used applesauce instead of oil, roasted pecans, added nutmeg and cloves and used your brown sugar frosting. Smelled and tasted yummy!!

    • JeannieJay
      Nov 3, 2019

      Loved how easy this was to make and it is delicious. Followed the recipe as written, like many others, I didn't have tart apples on hand, so I used Gala, with excellent results. The whole family loved it and I will make this cake again. As for Anna, why in the world rate a dessert that calls for sugar, when you do not allow that in your diet? I wouldn't read or rate a food group that I do not consume and nor should you. Your review is not helpful in any way.

    • LARJO
      Oct 28, 2019

      Great recipe, but icing needed vanilla so I added 1 tsp and it was perfect. I will be making again!!

    • Heidi
      Oct 19, 2019

      Love this recipe. I used less sugar. The first time l made it as per recipe. I chopped the apple's in food processor. The next time l didn't bother peeling apple's, just washed, quartered , cored and processed. No difference found in structure or taste of this lovely, moist cake. Have just made third cake.

    • Suzette316
      Sep 25, 2019

      Way too much oil. I cut it back to 1/2 cup and it was plenty. The second time I made this, I used 1/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce and it was perfection!

    • Cailin
      May 7, 2019

      No comment left

    • Aman
      Apr 19, 2019

      amazing food weblog you have placed here. I make out the print and it was excellent and useful. Thanks for putting it here. I have save this site for upcoming check out. Your content was really practical achieved. Thanks for such a amazing development.

    • Cindy
      Feb 15, 2019

      To Linton from Nov. 2017, did you, by any chance, use beat sugar or turbinado in your subsequent cakes. I’ve found they work differently and can be grainy.