You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to make this Apple Almond Cake. Only 15 minutes of prep work is required before popping it into the oven for 45 minutes. The result? A lovely moist cake with a wonderful almond flavor that smells amazing while it bakes! Topping this apple cake with sliced apples and almonds makes it perfect any time from breakfast through dessert!
With the arrival of fall, you might be asking yourself, “What can I make with apples?”
If you like apple desserts I have the perfect recipe for you!
It’s my mom’s Torta di Mele – her easy apple cake, aka the best apple cake ever!
Over the years, I have made slight modifications to make this fresh apple cake recipe a little healthier. It continues to be a family favorite.
I love easy apple recipes, which is why this Italian apple cake – much like this apple muffins – can be prepared with just two bowls.
The most time-consuming part of this recipe is dicing and slicing the apples. Depending on how much time I have, sometimes, I will top off the cake with diced apples, and sometimes I will use thinly sliced apples. Both make a lovely top crust.
Once again, I am getting ahead of myself so let me show you how easy this is…
What do I Need to Make this Apple Cake?
- Brown sugar and cinnamon. Who doesn’t love a cake topped with these?
- Almonds. Apple and cinnamon and almonds – can’t go wrong! The almonds will
go on the topping as well.
- Dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, salt.
- Sugar. Just a little – the apples provide a lot of sweetness too.
- Wet ingredients. Eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract.
- Apples. In case the name didn’t tip you off!
Appliances needed to make this almond apple cake are quite minimal. You’ll need a 9 x 9 square pan, a whisk, a wooden spoon, two bowls, and a good knife to chop up the apples.
Apple dessert recipes usually come together pretty easily, and this one is no exception.
The first thing we are going to do is prepare the nut topping. Combine the almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon and set them aside while we get started with the rest of the ingredients.
In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients together and set them aside.
Combine all of the liquid ingredients in another bowl. Begin by whisking the two eggs together. Whisk the eggs until they are light in color and begin to thicken. Gradually whisk in the sugar, followed by the vegetable oil and finally the chunky applesauce.
The applesauce you see here is the one I have made with this recipe. The ingredients to make this easy homemade applesauce consist of apples, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Once you start making your own, you will never buy commercial again -at least that is what happened to me 🙂
Just in case you are wondering, you could use your stand mixer for this recipe. I find it easier to use a couple of bowls and a good old-fashioned whisk to beat the ingredients together.
It’s time to start dicing and slicing some apples. The three apples that get diced will go in the batter and the one apple that will get sliced will be placed on top of the batter.
Today, I decided to use McIntosh apples. Cortland apples are another great choice for this apple cake. Feel free to experiment and use different varieties of apples.
Try to dice your apples uniformly so that they cook evenly. As far as the size is concerned, dice 1/2 inch or smaller.
Remember that nut mixture we prepared a few minutes ago; remove about three tablespoons. This will be the final touch to this apple cake as it will be sprinkled over the top. Combine the rest of the nut mixture with these diced apples.
Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and combine them. Do not over mix.
Add the diced apple/nut mixture to the batter and gently combine.
Surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of batter for the number of apples. But the magical ability of apples to release moisture works in this recipe.
And what is even more magical about this apple cake – it becomes moister the second day around (if it lasts that long). Perhaps I should have called this recipe a Moist Apple Cake!
Once the batter has been poured in a 9 x 9 greased square pan, top with that fourth apple that has been thinly sliced.
Finally, top with the reserved three tablespoons of nut mixture. In the oven, it goes for about forty-five minutes.
These apple squares can be served warm or at room temperature and because they are not overly sweet, they are great at any time of the day.
Apples are used throughout the world in desserts by lots of different cultures; take, for example, apple streusel, polish apple cake, apple pie, apple bar recipes with fresh apples… to name but a few.
How could there possibly be that many best apple recipes, right? Then I started to think about what defines a recipe as being the best.
Your final product has to taste good. But if the recipe is associated with a wonderful memory, well, that would make it the “best” recipe as far as I am concerned.
- Sifting the dry ingredients together will allow for better distribution of all the ingredients throughout the dry mixture. The process also aerates the dry ingredients making the final product lighter in texture.
- This homemade apple cake could also be called Healthy Apple Cake as part of the vegetable oil is replaced with applesauce; it uses a minimal amount of sugar, and there is no butter in the recipe.
- Almonds can be omitted if there are nut allergies in your household.
Can I freeze this cake?
Yes, this moist apple cake recipe freezes wonderfully.
Can I use a bundt pan?
Yes, this recipe makes the perfect apple bundt cake!
What are the best apples for baking?
If you like McIntosh apple recipes, this is the perfect recipe.
Easy apple recipes we love
- Apple Crostata
- Apple Cookies
- Chunky Applesauce
- Apple Chips
- Spiced Apple Butter
- German Apple Pancakes
My mom would make this old-fashioned fresh apple cake recipe a few times a month, usually as the dessert following the traditional Italian Sunday lunch (you know, the one that lasts three hours and gathers about 15 people around the table). She would often alternate between this recipe and her Ciambella recipe.
She would verbally refer to this cake as la torta di mele ebrea or Jewish Apple Cake. When my mom immigrated to Canada, she worked a few years in the manufacturing industry, along with a few of her sisters.
If my memory serves me right, one of the ladies who worked with them was Jewish. She shared her recipe with one of my aunt’s, who in turn shared it with my mom.
There are lots of different apple cake recipes from scratch that exist out there. I’ve taken the liberty of making a few modifications to this one to make it healthier and tastier:
- the amount of sugar-reduced by 1/3 of a cup;
- I’ve decreased the amount of flour (slightly);
- I replaced part of the vegetable oil with homemade applesauce (always finding ways to reduce total fat intake 🙂 and
- I’ve added a little vanilla extract.
As far as the almonds are concerned, combine them with cinnamon and brown sugar to create a little crunch.
This modified version of my mom’s Almond Apple Square Cake is one of is one the best apple cake recipes you can make, especially in the autumn.
It’s one of those cakes that tastes better the next day. Super moist with just the right amount of sweetness. You need to try it!
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this Easy Apple Cake Recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Almond Apple Cake
- 1/2 cup almonds raw, whole, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or more to your liking
- 1 1/3 cup flour 200 grams, all purpose
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar granulated
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 medium apples peeled, cored and diced
- 1 medium apple peeled, cored and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175°C).
- Grease and flour (or use non-stick spray) a 9 x 9 square pan. Set aside.
- Prepare the nut topping by combining almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Reserve about 3 tablespoons of this mixture to spread on top of the cake. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs together until light and frothy.
- Add the sugar and continue to whisk until thick. Whisk for about 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable oil, applesauce and vanilla extract and whisk together for about a minute or so. Set aside while we chop up the apples.
- Combine the diced apples to the nut mixture and set aside.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon. Do not over mix.
- Gently combine the apple mixture.
- Pour batter into greased 9 x 9 pan.
- Place thinly sliced apples firmly on the top.
- Sprinkle reserved 3 tablespoons of nut topping.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until golden and cake tester comes out clean.
- Transfer pan to a rack where it can cool down for about 15 minutes.
- Sifting the dry ingredients together will allow for better distribution of all the individual ingredients throughout the dry mixture. The process also aerates the dry ingredients making the final product lighter in texture.
- This cake could also be called Healthy Apple Cake as part of the vegetable oil is replaced with applesauce; uses a minimal amount of sugar; and there is no butter in the recipe.
- Almonds can be omitted if there are nut allergies in your household.
This recipe was originally published on November 22, 2015, and republished on September 28, 2018, with improvements to the recipe, updated content, and photos.