German Apple Filled Pancakes (Apfelpfannkuchen)

These German apple-filled pancakes, known as apfelpfannkuchen, are a delicious and easy-to-make breakfast or dessert option. There are various ways to make them, but this recipe involves cooking spiced apples separately before adding them to a pancake batter. The batter is similar to a slightly thicker crêpe batter.

Pancakes stuffed with cooked, spiced apple slices and covered in powdered sugar.

In other versions, this German apple-filled pancake is closer to a Dutch baby (which is German in origin), crossed with an American pancake which is then baked in an oven.

I have read several variations in my vintage German cookbooks—all are delicious, but this is my favorite. It’s also done entirely on the stovetop.

Love apples? Try my old-fashioned fresh apple cake or apple fritter rings recipe.

Serve these pancakes with a nutrient-dense hot spiced milk drink for breakfast.

Ingredients (Any Notes, Variations, & Substitutions)

All of the ingredients needed to make these German apple-filled pancakes.
  • Brown sugar can be substituted with maple syrup, maple sugar, coconut sugar.
  • Butter can be substituted with coconut oil, lard, or ghee.
  • Lemon zest is optional and so is the nutmeg.

Instructions (Key Process Photos)

Pancake batter.

Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon zest (if using) until smooth. Let the batter rest for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid, which helps create a tender pancake.

Thinly sliced apples.

Step 2: As the batter rests, peel, core, and slice the apples as thinly as possible. You can toss them in lemon juice to prevent browning, but this is optional.

Cooked apple filling.

Step 3: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. If the mixture appears dry, add a splash of water, butter, or apple cider to help the apples cook down.

Apple filling placed onto half-cooked pancake.

Step 4: Make the Pancakes: Melt a small amount of butter over medium heat in a separate non-stick skillet or frying pan. Pour a ladleful of batter into the skillet, tilting the pan to spread the batter evenly.

Cook until the edges start to dry and the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Then, distribute a portion of the apple mixture over one-half of the pancake.

Golden brown pancake folded over filling.

Step 5: Use a spatula to fold the pancake in half over the apples, pressing down gently over the apple mixture. Cook for another minute, then flip and cook the other side until golden and the apples are warmed through.

Pancakes stuffed with cooked, spiced apple slices and covered in powdered sugar.

Step 6: Transfer the finished pancakes to a warm plate. Dust with powdered sugar(optional) and serve immediately. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the apples before serving adds a nice touch of acidity that complements the sweetness.

***you can expect to make approximately 4 to 6 large pancakes if using about a ladleful of batter.

Pancakes stuffed with cooked, spiced apple slices and covered in powdered sugar.
Pancakes stuffed with cooked, spiced apple slices and covered in powdered sugar.

German Apple Filled Pancakes (Apfelpfannkuchen)

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: German
Servings: 6
Calories: 336kcal
Author: Jana Dziak

Ingredients

For the Pancake Batter:

  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour Sifted.
  • 1 ¼ Cup Milk
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar you can use maple syrup, maple sugar, coconut sugar or honey instead.
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter for frying the pancakes You might need more or less. you can also use coconut oil.
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of one lemon (optional)

For the Apple Filling:

  • 4 Apples Tart apples like Granny Smith are best., Peeled, cored, and sliced thin.
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter You can use ghee, lard, or coconut oil instead.
  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar Or maple syrup.
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg Optional
  • Powdered sugar, for serving
  • Lemon juice, to prevent apple browning and add tartness (optional)

Instructions

  • Prepare the Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon zest (if using) until smooth. Let the batter rest for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid, which helps create a more tender pancake.
  • Cook the Apples: As the batter is resting, prepare the apples. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. If the mixture appears dry, add a splash of water, butter, or apple cider to help the apples cook down. If using maple syrup instead of brown sugar, add it towards the end and let it cook down for 60-seconds and coat the apples.
  • Make the Pancakes: Melt a small amount of butter over medium heat in a separate non-stick skillet or frying pan. Pour a ladleful of batter into the skillet, tilting the pan to spread the batter evenly.
  • Cook until the edges start to dry and the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Then, distribute a portion of the apple mixture over one-half of the pancake.
  • Use a spatula to fold the pancake in half over the apples, pressing down gently over the apple mixture. Cook for another minute, then flip and cook the other side until golden and the apples are warmed through.
  • Serve: Transfer the finished pancakes to a warm plate. Dust with powdered sugar(optional) and serve immediately. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the apples before serving adds a nice touch of acidity that complements the sweetness.
    ***you can expect to make approximately 4 to 6 large pancakes if using about a ladleful of batter.

Notes

These pancakes freeze very well, and so does the apple filling. They must be frozen separately.

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 291mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 563IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 2mg
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German Apple Filled Pancakes (Apfelpfannkuchen)

Delicious German Apple-Filled Pancakes, also known as apfelpfannkuchen, are a simple sweet breakfast or dessert you will love. There are several variations, but this one uses apples that are spiced and cooked separately before being added to the pancake batter, which resembles a slightly thicker crêpe.

In other versions, this German apple-filled pancake is closer to a Dutch baby (which is actually German in origin) crossed with an American pancake baked in an oven.

I have read several variations in my vintage German cookbooks—all are delicious, but this one is my favorite. It’s also done on the stovetop.

Love apples? Try my old-fashioned fresh apple cake or apple fritter rings recipe.

Serve these pancakes with a nutrient-dense hot spiced milk drink for breakfast.

German Apple Filled Pancakes Apfelpfannkuchen

Ingredients:

For the Pancake Batter:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups whole milk

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Zest of 1 lemon (optional, but adds a lovely fragrance)

Butter, for frying

For the Apple Filling:

4 medium-sized tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and sliced

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

Powdered sugar, for serving

Lemon juice, to prevent apple browning and add tartness

Instructions:

Prepare the Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon zest (if using) until smooth. Let the batter rest for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid, which helps create a tender pancake.

Cook the Apples: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. If the mixture appears dry, a splash of water or apple cider can be added to help the apples cook down.

Make the Pancakes: In a separate non-stick skillet or frying pan, melt a small amount of butter over medium heat. Pour a ladleful of batter into the skillet, tilting the pan to spread the batter evenly.

Cook until the edges start to dry and the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Then, distribute a portion of the apple mixture over one half of the pancake.

Use a spatula to fold the pancake in half over the apples, pressing gently. Cook for another minute, then flip and cook the other side until golden and the apples are warmed through.

Serve:

Transfer the finished pancakes to a warm plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the apples before serving adds a nice touch of acidity that complements the sweetness.

***you can expect to make approximately 4 to 6 large pancakes if using about a ladleful of batter. 

Ingredients

Instructions

Hint: leave a useful hint here, like let the grill run for 4-5 minutes to burn off any remnants, then clean it. I like to use this bristle-free barbecue brush (affiliate link) for cleaning the grill.

Storage

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