Cast Iron German Apple Pancake

We’re celebrating our month-long Summer Cereal Drive with a series of posts about breakfast, the most important meal of the day! This year’s cereal drive goal is to collect 4,000 boxes of cold cereal to supplement breakfast bags for clients in need of extra calories. Help us reach our goal by donating cereal (or virtual cereal) today!

My wife shared this dish with me several years ago. It was a childhood favorite of hers, and her mother makes it for us whenever we visit. Our kids love it, too, so it’s a go to in our house! I prefer to use a cast iron skillet because it caramelizes the apples and sugar especially well, but any oven-safe 10-inch skillet will do.

Cast Iron German Apple Pancake
Serves 6-8

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (not greek)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 4-5 granny smith apples, cored and sliced thin
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Whisk in the milk, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla until the batter just comes together. Be careful not to overwork the flour, as it will prevent the pancake from rising.

In a small dish, mix the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon. 

Place the skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture, then add the apples and saute lightly. Let the apples soften a bit, but be careful not to let the butter and sugar burn.

Pour the batter over the apples and butter, and immediately place the skillet in the oven. Cook until the pancake fluffs up, is just set up in the center, and is golden brown around the edges, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Place a serving plate upside down over the skillet, then flip the skillet and plate to turn the pancake out. Dust with powdered sugar, cut, and enjoy!


Chef Brandon FosterBrandon Foster began his life in the kitchen at the Best Western in Frisco, Colorado almost 18 years ago. His passion for ingredients and drive to learn technique led him down the mountain to Denver, where he worked in two of Denver’s most fondly remembered restaurants, The Fourth Story and Mel’s. He joined the crew at Vesta in 2005 as a line cook and became executive chef in 2010, focusing on getting back to the roots of cooking through charcuterie and seasonal ingredients. Ultimately, Chef Brandon’s career highlights centered on events like Plates for the Peak, Invest in Kids, and James Beard Foundation dinners where he could play a role in helping people in need- a passion that led him to Project Angel Heart in 2016. Outside the kitchen, Chef Brandon enjoys spending time skiing, camping, golfing, and eating with his wife Larissa and their three kids.