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!
Why you’ll love this French apple cake!
- This apple cake is truly all about the apples! This apple cake uses 3 lbs. of apples, all coated in an 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.
Apples – since there is a lot of apple 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.
- 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).
- Peel, core and dice the apples, then squeeze a little lemon juice on them to slow any browning.
- Add some of the apple juice to the cornstarch.
- Stir until smooth.
- Heat the remaining apple juice until boiling.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the apple juice.
- Whisk until you have a thick, smooth mixture.
- Add to the apple and stir to coat. Set aside.
- Start the cake batter by creaming together the butter and sugar.
- Add the egg and beat in. It’s a good time to scrap the bowl and make sure everything is combined well.
- Add the some of flour mixture.
- Alternately add the sour cream.
- Mix until the batter is well combined.
- Spread batter into prepared 9-inch springform pan.
- Top with apples and bake for about 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, top with flaked almonds and bake an additional 25 minutes or so.
Making ahead, storing and freezing
This cake is best on the day it is made, but does keep well a few days more. I like to refrigerate left-overs.
This cake should freeze, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. It’s fine for left-overs, as they will keep to be enjoyed later, but I wouldn’t make ahead and freeze to serve as a whole later. It may become too moist after freezing and thawing and not at its best.
Get the Recipe: French Apple Cake
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.
I admit that I had my doubts that 3 pounds of apples would fit on top of the batter but they did; and, it is a delightful apple infused cake that is not too sweet. Served it with cinnamon whipped cream and it was delicious. I did cook for the full time indicated in the recipe and found that, in my oven, it was a bit too long. The bottom crust scorched; next time I will cut the bake time by 8-10 minutes. I did not test for doneness during the latter baking stages as I figured the apples might leave a suggestion of uncooked batter so I just went by the prescribed baking time.
Hi Terry and so glad you enjoyed it and yes, fruit-heavy cakes do make it difficult to test for done-ness, for sure.
hello this cake was amazing!! One question though, are there adjustments for high altitude? the center of my cake would not fully bake up even though I even cooked it longer.
thanks again for a wonderful recipe!!
Hi Joni and glad you enjoyed it. And yes, there should be some adjustments for high altitude baking. Usually it is an adjustment of the amount of baking powder I believe. I’m not sure of the formula for the adjustment as I’ve never baked at altitude. I’m sure you could quickly find it with googling high altitude baking adjustments.
Looks amazing. Which apples do you suggest.
Hi Donna, I used Granny Smith and early Macs for this bake. It made for a nice tart apple topping that kept a little crisp to the apples. Alternately, you could use something like Golden Delicious, which bake up a little softer and a little sweeter. Just depends what you prefer.