Buttery Apple Torte

Buttery Italian Apple Torte! This light single layer cake is filled with apple slices that have been cooked in butter.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 servings


  • 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


1 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.

2 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.

3 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.

4 Spoon batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

5 Bake: 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.

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  • Eliana

    Absolutely the best quick addictively delicious piece of yumminess!!! Thank you! Indeed, a keeper!


  • Reir

    I made this today and it was a big hit! I would definitely be reducing the sugar a bit next time – we use golden delicious apples and they are so sweet to begin with!

  • Rabia

    This was my husband’s birthday cake this year (we’re trying to watch our weight :)) and we really really loved it. Cooked apples gave a tasty, full flavour. I did cut down down a bit on the butter, though and used a teaspoonful to cook the apples.
    This one’s a keeper!!


  • Melissa

    Is the two thirds of a cup of flour a typo or is that for real?

  • Nasir M

    I had a question about the texture of the cake. I have made it twice using an electric oven and both times, while fully browned, the cake was a little mushy and when sliced did not cut clean. Is it supposed to be like that or am I doing something wrong? Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Nasir, when you press on the cake with your fingertip, it should bounce back, that’s how you know it’s really done.

  • Annette @ annettesfoodpassion

    This is a great apple cake! I am on a constant search for a simple apple cake for Sundays, with ingredients I already have in the house and not much time needed for preparation. No matter what, the cake has to be delicious and that is exactly what your recipe is about! My family loved the cake and I will bake it a second time today. Thank you for this lovely recipe!

  • shimra

    this is really nice..i enjoyed baking as it’s quite simple and everyone loved it. Baked it for the second time for visitors too :)

  • patrice

    Forgot to say. I added bran and ginger to the mix… excellent. thanks

  • Patrice

    Hi there, thank you for this. What a hit! I used apple cider vinegar instead f the zest due to allergies. It worked just as well.

  • Liz

    I made this with pears and it was fantastic!!

  • Liz

    Great recipe! Can I substitute lime if I have no lemons on hand?

  • BettyBarker

    Hi Elise , Found your recipe for apple torte, very similar to mine , I use raw apples cut in eights then stand them up in batteruntil all batter is covered then bake for 1 hour(in a springform pan) thenPart 2 melt 1/4 lb. butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs beat well pour over batter and apples and bake 25 to 30 mins.until browned .Oh I forgot to say about before baking the apples and batter sprinkle with cinnamon. Most important use a springform pan very easy to remove torte

  • Sandy

    This torte was really tasty even though I made a few modifications. I don’t know how it would have tasted if I had followed the recipe exactly, but my husband loved it and he is extremely fussy about his baked goods. I used whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of sugar (used a mixture of brown sugar and raw cane sugar because I ran out of brown sugar), 2 whole eggs because that’s all I had. I grounded ~ inch of vanilla bean with a few cinnamon flakes instead of using vanilla extract. I added the lemon zest to the apples just before they were done softening in the pan. The batter cooked fine in ~30 min and didn’t burn using the middle shelf in oven at 375oC. Next time, i’ll decrease even more on the sugar and instead use that amount to sprinkle on top after baking!

  • brenda

    My torte just came out of the oven and it has a beautiful presentation and tastes great. I put some calvados (apple brandy) too. Very nice! Thanks, Elise!

  • Lisa

    Fabulous recipe! And so easy. It was wonderful. The lemon zest is definitely key. YUM!

  • Georgette

    Made this apple torte for a dinner party tonight. It was a hit — everyone loved it. I did line the baking pan with parchment paper & had no trouble getting the cake out of the pan.
    Used the cup of sugar in the recipe & the cake was not too sweet — just sweet enough.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Georgette, I’m so glad you liked it! Since first publishing the recipe I’ve reduced the sugar to 3/4 of a cup which I think works fine. Not too sweet.

  • Silvia

    I made the apple tart today and it was a hit! Thank you very much.

  • elena

    I recently made this mouthwatering torte and the smell of butter and apples filled the entire appartment. Even my boyfriend, who is the most difficult person when it comes to food, simply loved it! I made a small change and replaced the granulated sugar with brown sugar -because I always though it goes great with baked apples- and I added half a teaspoon of cinnamon (for the same reason actually). It was delicious! Thank you Elise, your recipes are a success every single time!

  • sandra

    The torte is fabulous! My only concern is that it didn’t release well from the pan. I generously buttered my pan and followed the cooling directions exactly. I think I will also use parchment paper next time. Love the buttery taste.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sandra, I’ve since modified the instructions to include lining the pan with parchment paper, which is what I do now. Great suggestion, thanks!

  • Becky

    Great recipe! I just finished making this recipe for the second time this week. I hate to change a recipe the first time I make it but I needed it to be gluten-free for a neighbor. Gluten-free all purpose flour mix worked fine in case someone is wondering.

  • Ellis

    This torte was a wonderful way to use up some apples I had that were no longer fresh enough to eat raw. I didn’t have lemon zest, so used lemon juice instead. I don’t believe it was a 100% substitute for the zest, but it did brighten the apples a lot. Also, I used butter-flavored margarine (i sub cheaper margarine when testing out recipes) and it did very well. Anywho, I will be making the recipe again. It has a simple elegance about it. I think it will be a hit at Christmas. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Christine

    I made this cake on the weekend, it was so easy to make and taste really good! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe

  • Bertha

    I made this cake twice for co-workers,it is soo good. Thanks for sharing

  • Kathyn

    I made this twice in the past week, once for work and once for a family BBQ. The first time I added in the lemon zest as recommended but it was a little too lemony for my taste, so the second time I cooked the lemon zest with the apples; I added it a little bit before the apples went soft and it added the zip of the lemon without it overpowering the apples. Just an idea for anyone who isn’t a huge fan of lemon.

  • Kelly

    Simple, easy, delicious, and elegant. I’ve made this recipe three times for dinner parties/holidays and always receive compliments. It’s a nice alternative to a heavier chocolate or cheesecakes. Thanks again, Elise.

  • jean

    I just took my torte out of the oven, and it looks like it turned out really well. Do you think this recipe would work just as well with brown sugar and whole wheat pastry flour? Thank you.

    Don’t know, if you try it let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  • Audrey

    I made the torte last weekend and brought it to work on Monday to celebrate my birthday with my co-workers with some cake. They all loved this one. And it was totally easy to make it. Thank you for posting the recipe !!

  • M


    I was wondering if this could be made with pears – seems like a good batter for almost any hard fruit. However I know lemons are great with apples, but would they be as good with pears? Should nutmeg be used instead? Just wondering what you would advise. Thanks!

  • Just a Plane Ride Away

    Dear Elise,

    I have made this twice as a welcome cake for visiting family. It is so delicious and everyone loved it!

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe–and for your lovely, lovely blog.

  • Vivian

    The recipe was FABULOUS!! This is the first time I’ve ever made anything from scratch, on my own, and I’m really surprised! It’s fantastic! My mom was shocked that it was edible AND delicious… :) I’ve had torte before, but didn’t know it was called torte, because the torte was a Vietnamese banana/coconut torte – it’s still good, but this apple torte is so much better! I can’t wait for another opportunity to make it again!

  • Christine

    I had the same experience with the torte browning very quickly. I let it bake as long as possible before the top became too brown, about 25-30 minutes. A quick question, are you to pour out the liqiud from the cooked apples before adding them to the flour/egg mixture?

    Note from Elise: we include the apples and the liquid from cooking them into the batter.

  • HW

    Hi there,
    we love this recipe – it is such an elegant dessert. One question though, mine seems to bake and brown very quickly, pretty much in 20 minutes. I have it on 375, and my oven thermometer says it is correct. I live in LA, so no altitude issues. Do you use a gas/electric oven, what rack do you put it on? Also, do you add sugar in any special order other than what is listed in the recipe? A bit stumped, but thanks for an awesome recipe.

    Note from Elise: Every oven bakes a little differently, many things could be contributing to having a shorter cooking time than what we listed here. Use the middle rack. No other sugar directions than what we have listed here.

  • Jane

    We loved it! Lovely texture and a wonderful buttery flavor.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Sridhar,
    I’m so glad you guys liked it! It’s pretty easy, isn’t it. And that bit of lemon zest does make all the difference.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Sridhar,
    I’m so glad you guys liked it! It’s pretty easy, isn’t it. And that bit of lemon zest does make all the difference.

  • Sridhar Ramanathan


    I made the apple torte for my family tonight, and it was a hit! The directions were perfect. That little bit of lemon zest adds just the right touch.

    Thank you for from all of us…this is a keeper!