How to make the best French apple cake with this classic and traditional recipe for a delicious cake with a light, soft and moist texture. This a simple but great recipe that can be made for any occasion or just to enjoy the apple season.
Why you'll love this cake
The French apple cake is a classic and traditional dessert very loved in France and in the world, because it's a very simple cake to prepare at home but which has incredible apple flavor.
This apple yogurt cake is a classic Grandma's dessert, made with love and enjoyed at snack time with the family over a cup of coffee! Ultra soft and full of fresh apples sliced, this cake has a perfect texture, soft and light, and an incredible taste in the mouth.
This is certainly one of the easiest and quickest cake recipes to make with simple ingredients for a cake that can be made at any time of the day and for any occasion!
The French apple cake recipe is usually served warm or cold with powdered sugar, a drizzle of salted caramel sauce or freshly whipped cream and, for those with a sweet tooth, a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Ingredients and substitutions
Here are the ingredients you will need and possible substitutions to make this absolutely delicious light and fluffy traditional French Apple Cake recipe at home, scroll down the page to see the quantities in the recipe card.
- Vegetable oil: Use preferably sunflower oil or grapeseed oil, once the cake is well cooled you won't feel the oil in the cake at all. You can also replace it with unsalted and melted butter but the texture will be firmer than with oil.
- Sugar: granulated sugar or flavored sugar like brown sugar or cane sugar.
- Eggs: use large eggs at room temperature.
- Yogurt: a plain yogurt that you can replace with buttermilk, half-skimmed milk, sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- Flour: white cake flour that you can easily replace with all-purpose flour or use a gluten-free flour blend.
- Yeast: baking powder or baking soda, but be careful with the quantity as the latter is 4 times more powerful.
- Apples: Select baking apples with juicy flesh, such as Gala, Jonagold or Pink Lady, Honey crisp, Granny smith apples.
- Vanilla and salt: essential for flavoring and bringing out all the flavors.
- Spices: Add a hint of cinnamon ground which goes deliciously with the apples.
- Flavor: Bitter almond extract, dark rum, lemon juice etc.
- Chocolate: For a chocolate version, replace ¼ of the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder or add chocolate chips to the batter.
- Almonds: Add a few ground almonds for a soft almond and apple cake.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to Make French Apple Cake Recipe
1 - Mix wet ingredients
- In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil and granulated sugar with a hand whisk until smooth.
- Add the eggs, vanilla extract (or vanilla sugar packet) and yogurt and whisk again to combine into a smooth, liquid cake batter.
Tip: You can use softened unsalted butter instead of vegetable oil and mix with either a hand whisk or an electric mixer.
2 - Stir in the dry ingredients
- Add the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt.
- Mix the flour mixture with a hand whisk or a rubber spatula to incorporate them gently and until you have a smooth batter.
- Finish by peel apples and cutting them into thin slices or chopped apples and incorporating them into the cake batter until the apple slices are completely covered with the cake batter.
3 - Baking
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and line an 8 inches / 20 cm round cake pan ( or springform pan) with parchment paper only in the bottom of the pan or grease with butter or cooking spray.
- Pour all the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the batter and the apple slices with a spatula to get a flat, straight cake on top.
- Sprinkle brown sugar over the entire cake to get a deliciously crisp and sweet layer after baking.
- And bake the French apple cake in the oven at half height for about 40-50 minutes until it is puffed and golden brown.
- Allow the cake to cool slightly in the pan before carefully unmolding it and placing it on a cooling rack or large platter and allowing it to cool completely to room temperature.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and serve warm with a little powdered sugar and a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Tip: Check for baking by sticking a toothpick or knife blade into the center of the cake. It should come out clean and without any liquid batter, otherwise extend the baking time by 5 minutes.
How to serve this soft cake
This apple cake recipe is delicious eaten on its own, but for more deliciousness, you can serve it with one of these topping:
- Salted Caramel sauce
- Vanilla ice cream with chopped pecans
- Chantilly and caramelized cinnamon apples
- Dark chocolate sauce
Conservation and Freeze
At room temperature: Store the French apple cake at room temperature for 2-3 days covered with a cloth or in a storage box.
In the fridge: You can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days in a storage box or under plastic wrap.
In the freezer: It keeps very well in the freezer for up to 3 months, let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
More cake recipes
More apple recipes
- Apple Pie
- Dutch apple pie
- Apple galette
- Classic French apple tart
- French apple tart (Tarte Normande)
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