French Apple Cake

I know it’s a day late or so, but did everyone have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend? Kramer and I just hung around town, enjoying our extra day off and doing plenty of relaxing. We went to a friend’s housewarming party on Friday night, where I was actually out of the house until 2 AM, which is practically unheard of for this old married couple. I suppose it was just a good party! On Saturday, we slept in, then met up with Kramer’s sister for a late breakfast/early lunch at Smorgasburg, where, it seems, we attempted to eat everything. We had lobster rolls, sesame noodles, chili cheese dogs, tamales, pupusas, plantains, and fancy popsicles (my favorite was an apricot/salted caramel variation). It was all delicious and I can’t wait to go again soon! Obviously we were completely stuffed afterward, but we still managed to make it over to the movie theater to see The Tree of Life. The movie was simply not my thing. I enjoyed the way in which Terrence Malick was able to deliver a pretty simple story in a brand new way, but it was the least cohesive thing I have ever seen and it was just too much nonsense for me to handle. It was, however, beautifully shot, and I do think that Brad Pitt did a great job with what few lines he actually had. After the movie, we grabbed some meats and cheeses, then headed back to our apartment for some charcuterie, a baguette, and some nice olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Later on in the weekend, I did get to see a movie that I absolutely loved, which was Too Big to Fail. It was just one of those movies that I think everyone should see, not only because of how well done it was, but because of how important the material for the movie was, and still is.

I know that my The Real Women of Philadelphia challenge is officially over, but I got a bit carried away with the event and made one extra dish to share with you all. I had, of course, way too much cream cheese left over in my apartment after making so many dishes, so I figured that one more wouldn’t hurt, right? Besides, this cake was so insanely delicious that it would be a crime not to share it with you! I adapted it a bit from the winning recipe from last year’s contest, and I’m so glad that I did. I usually make deserts in large quantities, so that Kramer or I can take them into work and not eat everything on our own. This generally means that I don’t bake a lot of cakes, because they are hard to transport and not easy to just pick up and eat. However, I ended up cutting this circular cake into squares and my serving problem was easily solved. The cake itself is sweet, but not too sweet, and light while still tasting rich and buttery. I think that this is the work of the cream cheese, which I was a bit skeptical about at first, but now I wouldn’t make this cake without it. The caramelized apples on top are perfectly cooked and take an average tea or breakfast cake to a whole new level (yes, I would call this a breakfast cake because, hey, there’s no frosting). My husband and I honestly could not stop sneaking pieces of this cake – I had to package it all up and hide it away before we could devour the whole thing! I think that the people at work enjoyed it just as much, and I know that you will, too!

French Apple Cake
Your ingredients.

French Apple Cake
First, make your caramel. Combine your water and sugar.

French Apple Cake
Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden.

French Apple Cake
Add your lemon juice after removing from the heat.

French Apple Cake
Pour your caramel into a pan that has been greased with non-stick spray and set aside.

French Apple Cake
Beat together your sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and beat until smooth.

French Apple Cake
Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

French Apple Cake
Add in your flour and baking powder and beat until just moistened.

French Apple Cake
Thinly slice your apples.

French Apple Cake
And arrange them in the pan coated with caramel.

French Apple Cake
Spread the batter over the apples and bake at 350 degrees F for 40-40 minutes, until golden and set.

French Apple Cake
Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes before removing from the pan.

French Apple CakeFrench Apple Cake

French Apple Cake
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 4 apples, sliced thinly (you can peel them, if you like, but I didn't because I like the color the skin adds to the cake and the skins cook down, anyway)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch or a 10-inch spring form pan with non-stick spray. Heat ¾ cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of water over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden. Don't worry if it bubbles, that's fine. Add in the lemon juice and remove from heat - be careful not to burn your hands, as it will sputter a bit. Pour into bottom of your pan. Arrange your apple slices on top of the caramel in a circular pattern (it's okay if they overlap). Set aside.
  2. Beat together the remaining ¾ cup of granulated sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Combine the flour and baking powder in a small bowl, then gradually add to the batter, beating until just moistened. Gently spread the batter over the apples and caramel (don't worry if it isn't perfect, it will look beautiful after it is baked).
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, until golden. When ready, remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes, then invert onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature. I recommend a cup of coffee or tea, or even a scoop of ice cream, to go along with it!


22 Responses

  1. Joyce says:

    This kinda makes me want to bake an apple pie (or just anything with apples) 😀

  2. What a beautiful cake! Those caramelized apples sound amazing. You keep giving me new restaurants that I want to try!

  3. Dena says:

    It looks so good! I will practice it this weekend and make it for my Dad on Father’s Day!

  4. Genevieve says:

    Oh yum!! This looks delicious. It will go on my list of things to bake for Hub’s homecoming…I’ll come back in a few months and let you know how he likes it!!

  5. Emily D. says:

    I’ve been looking for a really great apple cake recipe for years. I am definitely going to be making this in the next week.

  6. Ejia says:

    Oh my goodness, it’s like a Tarte Tatin cheesecake!

  7. Lindsey says:

    oo la la!ce gâteau est délicieux!

    • Sydney says:

      @Lindsey: Oui oui!

      @Ashura: I’m glad you liked it so much! I hope I see you ’round these parts more often!

      @Tanvi: Definitely – peaches or plums would be delicious, too!

  8. ashura_oh says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made it and it’s fantastic – well, actually I ended up with THREE cakes though, there was so much batter out of a sudden and all I had at hand were my little Japanese cake pans. ^^” My oven also required to be turned up to full heat to make the sugar caramelise, but that’s probably because said oven is a grumpy old bugger.

    Long story short, besides my granny’s old recipe (which I have to honour if I want to keep my genes in place *lol*) this is the best apple cake I’ve had so far, and it was surprisingly easy, even with my limited range of tools. Thanks so much! Another step closer to world domination. (>∀<)ノツ☆

  9. Tanvi says:

    Ooh! This look delicious! I bet it would be great with whatever fruit is in season at the time. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Peggy says:

    Sounds like you all had a great weekend! And this cake looks absolutely delicious – can’t wait to pick up a bag of apples to try this with =)

  11. Oh I am envious of you having a relaxing do nothing weekend. We ran around to engagement party, family event, and friends BBQ. Too much socializing in one weekend, and our 2 month baby boy was in agreement (cranky and sleepy!).

    I love just about anything with Apple in it. Our friends made a crumb cake apple pie that I devoured one too many slices of over Memorial Day weekend, and my Mom was evil and left us a whole sheet of upside down Apple Cake last month that survived 2 days. I simply can’t resist. Just like this recipe. Which I will make and proceed with eating too much of. :) Thanks!

  12. Peggy says:

    Is it 1/2 teaspoon baking soda or baking powder? baking soda is pictured but the recipe says baking powder…just want to be sure.

  13. Emily says:

    Modified for gluten free by substituting 5 ounces of a 40% flour/60% starch all-purpose gluten free flour blend and adding 1/4 tsp xanthan gum. I only needed 1 and 1/2 apples to get a 3-slice deep layer on the bottom of my pan, which was just about perfect. It worked very nicely and was perfect for a naughty girl’s breakfast. Fruit! It’s nutrition!

    Do be quite careful about taking apart the springform pan, boiling caramel syrup is nobody’s friend.

  14. Lauren says:

    I feel like I should finally leave a comment to let you know that I absolutely adore this cake & make it every year around the holidays. My family loves it! I’ve had it bookmarked for ages and just came back to it to make next week for Christmas. Thanks for a great blog :) xo

Leave a Reply to Sydney Cancel reply

©2022 The Crepes of Wrath