22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

French Apple Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

With chunks of sweet apples nestled in a tender and buttery rum cake, this French apple cake is the essence of simplicity.

french apple cake

The summer after my junior year in college, what seems like eons ago, I worked as an au pair in Paris for a family with three little boys. My host mother, Valérie, loved to cook and would frequently enlist my help in the kitchen once the kids were in bed. Her French apple cake, with chunks of tart apples nestled in a tender, buttery rum cake, is a longtime favorite of mine. Similar to many homemade French desserts, like clafoutis, madeleines, or crepes, it is the essence of simplicity.

What you’ll need to make French Apple Cake

how to make french apple cake

When this baking this cake or any any dessert with apples, such as apple crisp, apple pie, or apple cobbler, it’s important to use apples suitable for baking. Baking apples hold their shape when cooked, so the chunks of fruit won’t turn into applesauce in the oven. Tart-sweet varietals such as Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, and Jonagold are all great options. Feel free to combine different varieties for a more nuanced flavor.

How To Make French Apple Cake

how to make french apple cake

Begin by combining the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. No need to sift; just whisk well.

how to make french apple cake

Set aside. Then, in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

how to make french apple cake

Add the eggs one at a time.

how to make french apple cake

Beat in the vanilla extract and rum.

how to make french apple cake

It will look a little grainy at this point; that’s okay.

how to make french apple cake

Add the dry ingredients.

how to make french apple cake

Mix until just combined.

how to make french apple cake

Add the chopped apples.

how to make french apple cake

Use a rubber spatula to fold the apples into the batter.

how to make french apple cake

Have a 9-inch springform pan greased or a 9-inch cake pan greased, lined with parchment, and greased again.

how to make french apple cake

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and even the top.

how to make french apple cake

Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.

how to make french apple cake

Bake the cake for about 40 minutes, until golden and crisp on top.

how to make french apple cake

Serve warm or room temperature, plain or with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

french apple cake

You may also like

Video Tutorial

French Apple Cake

With chunks of sweet apples nestled in a tender and buttery rum cake, this French apple cake is the essence of simplicity.

Servings: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling over cake
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch cubes (I like Honeycrisp, Fuji or Granny Smith) (3½ - 4 cups chopped)
  • Confectioners' sugar (optional), for decorating cake

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch springform or regular cake pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. If using a regular cake pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease again.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and rum. Don't worry if the batter looks grainy at this point; that's okay. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped apples.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and even the top. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a rack in the pan. Once cool, run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake. If using a springform pan, remove the sides. If using a regular cake pan, carefully invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, then gently flip the cake over and place right-side-up on a platter. Using a fine sieve, dust with confectioners' sugar (if using). Cake can be served warm or room temperature, plain or with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
  5. Freezer Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or freezer wrap. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 279
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Sugar: 22g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Sodium: 66mg
  • Cholesterol: 77mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • This works beautifully with one to one gluten free flour. Also we substituted whiskey for the rum. Delicious!

    • — Katherine on December 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is my go to recipe for something simple yet excellent. It’s light and delicate but oh-so-delicious.
    I won’t lie, I’ve had this cake for breakfast with a cup of coffee, it isn’t overly sweet and I love the tartness of granny smith apples.
    Make it, you won’t be disappointed.

    • — Joëlle on December 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Would the cake still be fresh and ok to serve at a dinner party if you make the cake a day in advance

    • — Charlotte Connelly on December 1, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep, it keeps nicely!

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this delicious cake yesterday for my family. It was a hit. Of course, I had to keep a piece for myself intending to eat it over a couple of days. Well, I ate it all yesterday. Thanks for such a great recipe.

    • — Ann on December 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe-this is a winner! And you could use Calvados-French apple brandy although the rum addition was so good!

    • — Lorna on November 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • This cake came out perfect and it was ridiculously easy to make! I love how simple it is – it pairs well with whipped cream. My younger siblings all loved it!

    • — Ana Roque-Lara on November 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just came out of the oven, looks beautiful. Daughter running out to get vanilla ice cream.

    • — Mary on November 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Could I bake this pie in a rectangular baking pan? If so, what size? I would like to cut it into pieces and bring to a party….

    • — Claudia on November 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Claudia, I’d probably go with the 9-inch square pan. The cake will not be as deep and will take less time in the oven so keep a close eye on it. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • 15 minutes to make, 40 minutes to bake, and delish. An apple lovers delight.

    • — CJM on November 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • Great recipe, beautiful flavor

    • — Elena on November 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this for thanksgiving and it was a hit!

    • — Margot on November 24, 2022
    • Reply

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.