german apple pancake
What could be better on a weekend morning than enjoying an oversized puffy pancake baked with fresh apples and topped with a generous dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup? (That’s a rhetorical question.) This German apple pancake, or apple oven pancake, is the perfect simple-yet-special breakfast to make for yourself or for you and your loved ones when the mood strikes. All you need are a handful of easy ingredients and 30 minutes to make this oven-baked magic happen.
German Apple Pancake Recipe
Call it what you will — German pancake, oven pancake, Dutch baby, Hootenanny (yes, that’s correct) — but I will never not love the idea of a large, puffy pancake baked with fruit for breakfast. It’s 1000x simpler than making traditional American pancakes (though I do still love a good ol’ pancake), and 1000x more impressive to serve. This apple-filled version is one of my very favorite variations for fall, all sweet and caramelized and puffed and so seriously yummy.
If you’ve never made a German pancake before, do not be intimidated by it! It’s incredibly easy to make and the results are as delicious as they are beautiful. Here’s what you can expect from this recipe:
- A tender, puffy, shareable pancake you can bake
- The easiest batter to whip up in, like, five seconds
- Thin-sliced apples that soften and caramelize in a butter-laden batter
- Everything ready to bake in 10 minutes
- Ready to eat in 30 minutes!
You can also make substitutions/adjustments based on dietary needs and preferences. Honestly, you have no excuse at this point not to make this pancake ASAP.
The Best Ingredients for a German Apple Pancake
Since the name of this game is “simple,” we’ll want to use the best possible ingredients so that everything works well and tastes good. Here is what you’ll need to make this apple oven pancake:
- Sugar, for sweetness
- Cinnamon, for spice and warmth
- Lemon zest, for acidity
- Vanilla, for flavor and depth
- Salt, for flavor
- Eggs, to get that puffy, custard-like pancake
- All-purpose flour (see Recipe Notes for swaps!)
- Milk (see Recipe Notes for details!)
- Butter, for coating the pan and flavoring the apples
- 1 large or 2 small tart apples, thinly sliced
All of these ingredients, when combined and poured into a hot skillet and placed in the oven, will yield a light, tender, golden-brown puffy delight of a pancake with soft, buttery apples. SO THERE’S THAT.
How to Make an Oven Pancake
If your only pancake experience is with traditional stovetop pancakes, you are in for a treat. Oven-baked pancakes are so much less time-consuming and even easier than their griddle-cooked cousins. Here is what you do:
- Step One: Make the pancake batter. Mix all of the ingredients together into a thin, frothy, smooth batter.
- Step Two: Melt the butter. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in an oven-safe skillet (such as a cast-iron skillet), and brush some of the butter up the sides (this helps guide the batter up as it bakes so you get a nice, puffy pancake).
- Step Three: Arrange the sliced apples in the melted butter in the skillet. You can fan them out, as I did, or simply scatter them haphazardly. It doesn’t matter — they’ll taste amazing either way.
- Step Four: Pour the batter evenly over the apples in the skillet, then transfer the skillet to the oven.
- Step Five: Bake the pancake until super-puffy and golden-brown. Serve immediately topped with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
There is a sixth step, and that’s when we all fall into heavenly pancake bliss, but I skipped that as an “official” step since you don’t need to do much there except munch and enjoy.
What Apples Are Best for a German Apple Pancake?
Really, you can use just about any apple variety you desire, since the apples won’t be in the oven as long as they would for, say, an apple pie. For a sweeter pancake, I suggest using Honeycrisp or Gala apples; for a more tart-sweet pancake, I suggest using Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples.
What’s the Best Way to Serve an Oven Pancake?
I love to serve this German apple pancake right out of the oven in the skillet, topped with powdered sugar. The pancake is at its puffiest immediately after it’s baked and then deflates as it cools, so if you want to get the full effect of your pancake, it’s best to serve it piping hot. Once it cools slightly, cut it into wedges and drizzle each one with maple syrup.
As far as toppings, you can also add whipped cream, caramel sauce, ice cream, more apples, etc. The pancake is your canvas!
How Do I Store Leftovers?
Unlike American-style pancakes, this pancake is best served right away and doesn’t freeze well. However, if you do have leftovers, you can refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Then, heat and garnish as desired.
If you’re hooked on a pancake hankering this weekend, I highly recommend giving this German apple pancake recipe a try! It’s just the right thing to do this time of year.Print
German Apple Pancake
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: German
This oversized, shareable, puffy baked pancake is topped with thin-sliced apples, powdered sugar and maple syrup for a simple, sweet and special breakfast dish to make literally any day.
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch salt
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large or 2 small tart apples (peeled or unpeeled), cored and thinly sliced
- Powdered sugar and maple syrup, for topping
- Heat oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest, vanilla, salt and eggs until well-combined and frothy. Whisk in flour and milk until batter is smooth.
- Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or other oven-safe pan over medium heat; melt butter, and use a pastry brush to brush melted butter up the sides of the skillet. Arrange sliced apples in bottom of pan; carefully pour batter over apples in skillet. Transfer skillet to oven.
- Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until pancake is golden-brown and puffy. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately, topped with maple syrup.
- Use milk with a higher-fat content, at least 1% milk, for best results. You can also use dairy-free milk, though the pancake might not end up as puffy.
- Swap the flour for your favorite 1-to-1 gluten-free all-purpose flour, if desired.
Keywords: apple pancake, apple Dutch baby, puffy baked pancake, oven pancake
Looks delicious! One quick question though…Your recipe calls for peeled apples, however the apples in your photo appear to have the peels on. Is this just a preference?
Shelly, Ah, good catch! I meant to write that you can leave the peels on or off. I will fix that now. Thanks for catching!
ha, I remember these, thank you, nice lighter version of a pancake
Wonderful recipe!. We just had it for an easy weekend morning breakfast. I just added some extra spices onto the apples. Tasted fantastic!
Kellie, Thank you so much!
Thank you soooooo muuuuuuch…….awesome doesn’t need syrup…going to make for a shut in couple this week
Super delicious and easy to make.
These are so lovely! I love the lemon zest in them.
If you are not used to earring sugar this one will be too sweet. Even my 7 and 4 year old grandchildren thought too sweet. Should adjust sugar depending on sweetness of apples.
Can I make it on the stovetop in a frying pan ?
Heidi, I would not recommend this. The pancake will puff up and bake through best in the oven.
So yummy, the crispy buttery edges were the best part. My kids weren’t fans of the cooked apples but that just left more for the adults ?
Jjohnson, So glad you all enjoyed it (well, minus the apples, lol). 😉