French Apple Cake Recipe

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Indulge in the rustic charm and comforting warmth of a classic Apple Cake, a dessert that embodies the essence of homestyle baking. This delightful recipe marries the natural sweetness and soft texture of fresh apples with the rich, tender crumb of a beautifully spiced cake, making it a perfect treat for any season.

At its core, this cake highlights the humble apple, transformed into a delectable sweet treat. Chopped apples are folded into a batter rich with butter, sugar, and a hint of vanilla, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. The apples lend their juicy texture and fruity notes, ensuring each slice is moist and flavorful. A subtle hint of spice, perhaps cinnamon or nutmeg, infuses the cake with a warmth that is both comforting and inviting.

As it bakes, the cake rises splendidly, its golden-brown crust giving way to a soft, fluffy interior. The aroma of baked apples and warm spices fills the air, creating a sense of anticipation and homeliness. Once baked, a gentle dusting of powdered sugar adds a touch of elegance and a whisper of added sweetness.

This Apple Cake is versatile and can be enjoyed warm from the oven or at room temperature. It pairs wonderfully with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or simply on its own. Each slice offers a delightful balance of textures and flavors, making it a beloved choice for family gatherings, cozy afternoons, or as a special treat to brighten any day.


  • 3 Large Baking Apples (like Honeycrisp)
  • 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Dark Rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tablespoons White Sugar (for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar (optional, for dusting)


  1. Prepare the Oven and Pan:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the Apples:
    • Optionally peel, then core, and cube the apples into pieces between 1/4 and 3/8-inch. Toss them in a large bowl with apple cider vinegar.
  3. Mix Dry Ingredients:
    • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cream Butter and Sugars:
    • In a separate bowl, beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in each egg one at a time until smooth. Stir in the rum and vanilla extract. Gradually mix in half of the flour mixture, then fold in the rest with a spatula.
  5. Combine Apples and Batter:
    • Gently fold the apples into the batter. Transfer to the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle with the remaining white sugar.
  6. Bake:
    • Bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Cool and Serve:
    • Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and flip onto a serving plate. Optionally, dust with powdered sugar before serving.

This French Apple Cake, with its light and flavorful profile, is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in baking. It’s perfect for any occasion, offering a satisfying and easy-to-make dessert experience.

Apple Cake: Storage, Serving, and Baking Tips

How Long Does an Apple Cake Last?

  • Room Temperature: An apple cake can last for about 1 to 2 days when kept at room temperature. Ensure it’s covered in a cake container or wrapped with plastic wrap to keep it fresh.
  • Refrigerated: In the refrigerator, apple cake can last for up to 5 days. Again, it should be covered or stored in an airtight container to maintain its moisture and prevent it from absorbing other odors in the fridge.

Can Apple Cake Sit Out?

  • Short Term: Yes, apple cake can sit out at room temperature for a day or two. This is fine for immediate consumption, but if you plan to keep it longer, refrigeration is recommended, especially if it has a moist texture or frosting that could spoil.

Why Does My Apple Cake Fall Apart?

  • Moisture Content: Apple cake might fall apart if there’s too much moisture from the apples. Be sure to measure your ingredients accurately and not overmix the batter.
  • Underbaking: If the cake is underbaked, it may not have enough structure to hold together.
  • Cooling Time: Not allowing the cake to cool completely before cutting can cause it to fall apart. It’s essential to let it cool in the pan for the specified time.
  • Apple Size: Large chunks of apple can make the cake crumble more easily. Consider cutting the apples into smaller, uniform pieces.

Is Apple Cake Made From Leftover Cake?

  • Typically Not: Apple cake is generally made from scratch and not from leftover cake. It’s a distinct recipe that includes fresh apples, spices, and other traditional cake ingredients.
  • However: There are recipes that repurpose leftover cake as a base for a new dessert, such as cake pops or trifles, but these are different from a traditional apple cake.

Apple cake is a delightful dessert that pairs well with coffee or tea. Its rich, moist texture and the sweetness of the apples make it a favorite, especially during the fall season. Proper storage and following the recipe correctly will ensure the best results for your apple cake.

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