French Apple Cake

I’ve had baking a French Apple Cake on my bucket list for a long time. A celebratory Valentine’s Day dessert was my excuse! ❤ This version was custardy and absolutely wonderful. We ate it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream but it could also served with a dollop of softly whipped cream.

This recipe was adapted from Marie-Hélène Brunet-Lhotse, a top editor of Louis Vuitton City Guides (and a restaurant critic for the Paris edition), published in Around my French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, via Epicurious.com.

Greenspan emphasized the importance of using diverse fruit in the cake to include crisp, soft, sweet, and tart apples for the best result. I used a combination of Fuji, Granny Smith, Envy, and Opal apples. I also increased the vanilla, and substituted apple cider for the rum. Delicious!

Yield: Serves 8

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum or fresh apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • whipped cream of ice cream, for serving
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, preferably on convection.
  2. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform on it.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  4. Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy.
  6. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend.
  7. Whisk in the rum/apple cider and vanilla.
  8. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter.
  9. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter.
  10. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish.
  11. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
  12. Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.)
  13. Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
  14. To Serve: The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène’s served her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination.

Note: The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature. (The flavor may even improve with time!) The cake is too moist to cover completely; leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Country Apple Fritter Bread

When I recently saw this recipe on The Company She Keeps– I needed an excuse to make it. Thankfully we had a surprise snow day! (We seriously didn’t even know that snow was in the forecast… :/ ) I knew it would be the perfect special breakfast.

This recipe was adapted from The Baking Chocolatess. I modified the recipe to incorporate whole wheat pastry flour, unsalted butter, and coarse salt. I also baked the bread in my favorite Pullman loaf pan. Decadent and delicious.

Yield: Serves 8

For the Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Batter:

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk or almond milk (I used whole milk)

For the Apple Mixture:

  • 2 large apples, peeled and chopped (any kind – I used Pink Lady apples- my favorite!)
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • walnuts, to taste, optional

For the Glaze:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1-3 tablespoons of milk or cream (depending on desired glaze thickness)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Grease desired loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Make the Cinnamon Sugar: Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Make the Batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat granulated sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract.
  6. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. Add to creamed butter mixture and mix until blended.
  7. Add milk to batter and mix until smooth.
  8. Make the Apple Mixture: Combine chopped apples, granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add nuts, if using.
  9. Spread half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apple mixture, then half of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  10. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.
  11. Dollop the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
  12. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a knife.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 45 minutes for a Pullman loaf or 50-60 minutes for a standard loaf.
  14. Make the glaze: Mix the powdered sugar and milk or cream together until desired consistency is achieved. Mix well.
  15. Remove loaf from pan. Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

German Apple Cake

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I love apple baking season!! My son has also become obsessed with cinnamon-sugar ever since pumpkin doughnut muffins became part of his life. 🙂 Apples and cinnamon-sugar are a match made in heaven- not to mention eating tasty cake a la mode- the whole dessert was heavenly!

I chose this recipe because the presentation was so pretty- so happy it was equally delicious. This cake was AMAZING. The recipe was adapted from Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn, via Martha Stewart Living. I used Ginger Gold apples because they were the most tart and best baking apples available at my farmstand at the time. It would also be wonderful with a combination of Granny Smith, Winesap, or Cortland apples. I usually prefer to combine varieties, but I couldn’t wait to make this cake. 🙂

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  • cooking oil spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, separated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 large, tart apples, such as Ginger Gold, Granny Smith, Cortland, or Winesap

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  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (on convection). Butter (or spray with cooking oil) a 9 x 7-inch or an 8-inch square pan, or other equivalent-size baking dish. Line with parchment paper, butter or spray the parchment as well.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/3-cup sugar with the cinnamon.
  5. Squeeze lemon juice into a medium bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples into the bowl. Add the cinnamon-sugar mixture and toss to thoroughly coat each apple slice.
  6. Arrange the apple slices on top of the batter in overlapping rows, pressing lightly into the batter. Drizzle remaining cinnamon-sugar over the top.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Apple Layer Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting

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My daughter requested an “apple-cinnamon layer cake with frosting” for her birthday dessert– pretty sophisticated for a 7-year old! 🙂 I think she needed something new after her vanilla birthday party cupcakes and “number 7” sugar cookies.

This cake was very moist and flavorful. The frosting had just a hint of maple flavor. Caramel frosting would also be nice. I had frosting leftover but included the complete recipe (as leftover frosting is unusual!). The cake recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. She loved it. 🙂

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 LARGE Granny Smith apples, peeled, two coarsely grated and two diced

For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch-round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter (cooking spray works well too), then flour paper and sides (tapping out excess); set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, and eggs until well combined; fold in grated and diced apples. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans; smooth tops.
  3. Bake, preferably side by side in the center of the oven, until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 28 minutes (on convection) to 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 20 minutes, then invert onto wire racks; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again, and let cool completely on racks.
  4. Make the cream cheese frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed until fully combined. Beat in the maple syrup and vanilla.
  5. Assemble cake: Place one layer on a serving plate (I put parchment paper under the edges to prevent frosting from reaching the serving plate.); spread top with frosting. Top with another layer; spread top and sides with frosting (then remove the protective parchment paper). Refrigerate at least 1 hour to set (or up to 4 days). To serve, bring cake to room temperature; slice with a serrated knife.

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