This French Apple Cake is super quick and easy to prepare in one bowl. The cake is made with applesauce and packed with chunks of apples, creating a delicious balance of flavours and textures!
This recipe was first posted in June 2019 and was updated with new photos and tips in August 2022.
Why we love this recipe
Who doesn't love a cake recipe that is both super easy AND quick? This French Apple Cake recipe has both: it basically only requires one bowl and one whisk, and is ready to be enjoyed in less than one hour!
This Apple Cake is the most delicious and light dessert. Packed with apple flavours both inside the applesauce cake batter and with the chunks of apples, it is the perfect Fall and Winter Cake. It is the perfect sweet treat or to serve for afternoon tea.
This apple cake is made from a few basic ingredients (scroll down to recipe card below for all quantities):
- Apples: peeled, cored and cut into small chunks. You can use any of your preferred apple variety (see variety recommendation in the FAQs section below). Depending on the size of the apples, you will need 2 or 3.
- Eggs: medium to large size, at room temperature.
- Butter: Unsalted and Melted. To make this cake dairy-free, you could substitute the butter with oil.
- Applesauce: preferably a homemade applesauce for the best flavours. Otherwise, a store-bought applesauce is completely fine but try to pick one that is made without added-sugar or low in sugar. I used a smooth applesauce but a slightly chunky one will work too.
- Flour: Plain / All-Purpose Flour. It can be substituted with the same quantity of Self-Rising Flour; simply discard the baking powder and salt.
- Spices: I added a little bit of Cinnamon for flavour. You could also add some ground ginger, a touch of nutmeg or any of your favourite spices here.
- Rum: the traditional French recipe is often made with Rum. I personally don't use it but if you want, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Rum to the cake batter. The rum could be replaced with Brandy too.
- Vanilla: either vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
- To finish the cake: I sprinkled the cake with some flaked almond and raw sugar (or Demerara sugar) for extra crunch.
How to make French Apple Cake
Start by melting the butter and set it aside to cool down. If you plan on using a homemade applesauce, I recommend preparing it in advance and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
- Preheat your oven on 180 degree Celsius / 350 degree Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a 24 cm / 9,5-inch Springform Pan. Line the bottom of the cake pan with baking paper / parchment paper and lightly grease the sides (with soft butter or oil from a cooking spray).
- Photo 1: Peel, core and slice the Apples into small cubes. Set aside.
- Photo 2: Place the Eggs and Brown Sugar in a large bowl.
- Photo 3: Whisk together for a couple of minutes or until it looks very bubbly.
Don't skip this step, beating the eggs and sugar until very foamy will help the cake turn very light and moist.
- Photo 4: Add the cooled down Melted Butter and Applesauce. Whisk until combined.
- Photo 5: Add the dry ingredients - Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Cinnamon (optional).
Optionally, you can mix the dry ingredients together into a separate small bowl. Sift the flour mixture directly over the wet ingredients.
- Photo 6: Whisk until just combined. You could get a smooth, thick mixture. Stop as soon as combined as you want to avoid over-working the cake batter.
- Photo 7: Fold in the cubed Apples. Optionally, keep about 1/4 of the apples to finish the cake.
- Photo 8: pour the French apple cake batter into the prepared pan. Spread it around with a silicone or rubber spatula.
- Optionally, top the cake with the remaining chunks of apple. Sprinkle with some Flaked Almonds and some Raw Sugar for extra crunch.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer or tip of a knife comes out clean. The edges of the cake should be lightly golden.
- Place on a wire rack and leave to cool down completely before taking the French Apple Cake out of the pan. Dust with some Icing Sugar before serving.
The variety of apples you choose will slightly change the flavour and level of sweetness of your cake. Whether you want a nice and sweet apple or prefer something a little more tart and crisp, this recipe can be made with so many different types of apples!
You could use: Granny Smith, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Mutsu or Crispin, Winesap or Pink Lady like I used here.
You can read more about how to choose the Best Apples for baking here!
Check out my Gluten-Free Apple Cake recipe for a similar version of this cake. To make it dairy-free, simply substitute the melted butter for some neutral-flavoured cooking oil (such as Canola Oil). Note that using oil instead of butter will change the taste and texture of the cake slightly.
This cake can be served in many different ways; either warm or cool. It can be served on its own, but will also be delicious with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream, some Whipped Cream, more Applesauce or some caramelised apples.
For a different flavour, you could also serve it with a side of Stewed Pears, a Strawberry Coulis or some Blueberry Compote!
Tips for Success
- The apples can be diced into a few different sizes. The small chunks will turn super soft while the larger cubes will remain slightly crunchy, creating a delicious contrast of texture.
- Stop mixing the cake as soon as the dry ingredients are combined to avoid over-working the batter, which would result in a tougher, drier cake.
- For a wonderful contrast of flavours, you can use two different variety of apples instead of one. Choose a sweet apple and a more tart one for example.
Storing & Freezing
Keep this French Apple Cake at room temperature, stored in an air-tight container or covered with aluminium foil for up to 3 days. It will last for a few more days in the fridge but will turn drier. You can reheat individual slices for a few seconds in the microwave before eating.
To freeze it, first leave it to cool down completely. Cover it completely with a layer of plastic wrap first, then a layer of aluminium foil. Keep in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
When ready to be eaten, thaw for a few hours at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.
More Apple Recipes
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Easy French Apple Cake
- 2 Large Apples
- 2 Eggs - at room temperature
- 80 gr (1/3 cup) Brown Sugar
- 120 gr (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter - melted
- 120 gr (1/2 cup) Applesauce - preferably unsweetened
- 150 gr (1 cup) Plain / All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon - optional
- 1 pinch Salt
- Flaked Almond - optional, to taste
- Raw Sugar - optional, to taste
I highly recommend using the measurements in grams & ml (instead of cups & spoons) for more accuracy and better results.
- Preheat your oven on 180'C / 350'F. Line the bottom of a 24 cm (9-inch) Springform Pan and lightly grease the sides.
- Melt the Butter in the microwave and set aside to cool down.
- Peel, Core and Cut the Apples into small cubes. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the Eggs and Brown Sugar until foamy. Add the melted Butter and Applesauce (see note 1) and whisk until combined.
- Mix in the Flour, Baking Powder, Cinnamon and Salt. Stop whisking as soon as combined (see note 2).
- Fold in the apples (see note 3). Pour into the prepare Springform Pan and spread the mixture around.
- Optionally, top with some Flaked Almond and Raw Sugar.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool down completely before removing from the pan and serving.
- You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Rum to the cake batter along with the melted Butter and Oil.
- If preferred, mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl first and / or sift it into the bowl with the wet ingredients.
- Optionally, keep about 1/4 of the cubed apples and place them on top of the cake batter before baking.