Apple pie cake aka Marie-Helene's Apple Cake from Dorie Greenspan

Did you all have a fun weekend? I did! We took the little monkey to our county fair and he was mesmerized ( and just a little scared ) by the crowds, the heat, the colourful spinning rides, the animals- (including two llamas!), the music and the fireworks from friday night on, which he insisted on NOT watching, covering his eyes :( Tonight, though I was super thrilled to catch the fourth of July fireworks, from over the Golden Gate bridge, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year! Whoa! I love the Golden Gate bridge, love seeing it in the distance, parts of it disappearing under  the thick fog so that it looks magically suspended in the clouds, and I still ( after two years) always feel really excited when we drive over it, so catching the fireworks over the Bay was just a special treat. 

Something else I love? I love the smell of apple pie baking in the oven. The delicious aromas of baking apples, pastry and cinnamon fills the entire house and announces the arrival of good things, and seriously what could be better than a slice of warm, freshly baked apple pie topped with a scoopful of salty caramel ice cream? Nothing, except maybe this cinnamony apple pie cake :)

Yes, you read it right: its apples and cinnamon, but baked into a cake, so no need to bother with that fiddly pie crust. It's quite amazing. It is so full of apples and the texture is not really like a sturdy cake but veering more toward an apple y  bread pudding, and the flavours are unmistakably that of apple pie so that's why I call it apple pie cake and I'm sticking to it!

This was the first thing I took out of the new oven in the house we moved to last month. I didn't get to post because this chocolate Oreo cake too its place. And yes, some days, special days, you need a fluffy frosted cake covered in Oreos, or a barely chocolatey cake covered in Nutella frosting roses and ruffles ( yes the birthday cake, that's coming here soon!) but not everyday. This apple pie cake however, I would be very happy to eat everyday :) Its perfectly easy to make, all the equipment you need is a bowl and a whisk- no food processor, mixer or rolling pin needed.

Even though I so loved this cake, and am now looking for a reason to bake it again, (with a streusel topping! with cardamom! with nuts! or in two layers with brown sugar buttercream frosting! or maybe next time with pears!)  I only got to posting it today, just in time for the Pie Party organised by the awesome Shauna. If you make this and eat a slice, you'll immediately realize why apple pie cake is  just the name for it :)

So here it is in all it's comforting, apple- cinnamony- fall- not- really-summer-but-who-cares-glory!
Apple Pie Cake
Recipe Source:  Dorie Greenspan from here

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour ( I used unbleached all purpose flour )
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds though it doesn't matter which kind you use. You can even use granny smith)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum ( I used Drambuie) 
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon ( Optional- my addition, cardamom would also pair well) 
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled ( I microwaved chunks of butter at 50% power for 10 seconds at a time until it was fully melted) 
  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan well with butter and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Do not forget the baking sheet under the cake pan, since otherwise the butter that drips from the cake as it bakes will fall to the oven floor and burn. 
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
  • Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy- no need to use a mixer, a simple whisk or even a fork will do
  • Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum, vanilla and cinnamon if using. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Don't stir too vigorously after the flour has been added else the cake will get too hard.
  • Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s well coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that its even and the apples and batter are distributed pretty equally throughout the pan. You don't want a large clump of apples on just one side. 
  • If you like you can arrange some batter coated apples on the top decoratively.
  • Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. 
  • Carefully run a blunt butter knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.) 
  • Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature if you can cotrol yourself! If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
  • The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream ( why not add some liqueur to the cream as well)  or a spoonful of ice cream like vanilla or my favourite salty caramel ice cream, maple, bourbon pecan or cinnamon ice cream. 
  • The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature and, according to Dorie's husband, gets more comforting with each passing day-I agree, I loved it even more on the second day, and the few pieces that were remaining on the third day were still fine. Dorie says that however long you keep the cake, it’s best not to cover it — it’s too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces ( I just kept it uncovered on a plate )

There was a surprisingly large amount of apples but the batter rises up to cover the apples 
I used unbleached all purpose flour as recipe didn't specify, and it was fine
Don't forget the baking sheet under the cake pan to catch dripping butter else it will burn on your oven floor
Can be baked in ramekins also, if so reduce baking time by about 15 mins
Texture is soft and moist more like bread pudding than cake and the apple slices too become soft while baking but still retain a slight bite.
Verdict: It was awesome, even though I had halved the recipe and baked it in a 6 inch pan, (which is why my cake were a little flatter), been a little confused by the baking time  ( took about the same) and the automatic settings on the new oven which was driving me nuts, not to mention the oven light wouldn't work :( Something always seems to go wrong when I attempt Dorie's recipes, so it is a great credit to her that inspite of my blunderings, they turn out fine! Actually more than fine. This is now one amongst my favourite everyday cake recipes and will definitely make an appearance whenever I have apples to finish, company's coming in about an hour, around thanksgiving time its a Tuesday?


  1. Looks perfectly baked. Amazing clicks Rose.

  2. apple pie cake sounds yummy!

  3. Super delicious and wonderfully baked cake,soo tempting..

  4. Thanks girls :) It's my new go-to tea time cake and I do plan to try it with other fruits.

  5. oh wowee- this is a nice recipe !

  6. Cake in Pie or Pie in cake..This looks great,Rose :-) Isn't this the cake you were talking about, similar to the Pear cake I made?

  7. i have always wanted 2 try an apple pie cake. Il keep this recipe in mind

  8. Yes it is Namitha! Good guess :) can't wait to try it with pears, your pear cake sounded so yum!
    Nisha am sure you will love this since you love apple pie like me :)

  9. yummmyyyy, looks so good and we all love apple pies :D

  10. How weird, I just made this cake this weekend! It is pretty awesome, I used a vanilla bean instead of the extract and really liked the extra flavor, I agree the cake is rather reminiscent of apple pie but more portable!

  11. Luscious looking apple cake, First time to your blog. Happy to follow such a lovely space. Anything with apple iam in :)



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