This Italian apple torte is easy to make, and delicious! It's light and springy and loaded with apple slices.
The key is to first cook the apple slices in butter before adding them to the batter. Not only do the apples get infused with buttery flavor, pre-cooking them helps remove moisture, so the cake doesn't get soggy.
Here's a tip, don't leave out the zest! The lemon zest, although only a half teaspoon is used, is an essential ingredient—it helps brighten the flavor of the cake.
For information on which apple varieties are best for baking, check out our Guide to Apples.
Buttery Apple Torte
- 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp, 1 stick, 4 oz or 125 g) plus 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter
- 3 Fuji, Jonagold, or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
- 2/3 cup (3 1/2 oz or 105 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (See How to Tell if Your Baking Powder is Still Good)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (6 oz or 185 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Preheat oven and prep cake pan:
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Generously butter an 8 or 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan with 2 inch (5 cm) sides. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the top of it as well.
Cook the apple slices:
Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. Pour 6 Tbsp (3 fl oz or 90 ml) of it into a small bowl or cup and set aside.
Add the apple slices and the remaining butter to a large frying pan and cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Make the batter:
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the whole eggs and egg yolk until blended.
Add the 6 Tbsp of melted butter, the vanilla, the granulated sugar, and the lemon zest.
Stir in the flour mixture and the apples.
Spoon batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top:
Bake at 375°F 30-35 minutes. The cake is done when it is browned, and when you press into the top, it bounces back. After about 20 minutes of baking or so, if the top is getting well browned, tent the cake with aluminum foil.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
Invert the cake onto a plate and lift off the pan, then invert the cake again onto the rack and let cool completely.
Adapted from Savoring Italy by Michele Scicolone.