German Apple Pancakes


  • 1 scant cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup seltzer water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 Stayman apples (caramelized; see directions below, or skip caramelizing to save time)
  • 5 tablespoons butter


  1. In a bowl, mix the flour with the eggs, salt, milk, seltzer and vanilla using a wire whisk or an electric mixer. Beat until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Set aside.
  2. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, to taste. I use about ½ teaspoon cinnamon for ¼ cup sugar.
  3. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Slice them into even slices, about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Heat 1/4 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over low to medium heat. Place the apple slices in a single layer and sprinkle them lightly with cinnamon sugar. Fry until they start to soften and color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them over and fry from the other side for about 2 minutes. Carefully remove them from the pan and place them on a large plate in a single layer.
  5. Wipe the pan if there is any sugar sticking to it. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in the pan. Pour 1/2 cup of the batter into the pan in a circling movement to distribute the batter evenly, then tilt the pan slightly so the batter covers the entire bottom of the pan.
  6. Immediately place the caramelized apple slices on the batter. It does not have to be a decorative pattern, but it is important that the apple slices are placed apart and not overlapping. Fry until the top of the pancake is set and the bottom is lightly browned. You can check by lifting up the edges with a fork. Flip the pancake over using a large lid or a plate and cook from the other side until lightly browned. Slide the pancake onto a plate.
  7. Keep the pancake warm by placing a large bowl over the plate, or put the plate in the oven, set to the lowest temperature. Prepare the remaining pancakes the same way. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Shortcut: If you are short on time, you can skip the step of caramelizing the apple slices and just place the apple slices on the batter as described.