A soft and easy apple cake which is part of our Italian tradition. Every grandma bakes an apple cake in fall and even though the recipes may all be slightly different, they're always super soft and full of apple slices.
This is probably the most baked cake in Italy, it's so easy to make that even people who cannot cook an egg are able to make it (I have proof!). And rarely Italians search for Apple cake recipes, everybody has their mom's or grandma's recipe.
It has a very nostalgic feeling of childhood. That's probably why we love it so much. A slice of warm apple cake is the perfect breakfast, with a Cappuccino.
How to make this Italian Apple Cake
The classic Italian apple cake has a soft sponge bottom and a thick layer of apple slices nicely arranged on top like a crown. But I prefer to add all the slices in the batter. This way it will be much moister and flavorful in every bite. The slices only on top become chewy so I never like much that version.
You may also be surprised by the absence of cinnamon in this cake.
Even though cinnamon is readily available in Italy, it's not part of our traditional cuisine and not used very often in cakes.
Our ancient and traditional recipes mostly have only vanilla and citrus zest as flavorings. Maybe even a pinch of nutmeg.
Baking this cake is super easy as you only need a large bowl. There is no particular attention to how the ingredients are mixed or their temperature. It always comes out good!
Which apples should I use?
You can use whichever apples you prefer! There is no right or wrong here, it all depends on your taste.
My favorite apple is the Fuji because is very sweet and juicy, other similar apples are the Gala and the Honeycrisp. Here you can find more information on the different apple varieties.
Check this article on how to store apples for winter, so you can make this cake even after the season is over.
How to store it
This cake will keep its moisture and softness for 3-5 days if kept at room temperature and in a closed container. I use this handy cake clear container (affiliate link) to store all my cakes (and transport them too if you bring it over to friends or family).
If you like this recipe, check also these other desserts recipes:
- Healthy Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread
- Castagnaccio, Tuscan chestnut cake
- Cantucci, Traditional Tuscan Biscotti
- Raspberry Chocolate mini Bundt cakes
Italian Apple Cake
- 1 ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ cup Sugar, I use brown sugar
- ½ cup Unflavored Vegetable Oil, like Canola, Avocado or Peanut
- ½ cup Milk, I use half&half
- 1 tablespoon Baking powder
- 3 Eggs
- 1 lb Apples, 4-5
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
- A pinch of Salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Peel and core the apples, then cut in half and slice thinly with a mandoline slicer. Add the lemon juice to the apples and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour with a baking powder energetically with a whisk to remove all lumps. Then add all the other ingredients together and mix well with the whisk until you get a smooth batter.
- Add the apples to the bowl with the batter and mix with a spoon.
- Grease and dust with flour a 24 cm (9”) springform pan, then pour the cake batter and the apples in.
- Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil and move to a lower rack.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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