Apple Kuchen for the Holidays

Delicious Apple Kuchen will delight your holiday guests for breakfast, brunch or dessert!apple kuchen
En Español
What fun that I got to be Kitchen of the Month for the Bread Baking Babes this month!! For me that is always a bit nerve wracking, because I want to pick something everyone will like. But also, it is fun to be the host, because it means everyone gathers in “your [virtual] kitchen” for a bread baking party!

As I considered all the possibilities of breads we could bake this December, I knew I wanted to do something special, but different. I thought about something difficult and labor intensive to finish off the year but knew that even I would have trouble with a challenging recipe. I wanted something, not necessarily “simple,” but a bread that would be delicious as breakfast or dessert. With all the holiday parties coming up, hopefully this can serve as a perfect dish to bring and share.

apple kuchenThis recipe is with apples, but I will tell you the honest truth…if I had fresh cranberries around here, I would certainly be throwing in a couple handfulls to the apple mixture. If you want to try a different fruit, you are welcome to.

The Cream Cheese Topping is purely optional. I feel like having a sweet, creamy topping makes it more of a dessert and less of a bread. But I am just going to stick with my story that at least there’s yeast! And to be honest, the guests that enjoyed this said that the cream on top “made it.” It truly was delicious and a perfect blend of flavors.

apple kuchenSo what are we making? An Apple Kuchen! “What’s that?” you ask. Good question!

Kuchen is said to be the German word for cake. Maybe someone more German than I am can confirm that? There are several “types” of kuchen that can be prepared:

  • Rolled – filled dough in a long spiral, baked & sliced to serve
  • Custard – thick cake-y crust with sweet custard filling
  • Cheesecake – yeasted crust with fruit and a cream cheese filling
  • Coffeecake – cinnamon sugar streaks in a butter cake
  • Pie – thick cake-y crust with apple-pie filling and sweet white icing

We are making something (that I think) is closest to the “Pie Kuchen.”

apple kuchen


Holiday Apple Kuchen
Serves 12
Delicious Apple Kuchen will delight your holiday guests for breakfast, brunch or dessert!
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Crumb Topping
  1. 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 3 tablespoons butter
Apple Kuchen
  1. 2 1/4 - 2 3/4 cups flour, divided
  2. 1 package active dry yeast
  3. 1/2 cup milk
  4. 1/2 cup Demerara sugar
  5. 1/4 cup salted butter
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 4 cups apple slices (about 4 medium baking apples)
  9. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  10. 1 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca
  11. 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
  12. 1 teaspoon apple pie spice (I used a mix of cinnamon and allspice)
Cream Cheese Topper
  1. 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  2. 2/3 cup whipping cream
  3. 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  1. CRUMB TOPPING: In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside. (I will not confirm or deny that I doubled the crumb topping. Because crumb topping really is the best part.)
  2. APPLE KUCHEN: Grease a 13x9x2 baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour and the yeast; set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat and stir milk, granulated sugar, butter and salt just until mixture is warm (120F-130F) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture and eggs to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Beat in as much of the remaining flour as you can without the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour to make a stiff batter.
  4. Spread batter into the prepared baking pan. In another large bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, tapioca, lemon juice and apple pie spice. Place apple mixture on top of the batter. Sprinkle with Crumb Topping. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  5. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 30 minutes or until top is browned and apples are tender. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  6. CREAM CHEESE TOPPING: In a small bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in whipping cream and powdered sugar.
  7. Cut into 12 pieces and serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of Cream Cheese Topper on each piece.
Adapted from BH&G Holiday Baking 2009 Magazine
Adapted from BH&G Holiday Baking 2009 Magazine
Provecho Peru
I was Kitchen of the Month for the Bread Baking Babes and Buddies.  The Baking Babes would LOVE to have you to bake Apple Kuchen with us and be a Bread Baking Buddy! You will be rewarded with a delicious bread and a badge. To participate as a Buddy, please bake the bread, post your thoughts about it, and take a photo. Then send me an e-mail at gretchen AT provechoperu DOT com by December 26th (that means you can make this for Christmas and get me the information the next day!). This Holiday Apple Kuchen is being submitted to Yeastspotting.

More apple kuchens:

Apple Crumb Kuchen on Baked by Rachel
Apple Pie Coffee Cake with Dulce de Leche on Eats Well With Others
Apple Crisp Sweet Roll Coffee Cakes on Barbara Bakes
Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce on Tartine and Apron Strings


Gretchen Noelle

My love of food was cultivated early on by my family but has come alive while living in Peru. During the 12 years of living in Lima, Peru, I have also enjoyed numerous trips to other areas of the country. Here on Provecho Peru you will find Peruvian recipes in English, American favorites prepared overseas, news about Peruvian Cuisine and interesting tidbits about life in Peru.

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17 Responses

  1. Elle says:

    Such a great choice for December Gretchen! Different and not too difficult or time consuming…and very yummy, too. Thanks for picking this one, darling Kitchen of the Month.

    • Gillian says:

      Thanks for the recipe. My (German) husband will be over the moon when I make this.

      Just to confirm that Kuchen is the German word for cake. Any excuse and Germans will get together for Kaffe and Kuchen (coffee and cake), and this would be a perfect cake for such an occasion.

  2. Share is the right word here, simply because this fits breakfast and dessert and everything in-between!
    Really sorry I forgot the cranberry idea because it would have been wonderful. The pomegranate seeds did make a festive touch, I just didn’t capture that in a photo. A perfect festive choice for December.

  3. Lien says:

    They all loved this traybake here, apples and crumbs a match made in heaven. Delicious! Thanks Gretchen

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I confess I was dreading making this because I thought it was going to be hard. Silly me…

    Thank you Gretchen! My husband is out of his mind with joy. He adores this “bread”.

  5. Yes, Kuchen is the generic German term for pastry. It can even be savory pastry, like onion tart “Zwiebelkuchen”.
    Your Apple Kuchen is a very popular German cake, “Apfel-Streuselkuchen”, often baked at home and offered by every bakery.
    The only untypical ingredient in this recipe is the amount of salt. Salt in sweet pastry is an American thing, Europeans add either only a pinch or no salt at all.
    Happy Holidays!
    Karin (originally from Hamburg)

  6. This was really a wonderful choice. So easy, versatile, and festive!

  7. Katie says:

    I love the kuchen, and I love that it’s easy. We have guests coming in Jan – I may make this for breakfast!

  8. sandie says:

    What a great choice for the holiday season. Mine is rising right now!!!

  9. Excellent choice, this kuchen looks deliciou.

    Btw, I wish the best for you these holydays. Merry Christmas!!!

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