Sunday, January 16, 2011

Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake

Following my little resolution to try to make seasonal bakes, I went on an apple (apple varieties are actually in abundance now if you check out the supermarkets) hunt to bake this cake. Had to locate 4 different kinds of baking apples from various supermarkets. It's kinda nerdy, but I actually enjoyed the process of researching on good baking apples. Was kinda disappointed that I didn't manage to find Honeycrisp and had to replace it with Braeburn, but nevertheless I was thrilled when I completed my set of 4. It also garnered curiosity from friends and boyfriend, "What cake is it? Why do you need so many apples?" So ladies and gentlemen, presenting Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake!

On a side note, I HAVEEE to mention this. The cake was rising in a centre for a fair bit in the oven and I was like, woops, forgotten to encircle a cake strip around the pan and felt a bit deflated for a while. When I took the cake out and inserted a knife to check if it comes out clean, the cake went pffffffffffttt like a balloon, sank down and levelled itself out. WOW.

I ripped this recipe off one of my favorite bakers' book. True enough Ms Greenspan's recipes never fail to impress. It's uber moist and rich, yet refreshing with tarty apple chunks with each bite. The caramel under note of dark rum goes perfectly with apples. You can also eat it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, yumm!
Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table)

105g all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples (use 4 different kinds-I used Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady)
2 large eggs
150g sugar
3 tbsp dark rum
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
113g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and center a rack in the oven. Butter an 8 inch springform pan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the springform pan on it. Set aside.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
3. Peel the apples, cut them in half, and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1 to 2 inch chunks.
4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, when it’s incorporated, add half of the melted butter, followed by the remaining flour mixture and butter. Mix in between additions so you have a smooth, thick batter.
5. Fold in the apples with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread with spatula so the batter is somewhat even.
6. Slide the pan in the oven and bake 50-60 mins, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for five minutes.
7. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and remove from the pan. Cool cake until slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the pan, wait until the cake is completely cooled. Slide a long spatula between the cake and pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving platter.


  1. There are only 2 apples available here, granny smith and golden delicious, but even golden delicious is rare to be found, only at certain stores and they are very expensive.

  2. this looks golden delicious! you are able to get so many kinds of apple in singapore? *claps*

  3. OMG!! it looks really YUMMY and APPLEY! im definitely goin to give this a try (: got to hunt for apples! x)))

  4. Hey Jean,

    where did you manage to get the braeburn apples? I am curious to know how it tastes like. there is far more apples in the cake then there is crumbs. haha very appleish indeed.

    I am tempted to try making cashew cookies after reading your previous post. will see how it goes...

  5. Wendy: Golden Delicious are not available till recently in my local supermarkets as well. You can imagine how thrilled I was to see them.

    Jess: yah! actually you just have to keep a lookout for them to make a collection hahah

    sweetylicious: thanks! you can actually use just 2-3 varieties if you can't find 4. 4 is to just have a variety of tastes/texture.

    bakertan: i got it at 360 Market @ Orchard Ion Level 4. Costs a whooping $1+ for a single apple. You can also find Pink Lady there.

  6. This cake is so impressive with full of goodness of APPLES! and different kind of apples!

  7. hi jean, thanks for the recipe..i actually saw this marie helene's cake couple of months ago when i wanted to make an apple cake but somehow i couldnt get the recipe, it just linked me to somewhere else. wow, you can get so many different kinds of apples there, i think probably only the granny smiths are available here. will that really make a big difference to use 4 different types of apples?

  8. Zoe: thanks!

    lena: it's more of having a variety of taste and crunchiness. if you have only granny smiths, it's going to be really tarty.

    You can have 2 variety to balance it up, is Fuji available at where you are? Think Fuji can balance up Granny Smith's tartiness.

  9. So many people under estimate good apple cake and this one is calling out to me to grab a spoon and tuck in. It looks sensational.