Drunken Apple Cake ~ Kuchen Borracho

This drunken apple cake, also known as kuchen borracho, is a unique dessert made with layers of creamy apple filling nestled between bands of tender, rum-spiked cake that has an almost custardy texture.

A decorative plate topped with a slice of drunken apple cake that is drizzled with cream.

This drunken apple cake doesn’t quite resemble any type of apple cake of our childhood. It comprises layers of tender, thinly sliced apples surrounded by a not-too-sweet batter and is almost custard- or pudding-like in places. Tasting is believing.–Renee Schettler

Drunken Apple Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (9)
  • 30 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 10 to 12
4.8/5 - 9 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Warm Bread and Honey Cake cookbook

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Special Equipment: 9-inch (23-cm) or 9 1/2-inch (24-cm) spring-form pan, at least 2 3/4 inches (7 cm) high

Ingredients

  • For the filling
  • For the cake

Directions

Make the apple filling

Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and then cut each wedge lengthwise into slender slices.

In a bowl, combine the sugar and cream. Gently stir in the apples.

Make the batter

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Butter a 9-inch or 9 1/2-inch springform pan at least 2 3/4 inches high and dust it with flour, tapping out any excess.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer or by hand, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.

Add the lightly beaten eggs to the butter mixture in 4 batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition.

Gently fold in the flour in 4 batches, adding the rum and water with the third batch. Stop mixing as soon as the last batch of flour is incorporated.

Scrape 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Spoon half of the apple and cream mixture evenly over the batter, leaving a 1/2-inch plain border around the edge and smoothing the slices so they’re neat and level.

Scrape another 1/3 of the batter on top of the apples and cream and smooth the surface, spreading the batter all the way to the edge of the pan. Spoon the remaining apples and cream evenly on top of the batter, and then top with the last of the batter, smoothing it all the way to the edge of the pan, which will be quite full.

Bake the cake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 

Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes, then release the sides of the pan and transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool.

Slice and serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Your drunken apple cake will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days. Originally published September 30, 2010.

Print RecipeBuy the Warm Bread and Honey Cake cookbook

Want it? Click it.

    *What You Need To Know About Selecting An Apple For This Drunken Apple Cake

    • To define a “type” of tart apple that’s perfect for this recipe is sort of like trying to define a particular “type” of artistic genius like Michelangelo or da Vinci. Can’t really be done in so many words. That said, some relatively common types that fall somewhere on the tartish side of appledom include Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Northern Spy, and Tydeman. Better yet, ask your local apple guy at the greenmarket—chances are you’ll end up with the perfect local variety, quite possibly something of the vintage heirloom variety. Just be mindful not to confuse “tart” with “sour.” Save the mouth-puckering Granny Smiths and Greenings for another recipe.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Easy to make, even easier to love, this kuchen has everything going for it—looks, taste, ease of preparation. The apples bake up into a really flavorful filling and the surrounding cake is moist inside and crispy good on the top. The rum gives it a very subtle boost. Licking the bowl is a plus for this one!

    This could easily serve 10 to 12 people if you hide the cake after you serve it, otherwise guests will attack whatever is left and eat it before you can say Johnny Appleseed.

    This drunken apple cake is a winner! it is such a simple recipe yet produces a dessert that looks like it comes right from the bakery and tastes wonderful. It’s not too sweet and has a nice texture from the cream. This cake is perfect for autumn and will most definitely have a place on my dessert table at Thanksgiving.

    I only had a 9 1/2-inch springform pan and I was glad I used it because I needed the extra room for the apples.

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    Comments

    1. It’s great. I used homemade apple pie filling with the receipt. Will make it again and will use a bigger bowl so that the layers will be thinner

    2. Delicious 🙂
      I stocked up on my organic Vermont apples and finally created this cake. I used GF flour which lessened the baking time by 28 minutes. (I find that GF flour creates a softer, moister texture.) I used dark rum, as another recipe I found on Leite’s required the same and it gave the cake a smoky alcohol taste that was yummy. After the cake cooled, I covered it with plastic wrap, which made it even moister. This cake will only last a few days!

    3. We enjoyed this. I will make it again, with the following changes. I will brown and chill the butter in advance. I will add vanilla and spice, most likely cardamom. And I will definitely add some salt. The flavors were good as is, but we felt they needed amplification. I did use tart, flavorful Northern Spy apples. That said, it’s a wonderful foundational recipe that everyone enjoyed and one that invites variation.

      1. Beth, love to hear that you made this recipe your own! Nothing makes us happier than someone being creative in the kitchen. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and tweaks! Yes, as-is, the cake is very simple to let the apple flavor shine through. Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next…

    4. I so, so want to make this, but would like to either scale it down to half-size or freeze half. Would this freeze well? Thank you!

      1. Hi Beth, we didn’t try freezing this cake and I’m a bit concerned how it might affect the lovely texture. We’re curious though, if you do freeze half, please report back and let us know.

        1. Thanks! It’s in the oven now, used 1:4 Calvados and Maker’s Mark instead of rum to let my coveted Northern Spy apples shine through. Smells heavenly.

      1. Beth, I don’t think it’s impossible, as there are now recipes for loaves of bread that are gluten-free. We didn’t test it that way, so I don’t really have any suggestions for you. I’m so sorry.

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