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French Apple Cake

This gooey French Apple Cake perfectly embodies the tastes of fall! Made with rum, it’s a simple cake that is not too sweet and deliciously punctuated by the delicate taste and soft-yet-crunchy texture of the baked Granny Smith apple bits baked throughout. Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple and traditional—this cake isn’t all decked out with frosting, but it still catches the eye!

Photo of French Apple Cake, recipe by stacy lyn Harris on a blue china plate with knife in front on wood

French Apple Cake is creamy, velvety, and has a hint of a crunch on the top!

The tart apples with the custard-like filling and crusty top is just heavenly! Fresh eggs make this apple cake incredibly flavorful and custardy. By adding 3 yolks to the batter, you get a creamy, velvety cake. 

Not only is it one of the tastiest desserts, it’s also a beautiful one. Adding the powdered sugar gives it a festive look and a little more decadent flavor. 

The recipe has a few extra steps to create a cake that is velvety and a topping that has a cookie like texture somewhat similar to the top of a poundcake.

You will make the original batter, then scoop one cup of the batter out into another bowl. that you will be making the top of the cake with.

You will then add ingredients to both batters: three egg yolks to the original batter, and a little more flour and sugar into the 1 cup of batter. It’s really very easy, but that step is often overlooked or misunderstood. 

There’s no doubt in my mind that you are going to adore this recipe! Check out some other holiday dessert recipes here!

Photo of French Apple Cake, recipe by stacy lyn harris

French Apple Cake

This gooey French Apple Cake perfectly embodies the tastes of fall!
4 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Cuisine French


  • 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples cored, peeled, and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour for later use
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling over the top
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • confectioner's sugar for sprinkling


  • Preaheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the springform by spraying a 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray. In a large microwave-proof bowl, add apples, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave three minutes on high heat. Carefully remove the plastic wrap, add lemon juice and rum to the bowl and toss with the apples.
  • In a medium bowl, add one cup of flour, one cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix well. In a large bowl, add oil, milk, one egg, and extract and whisk until combined. Add flour mixture to the milk mixture and mix until combined.
  • Remove one cup of the cake mixture to a medium bowl. Add the remaining three tablespoons of flour and whisk well. This will be the top cake layer. Set aside.
  • Add three egg yolks to the original cake batter and mix to combine. Stire apples into the cake batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently shake any bubbles out of the batter.
  • Pour top cake batter over batter in pan. Smooth the surface to get rid of any bubbles. Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of sugar evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove pan to a wire cooling rack and allow to completely cool. Loosen the sides of the cake by running a knife around the edges of the pan. Remove sides of pan and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar. Serve with homemade whipped cream.
Keyword apples, cake, stacey lyn, stacey lynn, stacy lyn, stacy lynn
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

8 responses to “French Apple Cake”

  1. Louise Barber says:

    Really yummy! When do you put in the Rum? After everything was mixed together and layered in the pan i realized it was still waiting to be added.. Next time i will add it with the eggs into the body of the cake…

    • stacy says:

      I think and hope you will really love this one. I put the rum in when I mix the lemon juice with the apples. Adding it to the egg mixture will work too.

  2. Sam Hopper says:

    Can you forego the rum in this recipe? We don’t consume any alcohol, and would prefer not to use any, even in small amounts in cooking.

  3. Kim says:

    Hi Stacy! I plan to make this. Do you happen to ever use a different type apple?

    • stacy says:

      Hi Kim!! You are going to love this recipe. I have substituted pears for the apples and it is still amazing. You can sub this kind of apple; it just may have a little different texture. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  4. xoffender says:

    good recipe. glad that there’s not too much sugar and flour. i added a teaspoon of cinnamon because i can’t bake apples without cinnamon yum

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