German Apple Pancake

published Sep 28, 2023
German Apple Pancake Recipe

With puffed edges, a custardy center, caramelized apples, this will become an instant brunch favorite.

Serves3 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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fluffy light german pancake in cast iron skillet with browned edges and curly ends
Credit: Kelli Foster

Long before I made my first German pancake (or Dutch baby), I became enamored of popovers in the early days of really learning how to cook. Popovers were my party trick of sorts — the thing I became known for bringing to every sort of gathering and making for holidays and special-occasion dinners. I loved the puffed billowy tops and the custardy centers, and the way butter pooled at their bases (I still swoon thinking about them). 

Needless to say, when I was eventually introduced to a German pancake, I was smitten. It’s basically a skillet-sized breakfast version of my beloved popover. While a true delight on its own, one of the things I love most about a German pancake is that it’s a blank canvas for an endless variety of ways of adding flavor. Although for me, there is no better way to upgrade a basic German pancake than with quickly caramelized apples.

This German apple pancake is a weekend staple at my house, and it has been for years. As soon as the morning air turns crisp, hinting at the transition from summer to fall, this easy breakfast is back in rotation.

Key Ingredients in a German Apple Pancake

  • Apple: Firm, sweet-tart apples like Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady are best here, as they’ll hold their shape when cooked.
  • Eggs: Before doing anything else, take out three eggs and let them come to room temperature. Room-temperature eggs will mix into the batter easier and yield a loftier pancake.
  • Milk: You can use either whole or 2% milk here. Take it out of the fridge at the same time you take the eggs out, and let the milk sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Butter: Be sure to stick with unsalted butter.
  • Sugar: You’ll use granulated sugar for this recipe. A few spoonfuls get tossed with the apples and a tablespoon is mixed into the pancake batter.
  • Ground spices: Stir some ground cinnamon and ground or grated nutmeg with the apples for extra flavor. 
  • Flour. While German pancakes are decidedly eggy and custardy, they still need a little flour to give shape and sturdiness.
Credit: Kelli Foster

How To Make a German Apple Pancake

Great news: It only takes three simple steps to make a German apple pancake. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Caramelize the sliced apple. Cook the apple in a few tablespoons of melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until softened and lightly caramelized around the edges. 
  2. Meanwhile, make the batter. You have the option to whisk together the batter by hand in a mixing bowl (my preferred method) or you can blitz all the ingredients together in a blender. Both methods work well and take just a few minutes.
  3. Bake the pancake. Take the skillet off the heat and pour the batter over the apples. Slide into the oven and bake until the center is set and the edges are puffed and lightly browned.

German Apple Pancake Recipe

With puffed edges, a custardy center, caramelized apples, this will become an instant brunch favorite.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Serves 3 to 4

Nutritional Info


  • 3

    large eggs

  • 1/2 cup

    whole or 2% milk

  • 1

    large Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady apple

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons

    granulated sugar, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground or grated nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • Powdered sugar or syrup, for serving


  1. Place 3 large eggs and 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk in a medium bowl or blender and let come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF.

  3. Peel 1 large Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady apple. Halve and core the apple, then thinly slice.

  4. Melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the apple, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and lightly caramelized around the edges, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the batter.

  5. If mixing in the bowl, add the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl and whisk to combine, then whisk in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour until smooth. If using a blender, add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds.

  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and spread the apples into a single layer. Pour the batter evenly over the apples.

  7. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until set in the center and puffed around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve dusted with powdered sugar or with maple syrup.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The pancake will deflate quickly and is best eaten immediately after baking, but leftovers are still delicious. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 300°F oven until warmed through.