Apple Cake is a classic dessert of Italian cuisine made with a few genuine and simple ingredients such as apples, lemon, butter, eggs, sugar and flour.
This is an easy-to-make recipe, perfect for a quick and sweet snack, for a healthy breakfast or for dessert. Italian apple cake is certainly the most loved and known dessert in every family.
In this recipe we are going to show you the classic recipe for a soft and high edge Italian apple cake. But, as with all traditional recipes, there are many variations according to the traditions of each family and the different regions. Whether with a high and soft edge or more crunchy made with shortcrust pastry like a tart, or with the addition of almonds or raisins, apple cake is in any case a great classic for breakfast and snack, suitable for everyone.
Apple cake is a timeless dessert and every family in Italy has its own recipe that is jealously guarded, as the most precious of treasures. You will surely like our version of the Italian apple cake, perfect for treating your loved ones with a delicacy!
Italian Apple Cake Recipe
Doses for a 22 cm (9 inch) springform pan
- 250 g ( 8,8 oz) of “00” flour
- 100 ml of whole milk
- 2 medium whole eggs
- 100 g (3,5 oz) of melted unsulted butter
- 16 g ( 0,5 oz) of baking powder
- 100 g (3,5 oz) of caster sugar
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 3 apples (about 500 g /1,1 lb)
- brown sugar
How to make Italian Apple Cake
Step 1) – First preheat the oven to 180 ° C (350 F) and prepare a 22 cm springform pan covered with parchment paper, wet and squeezed. Then wash and peel the apples.
Step 2) – Cut some apples (about half of them) into small pieces and some into thin slices. Squeeze the lemon juice on both to flavour and keep them from blackening. Set the apples aside.
Step 3) – In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar for 5 minutes, until very frothy and well whipped (you can also use an electric mixer). Then add the melted butter and lemon zest.
Step 4) – Add the flour, baking powder and milk. Mix and combine the ingredients very well. Finally add the chopped apples (but keep the slices aside) to the mixture and mix well by hand with a wooden spoon.
Step 5) – Pour the mixture into the springform pan and then cover it completely with the apple slices arranged in a radial pattern.
Step 6) – Before baking, sprinkle the surface of the cake with brown sugar, which during cooking will form a crunchy and delicious crust.
Step 7) – Bake in the oven at 180 ° C (350 F) for about 50 minutes. The apple cake will be ready when the apple slices are toasted and golden. Let the cake cool before serving.
For those with a sweet tooth, here a truly irresistible touch: serve this apple cake with whipped cream, pastry cream or vanilla ice cream!
You can keep the apple cake for two or three days under a dessert glass cloche or by covering it with cling film for food.
You can freeze the sliced apple cake, and defrost it when you need it. Defrost it slowly; first in the fridge then at room temperature! Also excellent heated in the microwave.
Italian Apple Varieties
In Italy, the most famous areas for apple production are Valtellina, a mountainous area of Lombardy, and Trentino, mountain region in northern Italy. Particularly famous are the Val di Non apples. In this area there are many excellent qualities of apples, such as Golden Delicious, Renetta, Pink Lady and Granny Smith.In central and southern Italy you can find another type of apples: Annurca, especially in Campania, and the apple of the Sibillini Mountains. These varieties are small, with dark red skin and very fragrant.
To make Italian Apple Cake you can use the quality you prefer even a mixture of different types will give your cake a particular taste:
- Golden apple has a sweet taste and drains during cooking, making the cake more humid.
- Renetta apple has a more sour taste and a floury texture.
- Grenny Smith has the hardest apple texture: if you like to feel apple pieces in the cake is the right quality for you!
Italian Apple Cake: Italian Recipe Variants
Especially in mountain regions, they enrich Italian apple cake mixture with some typical local ingredients. In Trentino, for example, they love cinnamon-flavored apple cake and often add blueberries or raspberries to the mixture.
In Veneto and Lombardy, they use to enrich the apple cake with dried fruit such as walnuts, almonds or pine nuts. They place them both in the dough and as a decoration on the top and they often flavor the cake with a little aniseed liqueur.
In center Italy, there is the famous Sant’Orfeo apple cake, a regional Umbrian specialty. It is a very ancient recipe with a scent and a flavor reminiscent of past times and our grandmothers’ kitchens.
It is a rustic dessert whose main characteristic is the consistency similar to a pudding. This apple cake is in fact very rich in fruit: it contains 5 Renetta apples, a pear and plenty of raisins but only 6 tablespoons of flour!