Dutch Apple Cake (Dutch Apple Bread) Recipe

Dutch Apple Cake

I found an intriguing recipe for something called Dutch Apple Cake in a small 1911 promotional cookbook published by K C Baking Powder. Even though it was called a cake,  the serving suggestions in the original recipe said, “serve hot, with butter, as bread for supper or with hard sauce as a pudding.”

My curiosity got the best of me–What was it? . . . a cake? . . . a bread? . . . a pudding?

Well, I made the recipe, and I’m still not quite sure. When I ate it warm,  it tasted like a bread.  It had a nice texture with apples and currants embedded in a rich, sticky cinnamon-sugar syrup on top that reminded me slightly of the syrup on old-fashioned “sticky buns.”

But after it cooled, it seemed more like a coffee cake–a very nice coffee cake.  I didn’t try it with hard sauce so I’m not sure whether it also seems similar to steamed puddings–but I did post on old hard sauce recipe awhile back so maybe someone else will try that and let us know.

The rows of cinnamon-sugar coated apple slices and currants  give this bread/cake a striking, almost elegant look. It’s perfect to serve when a friend stops over for a cup of coffee. .  . and if the conversation starts to lag,  this food is a wonderful conversation starter: “Is this a cake, bread, or pudding?”

Dutch Apple Cake (Dutch Apple Bread)

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 cup dried currants

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

2-3 apples, peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 375° F. In a small bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, and currants. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, butter, egg, and milk. Stir until a thick dough forms. Put dough into a well-greased bread pan. Firmly press the narrow edges of the apple slices into the dough in parallel rows; then sprinkle with the sugar and currant mixture.  Place in oven and bake approximately 40-45 minutes–or until a wooden pick inserted into the cake (not the apples) comes out clean. Remove from oven.

Use apples that hold their shape in this recipe. I used Braeburn apples.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: The Cook's Book (K C Baking Powder, 1911)
Source: The Cook’s Book (K C Baking Powder, 1911)

43 thoughts on “Dutch Apple Cake (Dutch Apple Bread) Recipe

    1. It is perfect with coffee. I struggle to see it as a “bread for supper.” Maybe people ate sweeter breads with dinner a hundred years ago than what they typically do now.

  1. I just love these old recipes! I think the original calls for a larger pan? This can explain the larger amount of apples used.
    Either way, it looks very tasty, I especially like the currants in the topping. I definitely see it more as a coffee cake. 🙂

    1. You’re absolutely right that if a larger pan had been used that it would have taken more apples. The size of each apple also affects how many are needed. I used fairly large apples.

      Sometimes the lack of details in old recipes is very frustrating. The original calls for a “shallow pan.” When I made this recipe, I greased a 7″ X 12″ pan–but after I mixed up the dough, I realized that I didn’t have very much dough, and that if I used that pan that the finished product would be extremely thin (and won’t look at all like the “cake” in the old picture). The amount of dough seemed about right for either an 8 X 8 pan or a bread pan. I went with the bread pan.

  2. All 4 pages are printed and ready to go in the morning. My husband Skip and I are a team. I get the ingredients and he is the mixer. Perfect teamwork. When we print and wore off 100 year old recipes we are the best. Not even crumbs are left. I think we will double the recipe and share with the neighbors. They love to get a taste of your recipes.

  3. I would call it a sweet bread, like Swedish tea ring, or povitica, a Slovinian bread. I grew up about 30 miles from a Dutch town, and we always loved having a loaf of their apple bread in the house. From what I can tell, this is slightly different, but it’s close enough that I’m going to give it a try and see how it compares.

    1. It’s similar to coffee cake–but without the crumbly mixture on top that I usually associate with coffee cake. There was no flour in the topping (just sugar and cinnamon), so much of the sugar melted and caramelized to give it more of a “sticky bun” type topping.

  4. What’s all the negative thoughts on this delightful recipe for…. It has no sugar in the dough, it has an egg, milk, apples (nice way to get your apple for the day)and currants or perhaps raisins, sounds healthy to me!!😉 And yummy!!

    1. I had a similar reaction when I made this recipe. I think that modern recipes would typically call for some sugar in the dough–and I was pleasantly surprised that this one didn’t.

      1. I made this recipe… Except I left out the currants .. Didn’t have any…then when it was still warm I pour a hot sauce of brown sugar ,butter,and butter rum over it… It was wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. Your adaptation sounds wonderful. I may have to make it again so I can try it with a butter rum sauce. Thanks for letting me know that you tried the recipe.

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