This is a really moist and delicious basic apple cake that looks really pretty, but it could hardly be quicker and easier to make. A speciality of Italian grandmas, and a real fail safe crowd pleaser anywhere!
Most of the desserts on this blog feature either chocolate or lemon (I don’t have a recipe with both lemon and chocolate in yet but who knows, maybe it could be a thing!).
Mr. Scrummy finds this incredibly annoying. And I find it incredibly annoying that he finds it incredibly annoying. For goodness sake, who doesn’t love a good chocolate or lemon dessert? (I’ll list a few at the bottom of the post, in case you’re interested!)
Crowd pleasing apple desserts!
I must admit I’ve come across a few others who aren’t fans of chocolaty or lemony desserts, but I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love apple desserts.
I’m sure there’s someone somewhere who isn’t keen on apple desserts, but if you serve a good old apple pie (try this easy Dutch apple pie – it’s delicious!) or a nice freshly baked apple cake the next time you entertain, I don’t think you’ll hear too many complaints.
What’s a torta di mele?
A torta di mele is an easy Italian apple cake that everyone’s nonna has a recipe for!
It’s very light and fluffy, it’s packed full of apple slices, and it also has a distinct lemony kick (Hey, Mr. Scrummy, if you thought you were escaping lemon or chocolate altogether, think again…).
How do you make a torta di mele?
My version of the torta di mele most probably isn’t the most traditional way of making it.
I’m always looking for the simplest ways to make delicious food, so in this recipe there’s no separating of eggs or beating of butter and sugar.
What drew me to this recipe is that it can be a super easy one bowl cake. You melt the butter in the microwave, which helps you get a rich, soft and moist cake. Mix all the ingredients together, including 2/3 of the sliced apples. Arrange the remaining apples on top and bake.
I told you this was a simple cake. The biggest job is peeling and chopping the apples.
I like to add some pine nuts to my apple cake as well, but these aren’t essential. In fact without these additions this is a pantry staple cake. All you need is:
- apples (of course!)
- a lemon
I can almost always make this easy apple cake without having to go to the supermarket because I nearly always have the few ingredients in needed to make it. If I leave out the pine nuts, that is, which is perfectly fine.
That’s what I call an easy dessert.
Can you freeze this easy apple cake?
Oh, absolutely! This is a very freezer friendly cake. If I want to freeze it I let the cake cool completely, then wrap it securely in foil and/or a large Ziploc bag.
To serve, simply defrost for a couple of hours, then reheat in the oven before serving. You don’t want it to dry out though, so I usually just warm it on the ‘keep warm’ setting for half an hour or so.
Sprinkle some icing sugar over the top before serving as you would from fresh, with a nice big amount of cream or ice cream. Or even custard if you’re in the UK or Australia.
Or, heck, let’s go with all 3 – custard, cream and ice cream. Just pile it all on. Delicious!
And for those who would prefer to make one of my ever-popular easy desserts of the lemon or chocolate variety:
You really can’t go wrong with this 6-ingredient gooey Swedish chocolate cake. It’s make ahead, the easiest dessert you can imagine, and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love it.
These 5-minute chocolate pots are one of the most popular recipes on the blog for a reason. They’re kind of classy, but you only need chocolate, water, cream, and precisely 5 minutes to make them. They’re also a great option if you like to make your desserts ahead.
This easy magic lemon pudding can divide a room, but it’s an old favourite of mine. Make it with just 5 ingredients (and no eggs!). Perfect if you’ve got some lemons to use up.
Easy apple cake (torta di mele)
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 lemon rind and juice
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 4.5 ounces butter melted
- 4 apples (actually, 2.5 to 4 apples (see note below), depending on size, peeled & sliced thinly)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional
- ¾ cup pine nuts 1/2 cup in batter, ¼ cup on top - optional
- Icing sugar for sprinkling at the end
- icing sugar for sprinkling over the top
- cream ice cream or custard (or all three!)
Pre-heat the oven to 355F / 180C.
Line an 8 inch round cake pan with baking paper and lightly grease with butter or spray with oil.
Zest and juice the lemon and set the zest aside. Put the chopped apples in a small bowl and pour the lemon juice over them.
Combine the flour, sugar and lemon zest together in a large bowl, then add the eggs, melted butter, cinnamon & pine nuts (if using) and 2/3 of the apples. Stir until just combined.
Tip the batter into the cake pan and smooth on top, then arrange the rest of the sliced apples on the top in a circle pattern (see photos in post and recipe video). Sprinkle over the rest of the pine nuts (if using).
Bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely, then sprinkle with a bit of icing sugar before serving.
A note on the number of apples to use
I vary the number of apples I use to make this cake. If they're small apples, I'll use 4. If they're big e.g. Granny Smith apples, I usually use just two and a half apples. If they're medium apples, about 3 is right! Just eye-ball it. You can't really go too wrong!
A note on cooking the cake
If the apples start to brown a little too much, just cover the cake over with some aluminium foil for the last part of cooking.
A note on freezing the cake
This cake freezes really well! If you’d like to freeze it, let cool completely then wrap in aluminium foil and/or a Ziploc bag before storing in the freezer.
When you want to serve it, let it defrost for a couple of hours, then warm slightly in the oven (if you like) by popping it into the oven on the ‘keep warm’ (or really low) setting for about half an hour.