I can never get enough of apples. Even on our island, we have several kinds of apples available in our (not-so) supermarkets. When I found these beautiful Granny Smith apples, the first thing that came to mind was to make this French Apple Cake.
It is easy to make with ingredients you probably have on hand. The only ingredient you may not have is Calvados. Calvados is a very popular French Apple Brandy.
Calvados and freshly squeezed lemon juice add a really nice complex flavor to the apples. However, if you don’t have Calvados it is not the end of the world. You can substitute it with white rum.If you do not have either of them, just don’t use it.
That being said, if you are into apple deserts, Calvados is a one-time-investment that is worth every penny. I use a tablespoon of it with all my apple desserts.
This is such a great apple cake recipe to keep up your sleeves when you need a fruity cake for a party or a special guest. The best part of it is that the main character of the cake apples is available year-round.
Other than the fact that it takes a whopping 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake, much shorter prep time compensates for the long baking time.
This French Apple Cake is a wonderful representative of the number one principle of French cooking; Use simple ingredients for incredibly delicious results. Serve it with warm caramel sauce, homemade vanilla ice cream or just by itself. Either way, you and your guests are bound for a treat.
I hope you will get to try it for your family and friends for the holidays ♥
A Few More Apple Recipes You Might Also Like
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Overnight Apple Muesli
- Apple Roses
- Healthy Apple Crumble
- Almond Flour Apple Cake
- Check out all our cake recipes for more inspiration.
French Apple Cake
- 1 1/2 lbs Granny Smith apples (3 medium) peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon Calvados (optional)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup all purpose flour +2 tablespoons
- 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup vegetable oil such as canola oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- Place the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Spray a 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray and place it on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.
- Place apples into a pie plate, cover them with a dinner plate, and microwave for 3 minutes until apples start to soften and they are slightly translucent. Add Calvados (if using) and lemon juice. Give it a big toss. Set aside for it to cool.
- In a large glass bowl, whisk 1-cup flour, 1-cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a second glass bowl, whisk 1 egg, oil, milk, and vanilla until it is smooth.
- In two batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined.
- Measure 1 cup of this batter and set it aside.
- Add the egg yolks to the remaining batter (the larger batch) and whisk to combine.
- With the help of a spatula, gently fold in the apples into the batter. The apples should be much cooler at the point.
- Transfer the batter into the 9-inch springform pan. Using a spatula spread the batter evenly.
- Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into reserved 1-cup batter and mix until combined. Pour it over batter in the pan and spread it evenly to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1-tablespoon sugar over the batter.
- Place in the oven and bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Be sure to keep an eye on it after the 1-hour mark. You want the top of the cake to be golden brown.
- Place it on a wire rack and allow it to cool for at least an hour. Dust it with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s French Apple Cake recipe.
Hi Aysegul, Can I substitute a half cup of apple sauce for a half cup of oil and then only use 1/2 cup of oil?
To be honest, I have never tried it. However, I see a lot of recipes use applesauce in place of oil so I think it would work.
Please let me know if you end up trying. Thanks for coming by.
I started and mixed all ingredients as per your recipe and instructions. But when do the remaining 5 ounces of flour and 7 ounces of sugar come in to play? Confused.
In step 4 you use the 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of flour. And then in step 10 you used the rest of the flour and sugar.
Please let me know if this answers your question or if I can help in any way.
I have found a lot of French Apple Cake recipes, however, I am gonna try this one … to be honest, the two different batters or the two batter alternations caught my eye and I hope it’ll turn out nice and creamy … can’t wait 🙂
This apple cake is truly delicious. I shared this recipe many years ago, but it is one that I make a lot during fall.
I hope you like it as much as we do. Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
thank you for your answer i did 3 times and it was perfect now it is not working anymore which is a shame as it is the best ever recipe ever. it is just very compact and dense now so not soft at all but very dense as if all collapsed which is the right temperature for a fan oven? which is the best fan or not?
i did again 5 times changing all possible combinations it seems there is so much liquid and all is just dense and wet
pls if you can help me
hi i make this cake and turn out a big dense ans soggy do you know what could be the problem?
I am sorry to hear that. Can you please tell me about it a little bit more? Did you follow the recipe to a T? I am not sure how it could turn out both soggy and dense at the same time. This is a recipe that I make often so I am surprised that you had that issue.
If you could kindly give me more information, I will do my best to help.
Hi. If you had to substitute dairy milk with another kind, what would you choose? Almond, coconut, hemp, etc.?
I am a big fan of unsweetened almond milk. However, I have never tried making this recipe with almond milk.
With that being said, it is definitely worth a try as this cake is literally my favorite breakfast cake.
Let me know how it turns out.
My cake ran out of the springform pan all over the baking sheet. It seems like they should have wrapped foil around the springform base. This took a lot of time to make. It’s baking now, my cake is becoming shorter and shorter by the minute. I’m a little ticked off. I even read their reviews of springform pans, they said that every one leaked. But I read that too late, my cake is already baking.
I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with this cake.
I have made it many times in the past and never had the issue of the batter running out of the springform pan to a level where you are left with a shorter cake.
Where did the batter run out of? Did you use at least 1 1/2 pound of apples? Because, in a way, apples carry the batter..
I want to help you, but don’t know how with the information you provided. I would really appreciate it if you could give me more information as to what went wrong..
I hope to hear from you soon.
Aysegul – “Ice”
Actually, it ended up being great! I lost maybe 1/2 cup of batter which leaked out… I guess that’s what the foil on the baking sheet is for. So I ended up with a cake and a big cookie.
Anyway, I didn’t have a kitchen scale to weigh the apples. I used three large apples. But the cake was really good! Some of the topping did sink into the cake, so it wasn’t as pretty as yours, but I love the way it turned out.
Thanks for responding!
I am so glad it turned out okay. I was worried that it was going to be disappointing for you.
To tell the truth, none of my batter leaked. I wonder why your batter ended up being more liquid than mine.
Anyhow, again I am so happy to hear that it worked out.
Thank you SO much for letting me know.
Happy holidays and warm hugs from Virgin Gorda!
it looks delish!
Thank you Dina.. 🙂
Love French Apple Cake! Beautiful pictures!
Thank you Sherri! 🙂