Aprikosenkuchen: German Apricot Cake

apricot cake
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Ratings (22)
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
222 Calories
13g Fat
23g Carbs
4g Protein
(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 butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon 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, and pitted)
  • Optional: sweetened whipped cream

Steps to Make It

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

  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla or vanilla sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in lemon zest.

  3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the flour with the baking powder and salt. Beat into the egg mixture. Add the buttermilk and mix well.

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

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

  6. Serve with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

Tips and Variations

If you are using a baking pan instead of ​a springform, you can use parchment paper to make it easier to remove the cake once it is done. Place long strips of parchment paper in the bottom of the baking pan before pouring in the batter. After the cake cools, use the ends of the strips to help pull the cake up and out of the pan. You can also purchase parchment paper rounds with tabs for this exact purpose. 

Don't worry if your apricots aren't perfectly ripe, or maybe are a little overripe; this recipe is very forgiving and will turn out beautifully no matter what state the fruit is in. If you don't like apricots or can't find any, you can use ripe peaches instead. You can also brush the top of the baked cake with a bit of apricot preserve to add more flavor. Sprinkling with confectioner's sugar is also a nice way to add sweetness if the fruit lacks some, and is a pretty way to present this traditional German cake.

This cake should be stored in the refrigerator and taken out about 30 minutes before serving to come to room temperature.