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Grandma’s Slab Apple Cake (recipe by “Oishii!”)

This is a treasured family recipe full of love and nostalgia. My Grandma Engelhardt loved baking for us, and we especially loved her apple cake, which made an appearance at most family holiday gatherings. I believe it is traditionally called apple kuchen, but we called it apple cake. I took some liberties to clarify her recipe. I do remember that she liked changing up the apple varieties in her desserts. At some point I decided that the tart apples were my favorite in this apple cake, so I usually use McIntosh and Granny Smiths. Feel free to experiment.


  • 5 large McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk

streusel topping:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Grease an 18″ x 12″ heavy rimmed baking sheet with butter.

To make the dough, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix well. In a small bowl beat together the egg and vanilla. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and milk. While mixer is still running, add the egg and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until just combined. Dough will be sticky. Flour hands and pat the dough into baking sheet.

Alternating between McIntosh and Granny Smiths, arrange apple slices upright and tightly into neat rows on top of the dough.

To make the streusel topping, in a small bowl mix together the remaining sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon with a fork or pastry blender. Sprinkle the apples with streusel topping and bake at 400ºF about 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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Ideas: Serve as a dessert with vanilla ice cream or for breakfast like a coffee cake. If there are leftover apple slices, make a compote out of them and serve with ice cream. I toss with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little butter, and cook in a saucepan over medium heat, until they soften up.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to consider:

Do you have any treasured family recipes? What do you make with apples when they are in season? If you enjoyed this post, we would love to hear from you! Please leave some feedback in the comments section below. -Michael

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