French Apple Cake


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into a measuring cup and leveled off
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 1/2-4 cups)
  • confectioners’ sugar, optional, for decorating


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Grease a 9-inch springform or regular cake pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. If using a regular cake pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease again.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking powder, and the salt.
  4. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and the rum.
  6. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped apples.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and even out the top. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Allow the cake to cool on a rack in the pan. Once cool, run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake. If using a springform pan, remove the sides. If using a regular cake pan, carefully invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, then gently flip the cake over and place right-side up on a platter.
  10. Using a fine sieve, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
  11. Slice and serve.

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