Apple cake is delicious with tea or coffee, for dessert or any time of the day. There are different recipes and versions of “apple cake” all over the world. This recipe is from Brazil. It’s light and fluffy, and has pieces of apple with each bite. You can use any type of apple for this recipe. I used a sweet red apple, but any type will do. Making apple cake has the extra benefit of aromatherapy, as your kitchen will have a wonderful sweet perfume lingering even after the cake is baked.
About this recipe
This is probably the healthiest (and easiest) cake I’ve ever made. It was inspired by my mother’s apple cake as well as a recipe from my friend Ivana from Brazil. My mother’s original recipe called for butter and yogurt; while Ivana’s called for oil. In an attempt to reduce the overall amount of fat in the cake, I tried different combinations: oil with milk, oil with buttermilk (leftover from making ricotta – click here for the recipe), until my mother gave me the brilliant suggestion of adding apple sauce as a substitute for oil (a well-known trick in the US). I liked that my mother’s recipe used yogurt and I also tried making the cake with apple sauce and yogurt; turned out to be delicious! Since the yogurt, apples and apple sauce have natural sugars (even the unsweetened apple sauce does) I was also able to decrease the amount of sugar I used in this recipe. I simply LOVE making healthier substitutions that do not sacrifice taste or texture!
I’m providing options for you to substitute depending on your preference and what ingredients you have at home. But in terms of flavor, all the substitutions for oil were very similar; in fact, I did not miss it at all in the recipe. The cake was moist, fluffy and light; not to mention more nutritious! My friend Ivana also adds the apple peel to the batter which I thought was an excellent idea; adding nutrients and fiber and absolutely not altering the taste or texture of the cake (nor do you even see it after it is baked). I have been making this cake over and over in the past couple of weeks since Ivana shared her recipe with me and I just can’t get enough of it. I finished my last slice this morning, and already look forward to making another cake tonight! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Apple Cake (Low fat)
Yields 16 servings (using 2 small round pans of 9-inches/22cm or 1 large round pan of 12-inches/30cm)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-45 minutes
Cooking Temperature: 350°F/180°C
- 3 small or 2 medium apples of your choice, peeled and cubed (reserve the peel)
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup (130g) granulated (superfine/caster) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup (160ml) of unsweetened apple sauce* (for homemade recipe see below)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) of skim or low fat plain yogurt (or fresh buttermilk or milk)
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 TBL of baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional – either in the batter or sprinkled on top)
- Powdered sugar (optional)
*Note: You can use unsweetened (preferably organic) store-bought apple sauce (which is what I used) or simply make your own! For a simple homemade apple sauce: combine chopped peeled apples (use sweet apples so you do not have to add sugar) into a pot of water (use enough water to cover the apples; you can also cook apples with just a little bit of water for more flavor. Cover with lid, cook on medium-high until water boils, lower temperature to medium until the apples are soft and cooked. Put cooked apples in food processor, allow to cool and it is ready to be used.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter and flour baking pan(s) and set aside.
- Peel and cut apples into cubes. Reserve the peel.
- In a bowl, combine the apple cubes and the flour (toss lightly to coat the apple pieces). Sprinkle the baking powder on the top and set aside.
- Note: Coating the apple pieces with flour helps them not sink to the bottom of the cake pan while baking. This is a good tip to use with any fruit in baking cakes or muffins.
- In a blender (not a mixer), combine eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, apple peel, apple sauce, and yogurt (or milk/buttermilk). Blend for at least 5 minutes until the apple peel is chopped to little pieces.
- Note: I usually separate my egg whites and egg yolks in cake recipes; but you do not need to do that for this recipe and may blend the whole egg.
- Add blended mixture slowly to the flour, apples and baking powder mixture while stirring together.
- Slowly pour mixture into baking pan(s). You can sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top of the cake at this time (it can be used alone or mixed with a little granulated or cane sugar; it can also be used in the batter, but I prefer on top).
- Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes (depending on size of pan and your stove) until the top is golden brown (you can also measure by sticking a toothpick in the cake; if it comes out clean, the cake is done).
- Once cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar and serve.
This will become one of your favorite cakes, as it is now also one of mine. Enjoy!