A fabulously French invention, the gâteau invisible stacks layer upon layer of extra-thinly sliced apples, which seemingly vanish upon baking in a creamy, vanilla-scented custard base. We created this Invisible Apple Maple Cake by adding a pop of maple flavor in the form of rich crystalline maple sugar, adding a natural dose of sweetness to the delicious disappearing act.
Find this recipe and more maple-inspired bakes in our September/October issue here!
- ½ cup (100 grams) maple sugar*
- ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) maple extract
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (3 grams) vanilla bean paste
- ¾ cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 5 cups (925 grams) ⅛-inch-sliced peeled Honeycrisp apples (see Note)
- ¼ cup (18 grams) sliced almonds
- Garnish: maple syrup
- Preheat oven 350°F (180°C). Spray an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together maple sugar, milk, eggs, melted butter, baking powder, maple extract, salt, and vanilla bean paste until well combined. Whisk in flour until smooth. Carefully fold in apples until evenly coated.
- Starting on one long side of prepared pan, shingle 4 to 5 apple slices in columns until bottom of pan is filled. Gently press to level, turn pan 180 degrees, and repeat layering and pressing. Repeat with remaining apples until pan is filled. Pour remaining batter on top of apples, and let stand until batter settles, about 1 minute. Sprinkle edges with almonds.
- Bake until almonds are golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake until set and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 200°F (93°C), about 20 minutes more. Let cool in pan for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate, and serve chilled.
Note: Using a mandoline is a big help getting uniform slices of apples.