• Apfelkuchen mit Mandeln •
A vegan version of the classic German Apple Cake, featuring a layer of moist cake topped with tart apples and smothered with sweet, toasted almonds.
There are so many ways to make apple cake. I’ve made them using applesauce, shredded fresh apples, sliced apples intricately arranged as a topping, and even using sliced apples on the bottom of a cake pan, similar to how you make pineapple upside-down cake. I’ve also made cakes with chunks of apples mixed into the batter.
The problem you can run into with apple cake, or any cake with added fruit, is that the excess moisture in the fruit can leech out into the batter and make the cake overly wet. This cake follows a baking method that employs a high temperature to dry out the apples on top, thus avoiding gumminess.
Indeed, this cake is unusual in that it has a staggered baking process. You bake it initially for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven, add the boiling almond topping, and quickly throw it back into the oven to finish baking. The first step ensures that the apples have enough time to dry out before they get covered with the almond topping. It also prevents the almonds from browning too much before the cake underneath is cooked. The end result is a lovely, dense German Apple Cake that’s perfect for Kaffee und Kuchen!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds (preferably golden flax) mixed with 6 Tablespoons of water
- ¼ cup oil (any neutral oil--I used sunflower)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin (grannysmith, fuji, or golden delicious are all good)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons nondairy milk
- 4 Tablespoons vegan butter or coconut oil
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the nondairy milk, sugar, flax seed mixture, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt until completely blended. Set both bowls aside and peel, core, and slice the apples.
- Now that everything is ready, combine the flour mix into the wet mixture and whisk until combined (The batter is a bit thick). Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan. Scatter the sliced apples evenly over the top of the batter and bake for 20 minutes.
- After the cake has been in the oven for 15 minutes, make the almond topping by combining the sugar, nondairy milk, vegan butter or coconut oil, and sliced almonds in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Stir it occasionally and let it simmer on low until the the cake timer rings.
- Gently remove the cake from the oven and place on the counter. Pour the very hot almond mixture evenly over the top of the apples and immediately put it back in the oven for another 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, the topping should be golden brown and bubbling. Insert a toothpick or wooden skewer into the cake to test the doneness. The cake has now had a total bake time of 45 minutes. If you think it needs more time, leave it in for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on the counter completely before slicing and serving. It's even better the next day.
-If you use coconut oil instead of vegan butter for making the topping, you may notice that the oil may slightly solidify the next day, especially if you're in a cold environment. This doesn't affect the taste but if it bothers you, throw the cake under the broiler for a few minutes right before serving to guests. It will look like you just baked it again.