This French apple cake is loaded with 3 pounds of apples, all sitting on top of a lovely cake, that bakes up into the most wonderful texture!

French apple cake sliced from overhead

Why you’ll love this lovely apple cake!

  • This apple cake is truly all about the apples! This apple cake uses 3 lbs. of apples, all coated in apple juice syrup and sitting on top of a lovely, moist cake.
  • As the apples cook on top of the cake batter, the apple flavour infuses the cake with flavour and moistness, to create a unique and delicious bite.
  • This apple cake is a great alternative to apple pie, for something a little different, but still a great apple dessert.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Apples – since there are a lot of apples in this apple cake, the choice of apple will obviously have some impact. Sweet or tart? Soft or crisp? Or a mixture? Granny Smith will offer up a tender crisp and more tart flavour. Golden delicious will hold their shape, but be softer and a bit sweeter. The choice is yours, but consider what you prefer and pick accordingly.

Step-by-step photos

photo collage of steps to make French apple cake 1
  1. Weigh out your apples. I’ve used some Granny Smith and some early Macs (so my finished cake was not too sweet and with some tender-crisp apple pieces from the Granny Smith).
  2. Peel, core and dice the apples, then squeeze a little lemon juice on them to slow any browning.
  3. Add some of the apple juice to the cornstarch.
  4. Stir until smooth.
photo collage of steps to make French apple cake 2
  1. Heat the remaining apple juice until boiling.
  2. Add the cornstarch mixture to the apple juice.
  3. Whisk until you have a thick, smooth mixture.
  4. Add to the apple and stir to coat. Set aside.
photo collage of steps to make French apple cake 3
  1. Start the cake batter by creaming together the butter and sugar.
  2. Add the egg and beat in. It’s a good time to scrap the bowl and make sure everything is combined well.
  3. Add the some of flour mixture.
  4. Alternately add the sour cream.
photo collage of steps to make French apple cake 4
  1. Mix until the batter is well combined.
  2. Spread batter into prepared 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Top with apples and bake for about 45 minutes.
  4. After 45 minutes, top with flaked almonds and bake an additional 25 minutes or so.
French apple cake sliced from overhead

Making ahead, storing and freezing

This cake is best on the day it is made, but does keep well for a few days more. I like to refrigerate leftovers.

This cake should freeze, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. It’s fine for leftovers, as they will keep to be enjoyed later, but I wouldn’t go ahead and freeze to serve as a whole later. It may become too moist after freezing and thawing and not at its best.

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French apple cake sliced from overhead

Get the Recipe: French Apple Cake

This apple cake has over 3 pounds of apples, all sitting on top of a lovely cake, which bakes up with the most wonderful texture.
5 stars from 4 ratings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: 10 servings


For the apple topping:

  • 3 lbs apples, peeled & diced
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups apple juice, unfiltered recommended

For the cake batter:

  • 7 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
  • Icing/confectioners’ sugar, for dusting before serving


  • Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Set aside.

Prepare the apples:

  • Peel and core the apples, then cut them into small (1/2 – 3/4") pieces. Add to a bowl and mix with the lemon juice so the apples won’t brown. Set aside.
  • Mix the cornstarch with the sugar, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of the apple juice in a bowl until smooth. Add the remaining 1 cup of apple juice to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until the juice thickens. Add the apples and stir well. Remove from heat and let cool down slightly.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Prepare the cake batter:

  • Add the butter, sugar, and salt for the batter to a bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Mix the flour with the baking powder, then add in two batches to the bowl, alternating with the sour cream. Mix until well combined.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread out to get an even layer. Add the apples on top and distribute them evenly.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Return the cake to the oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. If the apples start to get dark towards the end of baking, cover the top of the pan loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil and continue baking.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the tin for about 10-15 minutes, then remove the side ring and let cool down completely before removing off the base. If you like, you can dust the cake with a little confectioners’ sugar before serving.


Lovely served warm, at room temperature or even cold.  Store left-overs in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Cuisine: French
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 375kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 85mg, Potassium: 301mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 38g, Vitamin A: 474IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 65mg, Iron: 1mg
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