Aprikosenkuchen: German Apricot Cake

Aprikosenkuchen: German Apricot Cake

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
257 Calories
11g Fat
35g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 257
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 230mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 72mg 6%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 198mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for German apricot cake (aprikosenkuchen) may surprise you—the ingredients are pretty simple but the finished cake is delicious and complex in flavor. It is such a classic recipe that many Germans know how to make this cake by heart. Fresh fruit makes this cake a steady summer accompaniment to coffee whether camping on the beach or relaxing on the balcony. 

This recipe calls for an 11-inch springform pan. If you don't have one, try a 9x9-inch or 13x9-inch baking pan, but note that the baking times will vary.


  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder, or 1 package German backpulver (German baking powder)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, or sour milk

  • 1 1/2 pounds apricots, about 14 fresh, washed, cut in half, pitted

  • Whipped cream, sweetened, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Aprikosenkuchen: German Apricot Cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Heat oven to 350 F. Coat pan with cooking spray and set aside.

    greased baking pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla or vanilla sugar.

    cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

    add eggs to the butter mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Mix in lemon zest.

    add lemon zest to the egg mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. In a separate small bowl, mix together the flour with the baking powder and salt.

     mix together the flour with the baking powder and salt in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Beat into the egg mixture.

    batter in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Add the buttermilk and mix well.

    add buttermilk to the batter in the bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Place the apricot halves on top, cut side down.

    Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and place the apricot halves on top

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on the cake especially if you used a different pan size.

    Aprikosenkuchen: German Apricot Cake on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Serve with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

    Aprikosenkuchen: German Apricot Cake served with whipped cream

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • When using a baking pan (instead of ​a springform pan), place parchment paper strips in the bottom of the pan before pouring in the batter. After the cake cools, use the ends of the strips to pull the cake up and out of the pan. You can also purchase parchment paper rounds with tabs for this exact purpose. 
  • This recipe is very forgiving, so don't stress if your apricots aren't just ripe or are a little overripe.
  • Use peaches if you don't like apricots or if their season has passed. Ripe peaches work well for a substitute in most apricot dishes.
  • Brush the top of the baked cake with apricot preserves for added sweetness. You can also sprinkle this traditional German cake with confectioner's sugar for a classic presentation.
  • Store the cake in the refrigerator and take it out 30 minutes before serving, allowing it to come to room temperature.