Fried Apple Rings (Apfelkücherl)

Sweet, juicy and fragrant with a cinnamon sugar coating, Fried Apple Rings or Apfelkücherl are one of my favourite German Christmas market treats. You don't have to stand around in the snow to enjoy them though, with my simple batter they are super easy to prepare at home.

Today is the second day of Advent and our world-famous Christmas Markets here in Germany are in full swing.

There are so many delicious foodie aromas floating in the air that it’s hard to know where to start, but I always make a beeline for the stand selling one of my favourite market treats: Fried Apple Rings or Apfelkücherl.

Deep Fried Apple Rings on a plate with cinnamon and apples in the background.

Made from juicy slices of apple coated in beer batter and cinnamon sugar, I can wolf down a whole serving of these in a flash, and I bet you will too!

Ingredients

German Fried Apple Rings are a very old-fashioned treat, which means you only need very simple ingredients to prepare them.

  • Apples: The best variety for this sort of recipe is Granny Smith apples, and I use them whenever I make Apfelkücherl. Other sour apple varieties will work too, but you need large apples that can stand up to high-temperature cooking.
  • Beer: We love an excuse to sneak beer into everything here in Bavaria, but it adds a delicious yeasty balance to this batter. If you really can’t have alcohol you could switch it out for soda water or lemonade, but they make fabulous non-alcoholic beers and malt drinks these days and I’d recommend that you use one of those if alcohol is a concern.
  • Eggs, Flour and Sugar: Combine to make the rest of our batter, I use plain or all-purpose flour, European large-size eggs (that’s U.S extra large) and white sugar.
  • Oil: These apple rings need to be fried for the perfect texture! You can use any neutral vegetable oil such as sunflower or canola oil. Shortening or lard are also superb with deep-fried goods.
  • Cinnamon: Apples and cinnamon are one of those culinary matches made in heaven. If you like you could omit the cinnamon sugar and dust these apple rings with powdered sugar instead… or do both!

Instructions

To make Deep Fried Apple Rings, it’s important to keep your kitchen clear and organised as you will be working with hot fat.

  1. First, prepare a bowl of acidulated water by mixing lemon juice and cold water. This will keep your apple slices lovely and fresh. Next peel and core your apples. An apple corer (or Kernhausaustecher, one of my all-time favourite German words) will make this quick and easy, but you can remove the cores from each individual slice using a small cookie cutter or a piping tip if you need to. Soak apple slices in the prepared water.
  2. To make the batter, separate the egg, beat the white until stiff (a hand whisk is best here as it’s only one egg white), then mix together the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Fold under the egg white, keeping as much air as you can in the mixture.
  3. Heat around 5cm (2 inches) of oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or Dutch oven to 180°C / 350°F. If you don’t have a thermometer you can use an old German trick, dip the handle end of a wooden spoon in the oil, when it fizzes with tiny bubbles, the oil is hot enough to cook with.
  4. Pat the apple slices dry with a paper towel, then dip each slice of apple in the batter, turning until well coated, then deep fry 3 or 4 at a time, turning occasionally until golden brown on both sides. Drain briefly on a paper towel lined plate, then toss in cinnamon sugar and eat warm. Delicious!

The complete ingredient list and detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

A deep fried apple ring in cinnamon sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make Fried Apple Rings in the Air Fryer?

Not with this recipe, this batter is too wet to use in an air fryer.

Can I prepare Fried Apple Rings in advance?

They are best served hot and fresh. You can slice the apples and keep them in the fride in the lemon water for up to 24 hours.

Can I double or triple the recipe to make a big batch?

Yes! You’ll need to top up your oil at some stage while cooking to make up for any oil that has been absorbed.

More Apple Recipes

Celebrating apple season? One of my favourite fall recipes is a glorious Deep Dish Apple Pie.

Fancy a tea-time treat? My Farmhouse Apple Cake is topped with crunchy, nutty streusel, or my Easy German Apple Cake is sure to impress.

Of course, you can’t beat a Classic German Apple Strudel!

Deep Fried Apple Rings on a plate with apples and cinnamon sticks.

Fried Apple Rings Recipe

Deep Fried Apple Rings on a plate with cinnamon and apples in the background.

Fried Apple Rings (Apfelkücherl)

Jay Wadams
Sweet, juicy and fragrant with a cinnamon sugar coating, Fried Apple Rings or Apfelkücherl are one of my favourite German Christmas market treats. You don't have to stand around in the snow to enjoy them though, with my simple batter they are super easy to prepare at home.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serves 8 Apple Rings

Ingredients
 

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 125 ml beer
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g plain or all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil for frying

to serve:

  • 4 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • PREPARE: Line a large plate with a paper towel and mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • SLICE APPLES:
    Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. Peel and core the apple (note 1) then slice into 8 rings approximately ½ cm (just less than ¼ inch) thick. Place apple slices in the lemon water while you prepare the batter. 
  • MAKE THE BATTER: Separate the egg. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, sugar, beer and salt. Whisk in the flour ensuring there are no lumps, then fold the egg white into the flour mixture, just until you have a smooth batter.
  • HEAT OIL:
    Heat 5cm (2 in.) vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan or deep-sided frying pan over medium heat until the oil temperature reaches 180°C / 350°F (note 2). Pat the apple rings dry with paper towel, then dip 3-4 rings into the batter and shake off any excess. carefully lower them into the hot oil one by one. 
  • COOK: Cook until golden brown, turning occasionally. When golden brown, use a slotted spoon or spider to lift the apple rings onto the paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil. Cool briefly, then dredge through the cinnamon sugar mixture. Keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining apple slices. 
  • SERVE: I like to serve fried apples just as is, but you could take them to the next level with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side!

Notes

Note 1: Using an apple corer will make this very easy, but if you don't have one, peel the apple, cut it into slices and then use the end of a piping tip or a small cookie cutter to remove the core of each slice.
Note 2: For best results when frying I use and recommend an inexpensive digital thermometer, however, if you don't have one, an old German trick is to dip the handle end of a wooden spoon in the oil. When it fizzes with tiny bubbles, the oil is hot enough to cook with.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a review or a star rating and let me know how it was! Use the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations.
Course | Sweet Things
Cuisine | German
Jay in the snow at the Munich Christmas markets.

We’ve had so much snow in Munich, but that hasn’t stopped me visiting our beautiful Christmas Markets on the hunt for tasty treats and Glühwein!

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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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