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Apricot Kuchen

March 12, 2021
Justin CovingtonJustin Covington

In every one of my family cookbooks, all handwritten in German, there are loads of kuchen recipes: apple kuchen, buttery putterkuchen, gesundheitskuchen (a lemony cake made when people were ill), and apricot kuchen, a treat for the late spring or summer. My great-grandmother, who I imagine took great pride in her baking skills, served these traditional German cakes in the late morning when she received guests for a coffee klatsch. Every German Jewish housewife had her special recipe—not just my great-grandmother, but also my grandmother and aunts who lived in Augsburg in southern Germany until WWII. They, like other lucky ones, were able to bring their recipes to the United States.

Featured in: Make Summer a Piece of Cake


  • 1 ½pounds fresh apricots, or about 20 dried
  • ½cup brandy (if using dried apricots)
  • 10tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
  • cup sugar
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3large eggs
  • ½tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½cup milk
  • 2cups all-purpose flour
  • 2teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼teaspoon salt
  • ½cup apricot jam
Yield: Serves 8


  • Step 1

    If using fresh apricots, cut in half and set aside. If using dried apricots, soak in brandy for a few hours to plump them. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350.

  • Step 2

    Using a food processor, cream the butter and the sugar. Then add the vanilla extract, eggs, milk, and lemon zest. Process and then gradually add flour, baking powder, and salt.

  • Step 3

    Spoon into a greased, floured 9-inch round pie or spring-form pan. Carefully insert the apricots in 2 or 3 circles.

  • Step 4

    Bake in the oven about 40 minutes or until set. When out of the oven, heat the apricot jam and brush on top of the apricots.