This easy, rustic Italian apple cake recipe is a very delicious Italian dessert that anyone can make. If you are looking for an easy from scratch apple cake recipe, this apple cake is it because it is not fussy at all. A perfect cake to make for beginners or advanced bakers.
Apple cakes that we are familiar with usually have lots of vanilla and cinnamon but this Italian apple cake recipe relies on the flavor from the butter, sugar and apples only. It may sound boring but it actually tastes amazing!
For this apple cake recipe, I like to use golden delicious apples because they hold their shape well in baking but they are light and porous so they absorb the flavors around them well.
You can use granny smith if you prefer. If you have not tried baking with golden delicious I would recommend giving it a try.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this easy apple cake recipe:
- Apples. I like using golden delicious apples but you can also use granny smith or honey crisp apples.
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
I would bet that you probably already have almost all of these ingredients in your pantry. The only ingredient you may need to buy at the store are apples.
Why this apple cake is so good:
Like most Italian cake recipes, this Italian apple cake is not going to be overly sweet. Italians like sweet desserts but their cakes tend to not be that way.
I love cakes like this. This is actually very similar to a French apple cake with the large pieces of apples inside the cake and not too sweet. To me there is a time and place for super sweet cakes like Birthdays or celebrations but an everyday cake should be more balanced.
After baking, if you prefer a sweeter dessert, you can add sweetened whipped cream, extra powdered sugar or even my vanilla condensed milk sauce which is really decadent and addictive.
Another thing Italians are known for are their rustic baking techniques. If you are not a huge fan of intricate details when you are baking then you will be so happy about this simple apple cake. The steps are very easy in making this recipe. It is truly a simple cake that anyone can make.
How to make this Apple Cake:
This easy apple cake is really is all about assembling ingredients which is my kind of baking! It's just easy and not fussy.
I like to make this Italian apple cake early in the day and have it for dessert on the day I made it and then for breakfast the next day. I usually will make it on a Saturday so I have that special breakfast on Sunday.
Serving and additions to this apple cake:
Because it is not overly sweet on its own, I like to serve a homemade whipped cream with it when I have this for dessert. I serve it as is (plain) for breakfast. What is not to like about a cake that can be eaten for dessert and breakfast!
For extra texture and flavor, you can also add in walnuts or pecans into the batter before baking. It will add a bit of crunch to each bite. The cake has a nice texture from the apple pieces already, but a little crunch is always nice.
Storing your apple cake:
When baking from scratch like with this apple cake, all of your ingredients are fresh and there are no preservatives. When storing this Italian apple cake, it will last for up to 2 full days under a cake dome on the counter or in an air tight container. After 2 days it should be stored in the fridge. It usually won't last that long because it is so good.
If you think you will not eat the entire cake in 2 days, you can cut the cake in half and wrap it in plastic wrap (wrap it double) and place it in the freezer. To thaw, just remove the cake from the freezer and place it on your counter to come to room temperature with the plastic wrap left on it.
Tips for this apple cake recipe:
What are the best apples to use in apple cake?
I love using golden delicious apples when baking. You can also use granny smith apples or honey crisp apples. All of these hold their shape really well in baking.
Should you peel your apples?
I would peel apples that go into this cake or any cake for that matter. If you do not, you might end up with apple skins that separates from the apples during baking.
Should I store my cake in the fridge?
I always have a 2 day rule for my apple cake. I let it sit on the counter under a cake dome (glass) to keep it fresh. After that, it goes into the fridge for no more than a couple more days. This cake is usually eaten by the second day though 🙂
For more delicious cake recipes, you may like:
- Classic Carrot Cake
- Cake Pan Banana Bread
- Almond and Vanilla Layer Cake
- Italian Berry Cake
- Basil Olive Oil Cake
- Pumpkin Cake
Rustic Italian Apple Cake
- 2 ¾ cup All purpose flour plus a little extra for your cake pan
- ¾ cup sugar plus 2 tbsp of sugar for your apples
- 8 tbsp room temperature unsalted butter plus a little extra for your cake pan
- 3 large eggs at room temperature if possible
- 2 golden delicious apples peeled, cored and diced granny smith will also work well
- 3.5 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- t tbsp lemon juice
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
Prepare you cake pan
- Grab a 9 inch round cake pan
- Rub a tablespoon of butter all around the inside of your cake pan making sure to get the sides too.
- Now add about a tablespoon of flour to your cake pan and shake the flour all around the pan so the flour sticks to the butter. Once the flour has coated all the butter in your cake pan, turn it upside down over the sink and shake out any excess flour then set your pan aside. This will help your cake release from the pan after baking.
Preparing the cake
- Grab your apples and peel the skins off with a peeler. If you do not have a peeler you can go ahead and leave the skins on.
- Starting about ½ inch from the center of your apple, begin slicing all the apple around the apple core until you have four large wedges of apple. Discard the core. You can also use an apple corer if you have one to do this part.
- Finely dice the apple pieces that you cut off from the core.
- Add your diced apples to a small bowl along with your lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Mix and set aside.
- In another large bowl, add your eggs and sugar and beat on medium speed until it becomes a pale yellow color and the texture is smooth.
- Now add your room temperature butter and whip that into the egg mixture until smooth.
- In a new large bowl, sift your flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add your sifted flour mixture into your egg and butter bowl and stir it in making sure it is mixed well. The batter will be very thick.
- Now grab your bowl of diced apples and pour that into your cake batter.
- Fold the apples into the batter making sure it is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Now add your apple cake batter to your prepared cake pan.
- You will need to push the batter to the sides of the pan since it is very thick.
- Try to smooth out any bumps on top.
- Place your cake into the pre-heated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until the top is nice and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. All ovens vary so start checking your cake at 25 minutes.
- When it is ready, remove it from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, flip your cake upside down on to your cooling rack. It should release from the pan. If it does not, while it is upside down, give it a nice bang on the bottom of the pan to help release it.
- Once flipped out, flip your cake right side up carefully and let cool for another 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to 2 days.
- Optional: Top with powdered sugar or for a more decadent dessert, try my condensed milk sauce.