French Apple-Almond Cake

French Apple-Almond Cake

From the dense, custardy bottom to the crisp top layer, almond flour amplifies the textures that are characteristic of this classic French Apple-Almond Cake. Additional egg yolks in the cake’s base also boost its custard-like consistency.

5.0 from 8 reviews
French Apple-Almond Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (370 grams) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Gala apple (185 grams) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) apple brandy
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • ¾ cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (72 grams) almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
  • 1½ tablespoons (10.5 grams) sliced almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray an 8-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine Granny Smith and Gala apples. Microwave on high until apples are softened but not translucent, about 2 minutes. Let cool; strain excess liquid.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat egg and 2 tablespoons (24 grams) sugar at medium speed until pale in color, about 2 minutes. Stir in melted butter, brandy, and vanilla paste.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1 cup (200 grams) sugar. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup batter and egg yolks. Stir in apples until combined, reserving ¼ cup (46 grams) apples. Spread egg yolk batter into prepared pan. Top with remaining batter, smoothing with an offset spatula. Press reserved ¼ cup (46 grams) apples into top of batter, and sprinkle with almonds.
  6. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake in bottom third of oven for 30 minutes. Raise springform pan to middle of oven, and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes more, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cake to loosen before removing from pan. Let cool completely on base of pan before serving.
The traditional French apple cake calls for the use of a variety of different apples. We went with the slightly tart Granny Smith and the sweeter Gala.



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  1. This is a delicious cake. I used frozen cherries with incredible results. A couple of suggestions: put half the plain batter, then the batter/fruit/yolk, then the remaining batter in that order. The bottom of the cake is soggy from the fruit. A layer of batter between the fruit and bottom will solve this.
    Secondly: sprinkle with small amt of Demerara sugar before baking.
    I’m sure you could use any liquor with great results, not just Calvados. Kirsch, amaretto, brandy etc.

    • Michelle, did you defrost the frozen cherries? I ask because this recipe instructs us to drain the juice from the apples before using it. Thank you!

      Btw, your idea is wonderful. It also occurred to me to use frozen tart cherries in imitating a near-clafoutis.

  2. This was so delicious and flavorful! I used half coconut sugar and half raw sugar in place of white sugar and it gave it a delightfully caramel flavor. I also pan fried the apples in butter with a little coconut sugar sprinkled in to give it extra flavor. There were no extra juices to drain and they tasted wonderful. My French husband loved it! Such a nice recipe, will be making again!

  3. Omg. I just made this and it is incredible! My half French husband doesn’t get home until just before dinner. I cannot WAIT for him to try it! How should one store this? Fridge or countertop okay? Thank you so much for this recipe!

  4. Beautiful cake! Made it yesterday for a lunch gathering, it went in a flash! I have book marked this for another day…which may be very soon. I didn’t change a thing in your recipe. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Emily Rose,

      Thanks for reaching out! We think Amaretto would be great. It will play with the almond flavors nicely. Happy baking!

  5. Hi, made this cake today and it came out pretty good. I used 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoon of stevia for less sweetness .

  6. What a wonderful recipe! The cake is simple yet lots of flavors from the apples (tart and sweet), brandy, and almonds. The creamy apple custard bottom layer with the nutty & caramelized top layer are a magical combination! The first time I made it I didn’t bake long enough – the top was browning quickly and it looked done so I took it out of the oven about 15 minutes too early, only to find that the bottom was not done (because there’s lot of moisture from the apples), so make sure you give a full 65 minutes (cover the top the last 15 minutes like the recipe says!). The next time I may reduce the sugar a little as I find this on the sweeter side.

    • Hi M,

      Thanks for reaching out! You should be able to make this substitution without noticeable changes in structure. You will want to thin the yogurt with water until you reach the consistency of thick milk. Happy baking!

  7. This is an absolutely incredible recipe! I had been looking for an almond apple cake recipe like I saw on a Julia Child baking episode. But I had almond flour and didn’t want to first make it into almond paste, only to turn right around and break it down into a cake batter. Thanks so much for creating and posting this. It tasted like something out of a French pastry shop in Paris. I was skeptical about taking out some batter for the egg yolks, but the custardy bottom was just magical, and the carmelized crunchy top, heaven! Love love love!

    • Hi Talya,

      Thank you for your question!

      Unfortunately, we haven’t tested this recipe using all almond flour. Because almond flour absorbs moisture far more than your typical all-purpose flour, adjustments would need to be made to the recipe. Also, because almond flour is gluten-free, it lacks the same binding power that wheat flour has. It will probably be easier to use a recipe that specifically only calls for almond flour because it will account for these differences, but if you decide to experiment, please let us know how it goes!

      Happy baking!

    • Hi Stacey,

      Thank you for your question! The easiest substitution will be vanilla extract, substituted 1:1 by volume. In this case, you’ll add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in place of the vanilla bean paste.

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!


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