This easy French apple cake recipe is absolutely amazing. It makes a great dessert or an amazing breakfast (without the salted caramel sauce, of course!)
So, are you drooling yet? The cake is buttery, dense, and not too sweet. Tangy apples are sliced, sauteed and added in two layers. That’s yummy enough but wait! There’s more! The cake is served warm with a whiskey salted caramel sauce and lightly sweetened creme fraiche.
The end result is an addictive, perfectly balanced cake that’s super easy.
I found this in my October issue of Bon Appeit but it is also on Epicurious – Gateau Breton aux Pommes. I was surprised when I read some of the reviews that said that the cake was lacking in flavor. It is coarser and less sweet than a boxed cake mix — it is a European style dessert. Think coffee cake.
Tips for Making French Apple Cake Amazing
Keep in mind that your finished product is only as good as the ingredients that you put in it.
Never use margarine to replace butter. It may be hard to believe but even the brand of butter you use will make a difference. I use a European style butter from a creamery that is popular in Texas — Braums. Make sure the butter is fresh and not rancid, do not buy generic or store brand butter.
Use tangy apples that hold their shape when cooked. Think Honeycrisp, MacIntosh, Granny Smiith, or even better? Local heirloom apples that have a tangy flavor. Cut them thick so that you get the flavor from the apples and it doesn’t mix in with the cake. I will often taste the apples I am going o use and if I don’t think they are tangy enough I’ll add some good, unfiltered cider vinegar in the cooking stage.
I didn’t like the caramel sauce recipe in Bon Appetit. It didn’t cook up easily any of the times I tried it. I finally adapted my own recipe which works just fine. I also wanted a little extra kick so used whiskey in the sauce.
Don’t overbake this or it will be dry. This is important!!!
If you don’t have creme fraiche you can buy it online or just use sour cream sweetened with a little sugar.
I can’t begin to tell you how delicious this was so I guess you’ll have to make it for yourself.
Recipe for French Apple Cake
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Easy French Apple Cake Recipe
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter, , cut into tablespoon size pieces.
- ¼ cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
- 1/4 c heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tart apples like Granny Smith or Honey Crisp - peeled and sliced 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup pure cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons of sugar or to taste
- Combine sugar and water in a pan.
- Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Add corn syrup
- Let come to boil and allow the sugar to turn a dark golden brown. Do not stir during this time.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time.
- Stir in salt.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly, about 5 minutes at most.
- Whisk in the cream and Jack Daniels until smooth.
- Set aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy pan.
- Add apples and 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Cook, gently turning once in awhile, until apples are cooked and golden brown.
- Mix the baking powder, salt,flour, and remaining 1 cup sugar.
- Melt the remaining 10 tablespoons of butter, let cool slightly.
- Beat the eggs.
- Add the eggs and melted butter to the flour mixture and stir quickly until smooth.
- Grease and flour an 8-inch circular cake pan.
- Arrange half the apple slices in a circle to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Add half the cake batter.
- Arrange the rest of the apples over the batter.
- Cover with the remaining batter.
- Bake in a 350F oven until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes.
- Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake.
- Carefully turn pan over and release the cake to a cake plate.
- Serve with the caramel sauce and a dollop of lightly sweetened creme fraiche or sour cream.
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