This Italian Apple Cake, is a moist soft full of chopped apples anytime cake. The perfect fall cake that can be served for breakfast, brunch snack or even dessert. All it needs is a dusting of powdered sugar!
I once asked the Italian what in his opinion was National Cake of Italy. He promptly answered “Ciambellone”, with my kids nodding their heads in agreement.
What is an Italian Ciambellone?
So what does this Apple Cake have to do with a Ciambellone? Well this is basically a Ciambellone with apples. And believe me everyone knows how to make an Apple Cake in Italy.
- Apples – medium apples chopped
- Lemon juice – helps keep the apples from turning brown
- Eggs – large room temperature
- Sugar – granulated sugar
- Yogurt – regular yogurt – room temperature
- Oil – vegetable oil, I use sunflower or corn oil
- Flour – all purpose flour
- Corn starch – helps make the cake soft and tender
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Lemon zest
Why use room temperature ingredients?
With cakes and other baking, it’s always better to use room temperature ingredients. So, take any cold ingredients out of the refrigerator an hour ahead of time or sooner if it’s cool in your kitchen. Room temperature ingredients blend easier, creating a silky batter, which will help to create a light tender baked good.
How to make an Apple Cake
In a medium bowl add the chopped apples and sprinkle with the lemon juice.
In a large bowl beat the eggs and sugar until creamy and light. Then add the yogurt and oil, sift the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt directly into the bowl add the zest, beat until combined.
Fold in the apples, spoon into the prepared cake pan, sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of granulated sugar and bake until done. Check with a toothpick, if it comes out dry or with a few crumbs attached, the cake is done.
Let cool completely before removing from pan. Give it a real Italian touch and dust it with a little powdered sugar.
The best apples for baking
I personally like to use either a Fuji or Royal Gala although a Granny Smith if you like a tartness, or how about a Jonathon or Jonagold, Cortland or Honeycrisp, any of these apples are perfect for baking. Just make sure they are fresh and crisp.
What makes this Apple Cake Italian?
I actually got this recipe years ago from a friend. So to start this is an Italian Cake because it’s an Italian’s Recipe!!
- Most Italian cakes are made with oil instead of butter.
- The flour is always sifted with the baking powder.
- 90 percent of the time lemon is an added ingredient. Just as it is in this Apple Cake. And because Italians cannot live without lemon!
- The finished cake is rarely drizzled or frosted unless of course you are making a birthday cake or a Tiramisu.
- Most Italian cakes are dusted with powdered sugar.
- These types of cakes are often served at Breakfast and as a snack with an espresso.
- The perfect cake to serve when a friend comes to visit.
This cake can be made with one bowl, just sift your ingredients directly into the batter like all Italians do.
How to store an Apple Cake
Be sure to cool the cake completely in the baking pan then move to a wire rack. If you store it while it’s still warm, condensation can form inside the storage container, making the cake soggy.
Once the cake is completely cool, you can wrap the whole cake in plastic wrap, make sure to wrap it tightly to prevent air from getting in. Or you can wrap it with aluminum foil. Just make sure it’s tightly sealed to keep the cake moist.
If you have a cake keeper or airtight cake container, you can use that to keep the cake. These containers are designed to maintain the cake’s freshness.
This cake, as long as it doesn’t have a cream cheese frosting or any other perishable filling, can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days. But be sure to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It should keep up to 2-3 days at room temperature.
If not your cake can be stored in the refrigerator. Cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap or foil before refrigerating. It will keep for up to 4-5 days in the fridge.
Can the cake be Frozen?
Yes this cake can be frozen, just make sure to completely cool the cake and wrap it tightly in plastic then place in an airtight freezer bag. The cake will keep up to 2-3 months in the freezer.
The frozen cake, should be thawed in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. The gradual thawing helps preserve the cake’s texture and flavor.
Before serving, if the cake was stored in the refrigerator or freezer, allow it to come to room temperature for the best taste and texture.
How to make the best Apple Cake
Since I have a few extra people in the house this week, I decided to make the cake a couple of times. The first time I made it with 3 apples and chopped on the larger size and I used the juice of half a lemon.
My eldest daughter who is not a big lemon lover, only on her fish and in her water! And never in a dessert, decided she could taste too much lemon.
So I decided to make a second cake with only two apples and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. She obviously preferred the second where the rest of us preferred the first.
If you are like us one of the best things about Autumn is apple recipes from Apple Crumb Bread with Maple Caramel Sauce to Cinnamon Applesauce Cookies to a delicious Homemade Italian Apple Crostata and of course we can’t forget Homemade Apple Pie Cookies.
So if you are looking for a delicious Fall Apple Cake then I hope you give this a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Easy Italian Apple Cake
- 2-3 medium apples (chopped medium or large)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup regular whole yogurt (room temperature) (not flavoured)
- ½ cup vegetable oil ( I use corn or sunflower oil)
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
For room temperature remove the ingredients from the fridge 45-60 minutes before using.
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered / icing sugar (for dusting on the cake)
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C), grease and flour or spray a 9 inch (23 cm) bundt pan (a cake pan would work too).
- In a medium bowl add the chopped apples and sprinkle with the lemon juice.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs and sugar until creamy and light approximately 3-4 minutes. Then add the yogurt and oil, sift the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and zest into the bowl add the zest then beat until combined.
- Fold in the apples, spoon into the prepared cake pan, sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of granulated sugar and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes (check for doneness with a toothpick). Let cool completely before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!
Updated from November 9, 2018.