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.

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 Rossi

Drunken Apple Cake ~ Kuchen Borracho

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

Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Total 2 hrs
Dessert
German
10 to 12 slices
427 kcal
4.80 / 10 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Warm Bread and Honey Cake cookbook

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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

  • 1 1/2 pounds tart apples* (about 5 medium)
  • Generous 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

For the cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for the pan
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11 tablespoons (5 1/2 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • Generous 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 5 tablespoons rum (any rum will do quite nicely) or Calvados
  • 5 tablespoons cold water

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.
Print RecipeBuy the Warm Bread and Honey Cake cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Notes

*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.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 427kcal (21%)Carbohydrates: 56g (19%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 19g (29%)Saturated Fat: 12g (75%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 107mg (36%)Sodium: 89mg (4%)Potassium: 235mg (7%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 34g (38%)Vitamin A: 699IU (14%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 72mg (7%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

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.

Originally published October 21, 2020

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I baked this terrific cake but was wondering if I was supposed to include all of the cream with the fruit layer? It wasn’t entirely explicit in the recipe and I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to all hang together with so much liquid! In any case, it was really delicious. Thank you.

    1. So glad you enjoyed, pastrystudio! Yes, you did the exact right thing by incorporating all of the cream into the layers. I tweaked the wording of the recipe, per your suggestion, so the instructions are more explicit. That said, we’ve heard nothing except effusive comments about the results of this recipe. I encourage you to also try the Nutmeg Cake, also from the same book.

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous. Perhaps the best apple cake I have ever eaten. Very moist, flavorful, soft, buttery, and yummylicious. Oh, and when it comes out of the oven, it looks as beautiful, too. Seriously, this cake is to be made into a kepper recipe, for absolute comfort food. LC’s portuguese olive oil and orange cake and this one, absolute gems from this website.

  3. 5 stars
    I love, love, love this cake! I made it last week and am making again tonight. It’s one of the best apple desserts I’ve had and one of the prettiest I’ve made. You can bake this cake and be proud when bringing it to a party because it looks so much more complicated than it is. Thank you so much for continually posting wonderful recipes.

    1. You’re quite welcome! So glad to hear that you had the same experience with this cake as we have. Consider investing in the book, it’s truly a keeper. And, of course, also let us know which other recipes you try from the site…

  4. I loved this cake, however the crumb was more like a quick bread. Even though I dispute it’s cakiness, I think I will add this recipe to my favorites. Thank You for sharing it!

    There are many more of Gaitri’s recipes that deserve notice. For example, her sachertorte. Apparently, she dragged her husband to every bakery in Vienna, to find the most perfect sachertorte. I made Gaitri ‘s version today for a friend’s birthday, and everyone loved it. But it was also a pleasure making it, because Gita’s instructions were easier to follow than my old recipe. Next on my list is her Tipsy Corn Cake.

  5. Thanks, LC, for introducing me to this recipe. I made it last weekend, and it was truly scrumptious. I had never heard of this cookbook before, now I will definitely seek out a copy.

    Next time, I will add more apples so the cake more closely resembles the photo, and I’ll use my mandoline to slice them very thinly.

    1. You’re very welcome, Babette. We are over the moon for this cookbook. The images, the recipes, the context for the recipes…
      I actually haven’t decided yet what to make next, indecision has gotten the better of me with so many lovely choices, so let me know which others tempt you and perhaps we can compare notes.

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