Appalachia Appalachian Food

Apple Pfannekuchen

Apple dutch pancake

A couple of weeks ago I ran across this recipe for Apple Pfannekuchen-the dish is sometimes called Dutch Apple Pancake.

I had a bowl full of apples sitting on my counter and the recipe looked so easy I decided to try it. Me and the girls LOVED it! I’ve probably made the recipe a good dozen times since I first tried it out.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium apple chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Apple Pfannekuchen in appalachia


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating up-put 2 tablespoons of butter in a glass pie plate and set it in the oven to melt.


Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, and salt until smooth.


Once the butter has melted, throw the chopped apples into the pie plate with the melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Pour the milk flour mixture over the apples and bake for 20 minutes or until its puffed up and golden brown.


You can drizzle syrup on your apple pfannekuchen-sprinkle powdered sugar on it-or eat it plain.

I love the recipe because it’s tasty, super easy, and seems to make the perfect amount for a quick breakfast with no leftovers. After I made apple pfannekuchen a few times, it occured to me that it might have an Appalachian connection. The dish is a German recipe and northern areas of Appalachia have more of a German influence than the southern Appalachians where I live.

I contacted my friend Matthew Burns who lives in West Virginia and loves Appalachian history and culture as much as I do. This is what Matthew had to say about  apple pfannekuchen:

Yes we have apple pfannekuchen back home. Good stuff. I personally prefer them with strawberries, or with thick bits of smoked bacon. But I have not turned down the apple ones either. My mom makes pfannekuchen for the kids using nutella and they seem to like it, but I’m not the biggest fan of nutella. You should check out a recipe book that many of my relatives contributed (years ago) called Mennonite Community Cookbook by Emma Showalter. It is all old german recipes. You can find it on ebay and places, it usually isn’t very expensive if you get new editions. It is based in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (which is just on the other side of the mountain from where I grew up).


Have you ever heard of this recipe?


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  • Reply
    October 4, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Maggie-thank you for the comment! I’ve never heard of a Pandowdie but I hope you like the recipe if you try it : )

  • Reply
    Maggie Roberts
    October 3, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Is the same as Apple Pandowdie? Looks good, I’m going to try it.

  • Reply
    November 24, 2013 at 9:31 am

    actually, I have made this before in my Illinois kifchen. this recipe is so much easier than my other one. I have it baking now in my black iron skillet. Thank you for this version!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Apples on my counter, too, and the hens are laying a lot of eggs so I think I’ll be trying this one soon! Thank you for sharing it 😉

  • Reply
    November 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Hey there, Tipper – I tried to comment yesterday but the “post” button just wouldn’t work for me! Will try again…
    I often make something very similar, with another egg and no apples, baked in my big Pyrex skillet. I will certainly try this variation, as there are still a few apples waiting from my most recent trip to the orchard! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    November 19, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Well Tipper, I missed this post yesterday, as I was being a babysitter for two LONG LEGGED teenage fellows! I am so glad I caught this ‘chatter’ about my German ancestors and that wonderful apple-pfannekuchem. Dies ist grossartig! Ist es nicht so? Dank, Frau Eva

  • Reply
    Deitrich Neuenschwander
    November 18, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    German-I am related to some Steins but they weren’t the Ein kind. They were beer mug makers, not theoretical physicists. Which way does your line lean?

  • Reply
    German Stines
    November 18, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Oh, Deitrich Neuenschwander I don’t think I have any German descent in my DNA at all….
    So doggone funny!
    Steins (corrupted to Stines)

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Ed-I like them apples LOL! Who knew the girls and The Deer Hunter had German ancestors-very cool thank you for alerting me to it : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    You didn’t miss anything : ) The eggs make it puff up : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    sandy kueng
    November 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Tipper – I LOVE your recipes and I love the comments from your readers. Can’t wait to try this one!
    sandyk xoxo

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Heard of it? Yes! Ever eaten it? No! Gonna make it? Yes!!!!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Those Ammons genes look a whole lot better on the girls than their Dad, don’t you think?

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Did I miss something–isn’t there any baking powder, etc.? Plain flour is pretty flat on its own

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    My Ammons family came from the Palatine region of Germany. Or better stated, where chased out. They were call Black Dutch (Deutsch) either because they were from the Black Forest region of Germany or because we are dark haired and dark skinned.
    They first came to Pennsylvania but soon worked their way to Virginia and South Carolina. In the early 1800’s my direct ancestors were in Old Buncombe County in the area that became Madison County, North Carolina. From there they moved farther south and west into Cherokee and Macon Counties, then spread into Swain, Graham and Jackson Counties. That is over 200 years of German influence in Southern Appalachia.
    Your Deer Hunter has some of that blood as well as your girl twins.
    Now, how do you like them apples?

  • Reply
    Glynda P. Chambers
    November 18, 2013 at 11:03 am

    This sounds and looks so yummy, I will definitely be making this one. Thanks Tipper for sharing this very tasty looking recipe.

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    November 18, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Looks like a great warm meal for a cold winter morning!

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for another great recipe Tipper! Lots of apples in the house right now, so we have to try this one. I’m sure it will be a keeper and go into our “growing bigger every day” BP recipe folder.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    November 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I’m workin’ up a couple boxes of
    “Ben Davis” (old timey) apples
    today and your blog made me hungry.
    I don’t know much anyway, but I’ve
    never heard of Apple pfannekuchen.
    My favorite treat is hot Apple Pie
    with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

  • Reply
    Denise Smith
    November 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Now that’s a memory I had forgotten about. Thank you for sharing the recipe! I had a grandmother and an aunt that made this with berries as well as apples. They just called it a breakfast cake. I love the connection with German ancestry too. That side of the family was of some German ancestry in Virginia. Funny how recipes might link that together. Yep those apples on the counter are going to get used.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    November 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

    This sounds great, I’ll have to give it a try. Tipper there is quite a few families in Swain County with German ancestors but many of the family names have been Anglicized such as the Wikle family from my line and the Shook family who my Bride has blood ties to through a Grandmother.

  • Reply
    Deitrich Neuenschwander
    November 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I don’t think there any people of German descent in my part of Appalachia.

  • Reply
    Julie Fischer
    November 18, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Thanks Tipper! I’ll take this to WV with me and make it for my family on Thanksgiving morning! I’ll be sending love to you and yours 🙂 xoxo

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I’ve never had Pfannekuchen except the kind you can buy in the store. I never liked the dry and tasteless dessert, so I never made my own. Now I will! I’ll have to wait until someone else is here or I will end up eating the whole thing.

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    November 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I’ve seen a recipe similar to that before but it was made in a cast iron skillet!
    I just might have to try it, I have a bag of apples too on my counter.
    Happy Monday!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 18, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Ahha…Apple an iron skillet..
    Our family Fathers side migrated here from Germany…settling in South and North Carolina..uhhh, Western NC…
    Love me some Apple pancakes but my Grandmother didn’t speak of them as Pfannekuchen!
    Hey folks anyone got an old and I mean old…back to the teens recipe for old, did I say old,
    Rock Candy recipe using homemade oils or flavorings! My Grandmother made it for my Father but he could never remember how she made it…he also said she kept it a secret mostly until she brought it out for the children!
    Will take a crystal made one or a strip cut hard rock candy recipe from way back…Oh, I already said old! Thanks Tipper,
    We need to make a trip back to the mountain and see if they have any apples left…only Arkansas Black were the last to come in!

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Never heard of it but now I know what to do with the apples no one seems to be eating! Thanks! Will try this today! Thank you for sharing recipes…I get in cooking ruts and need fresh ideas.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    November 18, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I’m not too fond of sweets at breakfast, but my daughter and her boys will lap this right up. I’ll share the recipe with her. Now I need to find a copy of the Mennonite cookbook. It sounds interesting.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I have never heard of this recipe despite being of partially German decent. However, you made me hungry and I might just check out my cabinet and get the ingredients together. I have Honey Crisp and NY MacIntosh apples to chose from. Yummy dreams!

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 8:08 am

    One more thing. My recipe called for making the apple pancakes in a cast iron skillet, which I always did.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I have (had) a similar recipe which I found in a cookbook from the late 80s or early 90s (I think) by Olympic athlete moms to raise money for their kids trip to the Olympics. It was my youngest son’s favorite breakfast as a kid. We always put powdered sugar on it.
    A couple of moves and several cyclings of various family through our house and can I find it?! It’s gotta be in a box somewhere! (The cookbook – not the apple pancakes 😉 )

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 18, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Simple, I like simple! I looks really good too. I’ll try it!!
    I think that might be a good cookbook to have.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 18, 2013 at 7:17 am

    This sounds delightful, I will be trying it for Thanksgiving breakfast!

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    November 18, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Yum!! Interesting about the German influence in northern Appalachia.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013 at 5:13 am

    This sounds easy enough and would be great with bacon on the side.Will have to cook it soon.

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