French Apple Cake

French apple cake

French apple cake is really a lot of apple with a little bit of batter joining the apples together, baked till tender then a sugary, butter topping finishes off the cake. It’s more of a crustless tart than a cake, and perfect for serving after a hearty soup or casserole.

French apple cake ingredients on a marble bench
ingredients

The recipe is from Patricia Wells, an American cookbook author and teacher, who has lived in Paris for years. The story goes that Wells asked a Parisienne stall holder selling apples from her family orchard for a recipe. This is her resulting French apple cake recipe. It is a homely recipe, typical of French provincial home cooking. Delicious served cold with some honey ice cream or hot with a custard.

We grew up surrounded by apple orchards so consequently apples featured heavily in our dessert repertoire. Although this particular cake recipe wasn’t about in the day, but it would have been snaffled up, had it been.

Apples

We used Granny Smith apples, fresh from the orchard of our friend Carol. You can use whatever apples you like, but some apples contain more moisture than others, so the cooking time won’t be a constant.

Using a mandolin makes short work to slice the apples, but a sharp knife will do the job. Try to get the apple slices as thin as possible.

French apple cake slice served off a white plate
ready to eat!

The batter

The batter for French apple cake is quite thin and the best way to make sure each slice of apple is coated is to use your hands to rub the apple slices ensuring that each slice is covered in the batter.

 

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What’s your favourite apple cake recipe? We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make French apple cake.

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French Apple Cake


  • Author: Recipe Winners, recipe by Patricia Wells
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 serves

Description

French apple cake is really a lot of apple with a little bit of batter joining the apples together, baked till tender then a sugary, butter topping finishes off the cake. It’s more of a crustless tart than a cake, and perfect for serving after a hearty soup or stew.


Ingredients

Cake

  • lightly butter a 22cm (9 inch) cake tin and line base with baking paper
  • 1/2 cup plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1/3 cup full cream milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 large apples (about 1 kg / 2 pounds) cored, peeled and cut into thin slices – see notes
  • icing sugar to dust – optional

Topping

  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

Cake

  • preheat oven to 200c (400f) bake not fan
  • in a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
  • add the vanilla, eggs, oil and milk and mix till well combined
  • add the apple slices and using your hands mix the apple with the batter so as to coat each individual slice of apple
  • pour into the prepared pan and bake on the centre shelf for 30 minutes – pop a timer on
  • meanwhile prepare the topping
  • in a small bowl combine the egg, sugar and butter and stir to blend then set aside
  • when the 30 minutes for the cake is up, remove cake from oven
  • pour topping mix over the cake and spread the topping evenly over the apples
  • return to oven for 20 minutes until some of the apple slices are tinged golden
  • remove cake from oven onto a wire rack
  • run a knife around the sides of the pan and allow to cool
  • turn cake out onto a plate and then turn onto an airing rack so the top of the cake is once again upright
  • cool
  • dust with icing sugar
  • serve at room temperature
  • enjoy!

Notes

  • We used Granny Smith apples fresh from the orchard of our friend Carol. You can use whatever apples you like, but some apples contain more moisture than others, so the cooking time won’t be a constant.
  • Category: cakes and desserts
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: French Apple cake, apple cake

Cooper

Cooper is never far from the action when we’re photographing. We photograph on the deck as it gives the best natural light, and Cooper loves to check out what’s going on. What he’d really like to do, and what he is doing though, are two very different things we’re sure!

Cooper

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8 comments

  1. This apple cake is AMAZING! I added a bit of apple cake spice to the flour and a teaspoon of apple essence with the vanilla. It was OMG DELISH! Forgot to take photo before we ate the lot but will definitely be a favourite to make. Thanks for such a great recipe, I’m in heaven!

    1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Barb, we think it’s amazing as well. Especially when it’s really just a little batter holding a whole load of apple slices together. We like the apple essence addition. Thanks for stopping by, regards, Jo and Jen

  2. Avatar Kriistine Sideris says:

    Please let me know at what temperatures I should bake the cake and if I should use resistors or ventilator in the oven

    1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Kristine, the cake bakes at 200c (400f), on bake, not fan bake. Love to hear how you like it. Regards, Jo and Jen

      1. Avatar Kristine Sideris says:

        Thank you for the kind assist

        1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

          Welcome Kristine, happy we could help. We would love to hear how you enjoy the cake. Jo and Jen

  3. I love the taste and the fact that it uses so many apples 🙂 when coating the apples in the batter, I mixed in one apple at a time, while slicing them, and this way I didn’t need to use my hands. It’s a nice trick learned from an Italian colleague for mixing pasta with sauce evenly.

    1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Patricia, great idea! Definitely give it a go next time we make this delicious cake. Regards, Jo and Jen

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