Italian Apple cake or more commonly known in Italy as Torta di Mele is a simple, moist, deliciously humble cake. Like many dishes in Italy, every family has their own special recipe handed down through the generations.
I learned to make this simple cake with my daughters at Ristorante Ambrosia from Chef Matteo Sciarri. He gave us the most wonderful private cooking class finishing with Torta di Mele. He said it was the essence of Tuscan cooking – seasonal and simple. “Every nonna has her own special recipe but of course my nonna’s is the best!”
Since then I’ve tested numerous Italian Apple Cake recipes, all with their own delicious twist. Today’s post is my spin using Greek yoghurt, almond flour, melted unsalted butter and sanding sugar. A bit unorthodox but the result is gorgeous and now my family has their own nonna’s Italian Apple Cake recipe.
If you’re not a confident baker there are several little things that will elevate your game. First thing is to be sure and have all of your wet ingredients at room temperature. This helps create a better emulsification and way more batter volume hence a higher and lighter cake.Secondly, have the rest of your ingredients ready to add to the batter before you start mixing the ingredients together. This alleviates any possibility of your batter losing volume because it has to sit and wait for you to chop the apples.
Third, take the time to properly beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and voluptuous. This ensures that you’ve completely dissolved the sugar crystals. Use unsalted butter. This gives you total control over the salt content in your recipe. Salted butter will skew the flavour.
And last tip for today, save a tablespoon of the flour mixture to dust over the apple chunks. The flour coating helps to keep the fruit distributed throughout the batter rather than sinking to the bottom of the cake producing a wet crust.
I’d love to know how you like my recipes in the comment section. Drop me a note.
Thanks for reading.
- 3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 MacIntosh or Cortland apples, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 large MacIntosh or Cortland apple, sliced for topping
- 3 tablespoons sanding sugar
- Preheat oven to 350*F and grease a 9-inch spring form pan.
- In a large bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until smooth, thick and frothy - about 5 minutes
- Add the yogurt, cooled melted unsalted butter and pure vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until combined. Do not over mix. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture in the bottom of the bowl to toss and coat the apple chunks. This will keep the apple pieces from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
- Gently fold in the cubed apples.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Top the cake with the remaining apple slices, placing them in a circular pattern.
- Sprinkle the top with sanding sugar.
- Bake for 60 minutes until a piece of dry spaghetti inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. I used dry spaghetti because it was the only thing that was long enough to reach the bottom of the cake.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and let set about 10 minutes before removing the sides of the pan. Cool completely then serve. If you didn't use sanding sugar, dust with icing sugar just before serving
THE LOVE: I used MacIntosh apples because I prefer their flavour but Cortland apples will retain their shape during baking and not become as soft.