Fluffy German Apple Pancakes (Apfelpfannkuchen)

Perfectly Golden Brown German Apple Pancakes Await You!

Searching for a sweet and delicious treat that can be breakfast, brunch, dinner, or an after-dinner dessert? German apple pancakes are what you’re looking for! Super fluffy and perfectly sweet, these apple pancakes are loaded with fresh apple and served hot right from the pan!

We love these apple pancakes. We aren’t usually huge into sweets but something about these pancakes makes them both hearty and filling like a brunch item and sweet at the same time. It’s just the right combination to not feel completely like you are eating an overly sweet dessert while still making sure you know you are eating delicious apple pancakes!

round german apple pancakes on plate with apple slices and napkin around
This batch of German apple pancakes were SO good… but they usually are anyways!

Lisa actually grew up eating apple pancakes – but like actual German apple pancakes (this recipe) not what is sometimes known as German pancakes in the United States. Those pancakes – also sometimes called Dutch babies – were supposedly brought to the US by German immigrants centuries ago and are prepared slightly different than the Apfelpfannkuchen (apple pancakes) that we usually know and make in Germany. So don’t be surprised if this recipe is slightly different than what you would expect!

We’ve actually seen a bakery have a window for exclusively selling apple pancakes in the German city that we used to live in! Next to other delicious apple treat like Apfelberliner (similar an deep-fried apple donut), we’ve had our fair share of this delicious dessert item. After a while, it was time to create our own recipe for it!

stack of german apple pancakes on plate with sliced apples around on wooden table
The apples fry up and caramelize on the tops – it’s amazing…

The key to this version is to fill the batter with apple bits but also add/insert apples and place them on top of each pancake after you spoon the batter into the pan. You can totally get creative with these – Lisa likes making five-point stars but you could also make letters for the names of the eaters!

sliced apples and cut up apple pieces on green cutting board
Some apples need to be sliced thin, others need to be cut into small pieces.

Another great part of these apple pancakes is that they are naturally sweet – due to the apples and the sugar in the recipe. So, in our opinion, you don’t even have to add any kind of syrup to enjoy them (but you can if you like!). This is coming from Eric who – as a Canadian – will add maple syrup to basically anything! We really enjoy these pancakes with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a hint of agave syrup.

stack of german apple pancakes on plate with apple slices around

German Apple Pancakes (Apfelpfannkuchen)

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Perfectly fluffy and wonderfully sweet, these German apple pancakes are a great addition to any brunch and can even be enjoyed as a dessert. Loaded with apple inside and sliced apples on top, the cinnamon and sugar make them enjoyable on their own - or with a drizzle of syrup and powdered sugar!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 medium-sized apples
  • 3 medium-sized eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 5 tbsp oil

Instructions

  1. Wash the apples and peel them, if desired. Cut the one whole apple into small cubes and the 1/2 apple into very thin slices. See the photo above for reference. Optional: You can sprinkle some lemon juice on top of the apples to avoid browning. Set the apples aside for now.
  2. Separate the eggs and put the egg whites into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Make sure that no egg yolk gets into the egg whites.
  3. Use an electric hand mixer to beat the egg whites until they are stiff. When tilting the bowl, the egg whites should barely move. This means that they are stiff enough.
  4. In a separate bigger mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, milk and sugar until the mixture becomes frothy.
  5. Mix the flour, salt, and cinnamon together and add it to the egg yolk mixture in small increments with your electric mixer on the lowest setting. Keep mixing until the batter is smooth. At this point, your batter might be quite thick - that's okay.
  6. Set your hand mixer aside and carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk batter with a spatula. Add in the apple cubes (not the slices!) and slowly fold them into the batter as well.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add approximately one soup ladle of batter per pancake. Since the batter can be quite thick, smooth it out with your ladle or a spoon. Now add the little slices of apple on top of the batter in the pan. You can get creative with your design but should not overlap apple slices to allow for even cooking.
  8. Fry your pancake on medium-heat for approximately 5 minutes on the first side, flip it, and then fry it for a slightly shorter amount of time on the other side. Once both sides are golden brown, remove your pancake from the pan and repeat the steps until all your pancake batter has been used up.
  9. Serve your pancakes with powdered sugar (traditional), maple syrup, or jam. Apple pancakes also go well with bacon for a North American brunch.

Notes

  • When folding the egg whites into the batter, it is important that you are very gentle. This is what makes the pancakes fluffy.
  • You might not fit more than one pancake into your pan since they are on the larger side.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 3gSugar: 26gProtein: 10g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

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