If you are looking for an apple cake with brown sugar and warming spices, this isn’t the one. (This is.)If, however, you’re looking for a buttery, almost custard-like cake with only a teaspoon of vanilla extract to distract from the flavor of tender fresh apples, you’ve come to the right blog.Meet the French Apple Cake. It’s easy. It’s elegant. It’s French home-baking at its finest.This little cake is perfect for the upcoming holidays (or just any ol’ day) because it requires minimal effort and delivers big time. Also, it requires exactly nine ingredients (ten, if you include the confectioner’s sugar) and there’s an 80% chance you have all of them already.There’s no need to soften any butter either, so you can conceivably have this in the oven in under 20 minutes. You won’t even need to break out your mixer!This beauty bakes up in about 45 minutes, and since it doesn’t require frosting or filling or anything more than a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, it only needs a 15 minute rest before you can release it from its springform and slice it up.You read all that correctly. If you crank the oven right now, you can be eating French Apple Cake in 80 minutes.I’d start moving toward the kitchen, if I were you.
French Apple Cake
makes one 9-inch round cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large baking apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
juice of 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
For serving (optional):
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Combine 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Whisk for about 2 minutes, or until uniform in appearance and a bit thick. It will be grainy.
Whisk half the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, followed by half the melted butter. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and butter.
In a small mixing bowl, toss together apple chunks and lemon juice.
Add apples to cake batter and fold together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Transfer to prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Scatter remaining tablespoon of sugar over the top. Tap full pan on the counter 5 times before baking for 40-50 minutes, or until golden. A toothpick inserted in the center should come back clean or with only a few moist crumbs.
Let cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan before releasing the springform. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with confectioners sugar, if desired.
Leftover cake will keep covered at room temperature for two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.