Apfel Pfannkuchen (German Apple Pancake)

While we were out for brunch on Fathers Day we were discussing having these pancakes that my Oma used to make.   This is one of those recipes that are gone now.  I had the Monday following Fathers Day off so I decided I would spend the day making pancakes to try and figure out how to make them.

We had a lot of apfel pfannkuchen that day, and not all of them were edible!

The end result was this recipe, which I thought was perfect and reminded me of my Oma’s recipe.   It’s as close as I’m going to get (she made hers using a cast iron skillet and a lot of oil in the pan, two things I don’t do, mostly because I do not own a cast iron skillet and I don’t like pouring oil in a pan, I prefer spraying the pan with a thin layer of oil).  I had my mom stop by my place on her way home from work so I could get a second opinion, be cause my husband had never had the pancakes so even though he said the final product was good, I needed someone who knew what they were supposed to taste like.   She approved and said that they were perfect!   Yay, success!   And a lot of mess (thanks to my husband for once again doing a tonne of dishes while I tried to perfect this recipe, and tasting a lot of trial and error pancakes).  
So here’s what you do.

Start off by preheating your pan, because this is a one shot deal you want a nice golden crust on the bottom.   Turn you burner to medium low (3) and heat your pan while you get everything ready.

Peel, core and thinly slice your apple.

Then mix together your batter.   Start by mixing together the wet ingredients (milk, sugar and egg).

Then add in the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.   You still want it to be lumpy, so be gentle.

Spray your preheated pan with oil (Pam) and pour the batter into the pan.  Arrange your apple slices on top of the pancake (you want the apple slices thin so the cook through).  You may not use all of the apple slices, it’s okay, then you have a snack for while you wait for it to cook.  Let the pancake cook on the first side for approx. 10 minutes.   This is low and slow, there’s a lot of batter in that there pan.  Once it’s set around the sides, but still jiggly in the centre, try lifting up on the edge and check underneath to make sure it’s not getting too brown.  

Once it has set up enough on top, slide the pancake out onto a large dinner plate.  Then respray the pan with more oil.  (If any of your apples shift when you moved the pancake onto the plate, just quickly push them back into place).  

Then flip the pancake back into the pan (I’m still working on this, it’s not easy, especially when your husband stands over you to make sure you don’t burn yourself. On the pan).

Let the pancake cook on this side another 3 to 5 minutes, just give it a quick check, you don’t want it to burn (although I clearly remember having burnt little bits of apple when my Oma used to make these, but again she had a cast iron skillet which I do not).  

Once you flip the pancake out onto your serving plate sprinkle liberally with sugar. I know it might seem like a lot if sugar but you don’t use syrup on these pancakes, so the sugar is all there is, and it sort of melts slightly from the heat of the pancakes and apples and then crusts over.  Trust me on this, use 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp. Sugar and sprinkle it over the pancake.

These can be made with apples or even blue berries (this is how we always had them, some with apples and some with blue berries).   These can be stores in the fridge and reheat great.  If you make a bunch and want to keep them warm, just place them on a sheet pan in a warm oven (200 to 250 degrees F).  

For most people on e of these pancakes would feed a few people.  In my family this feeds one!  


Apfel Pfannkuchen 

(Makes 1 – 10″ pancake)

1 Golden Delicious apple, cored, peeled, sliced

1 cup milk

1 egg

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt 

2 Tbsp. Sugar (to sprinkle on top)

  1. Preheat non-stick pan over medium low (3) heat.
  2. Core, peel, slice apples thinly, set aside.
  3. Mix together the milk, egg and sugar.
  4. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.   Just mix to combine, you want there to still be lumps.
  5. Spray pan really well with baking spray.  
  6. Pour batter into pan and carefully arrange apple slices on top of batter.
  7. Let cook slowly for 7 to 10 minutes (you want it still slightly jiggly in the centre).  Check underneath to see how brown it’s getting, if you need to turn the heat down.
  8. Carefully slide the pancake out if the pan onto a large plate.
  9. Respray your pan with more oil.
  10. Carefully and quickly flip the pancake (apples down) back into the pan and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.  
  11. Flip over onto your plate and sprinkle with sugar (approx. 2 Tbsp.)
  12. Serve warm.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Love this Cherie! Family recipes are the best– and this looks like a perfect weekend breakfast for when our kids are in town. thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, I’m so glad I took the time to figure this one out. So is my mom! And they reheat amazingly in the microwave so I make extras.


      1. cool! I do love leftovers on hand!!

        Liked by 1 person

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