Mostly Apples Apple Cake
Mostly Apples Apple Cake

Mostly Apples Apple Cake

Recipe by Sarah Carey

In this unabashedly apple-forward apple cake, there are so many apple slices and so little batter, you’ll wonder how (and if) it will hold together. But never fear: As the batter rises in the oven, it knits those slices together to create a tender cake that’s almost creamy and custardy due to the abundance of fruit. Our thanks to Sarah Carey, who developed this recipe, and to Dorie Greenspan, whose Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake inspired it.

15 mins
50 to 55 mins
1 hr 5 mins
one 8" or 9" cake
Mostly Apples Apple Cake - select to zoom
Mostly Apples Apple Cake - select to zoom
Mostly Apples Apple Cake - select to zoom
Mostly Apples Apple Cake - select to zoom


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  

  2. Lightly grease the bottom of an 8" or 9" springform pan or round cake pan (this will help the parchment adhere), then line the bottom with a parchment round. Generously butter the parchment and sides of the pan with the softened butter. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds, a bit at a time, pressing gently to adhere them to the pan. Your coating won’t be perfectly even, and that’s OK. 

  3. Weigh your flours; or measure them by gently spooning into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.  

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, sugar, and extract until creamy, lighter in color, and slightly foamy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined.  

  5. Use a rubber spatula to fold the apples into the batter until evenly coated. (It will look like there isn’t much batter, but don’t panic.)  

  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and use your spatula to nudge the apples into a mostly-even layer. 

  7. Bake until golden-brown on top and a toothpick or paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 to 55 minutes.

  8. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Run a paring knife or offset spatula around the edges of pan, then, if using a springform, release sides of pan; or, if using a cake pan, invert it onto a rack or plate, remove the parchment, and turn it back over, top-side up, onto a wire rack. Let cool for at least 15 minutes more. For the neatest pieces, slice with a sharp serrated knife, which will help you saw through the apple pieces rather than crushing them. 

  9. Storage information: This cake is best served the day it’s baked, but it can be stored, uncovered at room temperature, for up to 3 days (press parchment or plastic wrap directly to cut surfaces but don’t cover the cake, as it will become damp).  

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you’re a super fan of almond flavor, consider increasing the extract to 3/4 teaspoon, but keep in mind that its potency will increase the next day, making any leftovers even more almondy. 

  • We find that a mix of Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples offers a nice balance of sweet and sour. But if you’re looking for other varieties to use, gravitate to those that are tart and firm. A good rule of thumb? Stay away from any that you can easily indent with your finger (like a Honeycrisp or MacIntosh) — their moisture content will be too high.