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Apple Cake from northern France

French Apple Cake

Adapted from davidlebovitz and Dorie Greenspan; I recommend using a mix of tart and sweet apples, all of them firm and crunchy.
Course Dessert
Cuisine cake, French
Keyword brandy
Author TheSpicedLife


  • 3/4 cup (110g) AP flour
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 medium-large apples (a mix of varieties)
  • 1-2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 3 T apple brandy (such as Calvados)
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 8 T (1/2 cup/115g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Cut out a circle of parchment to fit the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan; then cut out a strip to line the inside rim of the pan. Lightly grease the pan to encourage the parchment to stick, and then generously butter the parchment. This cake can definitely stick--at my in laws' I did not use the parchment strip to line the side, and parts of the cake did not remove nicely.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Peel and core the apples, then cut them into 1-inch (3cm) chunks. Toss them with a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar to prevent browning. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs (a hand whisk is fine) until foamy and then whisk in the sugar. Then whisk in the apple brandy and vanilla.
  5. Gently stir in half of the flour followed by half of the melted butter. Repeat. Do not overmix.
  6. Fold in the apple chunks until they’re well-coated with the batter and scrape them into the prepared cake pan. Smooth the top a bit.
  7. Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (it may be a little juicy looking from hitting an apple). Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the sides of the cake pan, leaving behind the parchment paper. Then carefully peel away the parchment paper, making sure no apples are stuck to it.
  8. Let cake cool before serving. You can serve with whipped cream or crème fraîche (or even ice cream--although maybe that is more American?), or just plain (if you are, ahem, eating it for breakfast).