Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake

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I have been to France twice and each visit was amazing. I loved every second-touring Paris, visiting the beautiful countryside, indulging in fine foods, and learning about history and art. When I heard my favorite author, Dorie Greenspan, was coming out with a French cookbook, I was beyond excited. Well, the cookbook is out and it has exceeded my expectations by far. Around My French Table, is a collection of recipes from Dorie’s time in France. The book is filled with outstanding savory and sweet dishes. Today I am sharing an apple cake recipe from the book-of course I started with a sweet recipe:)

When Dorie’s book arrived in the mail, I gave it a big hug. I was thrilled to have her latest book in my possession. Since that moment, I can’t put the book down. I keep it by my bed and read from it each night. Dorie shares a special story with each recipe. I love reading about her time in France and why certain recipes are dear to her. This apple cake recipe comes from Dorie’s friend, Marie-Helene, who is the type of cook who doesn’t like to measure ingredients. Dorie fell in love with her apple cake and asked for the recipe, but her friend couldn’t give her the exact measurements. Dorie played around in the kitchen and figured out the recipe on her own.

I am grateful for Marie-Helene and Dorie for sharing this apple cake recipe. It is delicious and extremely simple to make. The cake is loaded with chunks of apples. There are almost more apples than cake, which I love.  Dorie highly recommends using four different apple varieties so you get a little bit of everything-sweet, tart, crisp, and soft. I used Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, and Granny Smith apples. The cake is moist and can be served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It is also good plain for breakfast-not that I would know:)

I am excited to cook and bake my way though Around My French Table. If French cooking intimidates you, don’t worry, Dorie will be with you every step of the way. Her recipes are very easy to understand and she shares numerous helpful hints along the way. Get ready to impress your family and friends with the finest French cuisine-right in your own home.

I hope to go back to France someday, but until then, I will cherish my memories and bring France home through Around My French Table.

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Marie Helene's Apple Cake

5 from 2 votes



  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and center a rack in the oven. Butter an 8 inch springform pan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform pan on it. Set aside.
  • 2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
  • 3. Peel the apples, cut them in half, and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1 to 2 inch chunks.
  • 4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, when it's incorporated, add half of the melted butter, followed by the remaining flour mixture and butter. Mix in between additions so you have a smooth, thick batter.
  • 5. Fold in the apples with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread with spatula so the batter is somewhat even.
  • 6. Slide the pan in the oven and bake 50-60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for five minutes.
  • 7. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and remove from the pan. Cool cake until slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the pan, wait until the cake is completely cooled. Slide a long spatula between the cake and 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 platter.
  • *Note-you can serve the cake with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Dorie suggests not covering the cake because it is so moist. Just press a piece of plastic wrap against the cut surfaces of the cake.

Have you tried this recipe?

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If you like this apple cake, you might also like:

Apple Buttermilk Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod
Spiced Apple Cake from Joy the Baker
Maple Apple Ginger Cake from Baking Bites
Almond Apple Cake from Dragon’s Kitchen

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I made this cake last night as soon as I saw this post because I have been craving a great apple cake. I followed the recipe EXACTLY, and it did not turn out as pictured. The problem was that there was waaay too much apple, so it didn’t puff up like a regular cake, it was more of an apple cobbler. I also only used medium sized apples. Next time I would cut it back to using 2 apples. I went against my better judgment when adding all the apples because the batter to apple ratio was off, so use your judgment when making it. It still tasted great though!

    1. Hmm, sorry you had trouble with the cake. I used four large apples and it worked great. There were a lot of apples, but that is a good thing in my opinion:)

  2. I came over from Bridgett’s La Bella Cook site because I saw that you were cooking from Dorie’s amazing new book! The cake looks absolutely wonderful and I am right there with you. I love Dorie’s new book. I’m going to be posting her gougeres today. Have you heard about French Fridays with Dorie?

    1. I love Dorie and her new book. I have heard about the group. I will try to join in sometime! Thanks!

  3. This cake looks awesome! I am in love with Dorie’s book too, I can’t wait to make my inaugural recipe!

  4. bah–it’s so tender and full of apples! this looks like a winning recipe for apple cake, and buddy, i’ve tried more than a few. thanks!

  5. That cake looks lovely! I still need to get a copy of Dorie’s new book. It looks like it will become a new favorite in my kitchen.

  6. Hi! It does look great. I have a question: do you put the oven at 350 F with ventilator or just heat up and down? Thanks!

  7. Ooooh – so glad you posted this! I wanted to bring an apple cake to a friend who just broke her ankle, and I’d been eyeing this one. It looked so easy though that I wasn’t sure it would be as good as some other recipes out there. I should have known that Dorie would come through – sounds like a perfect apple cake, and yours is gorgeous!!

  8. Just made it! I wanted to use my new Red Kitchen aid Mixer and also use up the few apples I had left. Soo yummy. Thank you for the recipe =D

    1. I am jealous you have a Red Kitchenaid, I have a stainless steel one, but I have always loved the red:) Glad you enjoyed the cake!

  9. I am so excited to make this cake for my family for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) since it’s customary to eat apples (and honey) to “have a sweet new year.” It looks delicious!!!!
    I am going to omit the rum when I bake the cake, & read some previous comments saying that I could just add some additional vanilla extract instead. Do you know the exact amount of additional vanilla to add?

  10. if this recipe calls for 4 large apples, then that is too much for the amount of butter, etc. 4 large apples make a huge amount of cut up fruits, especially the kind of apples we get. 4 apples make up about 800gms. i added 4, but realized that its too less too late 🙁 ill make this again, but with 2-3 apples instead of 4.

  11. In France, this is called Grimolle – it is a very old recipe, one my grandmother and her grandmother used to make.

  12. This was my first time baking something and it turned out beautifully.the recipe was really easy and everyone love it.thank you so much for sharing this.i will rate it a 4 out of 5.

  13. Hi there! If I make this a day ahead of time, any suggestions on storing it? Do I refrigerate it and bring it to room temperature before serving? Thank you!

  14. I made this cake tonight and it is perfect! I had a slice with a scoop of local vanilla and honey ice cream. Perfect ending to a busy day. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  15. Hello! Stopping in to say how much I adore your website and your recipes! This one in particular has made the biggest impression on me (and therefore, my family!). I am so very thankful that I stumbled across it because it is absolute perfection. I made a few changes, but it nonetheless is just as fluffy and light as it looks in the photographs that first stopped me in my tracks. Thank you so so so much for sharing, it has become a family favorite for years now. We love it so much that my sister and I even featured it on our blog. Kudos to you and your prowess in all things kitchen!

  16. Absolutely one of my most favorite desserts. It’s dense with fruit but not too heavy after a meal. My guests always love it.

  17. Love this cake soooo much! Easy to make & it’s the first thing I think of when Fall apples start coming in. My husband brought home a bag of Pink Ladies & I only used them today.

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