I am sorry that I am still posting cakes in the new year.

I am not on a January resolution diet that is doomed to fail (for me, anyway).

I eat healthy most days, so a piece of cake is never going to hurt me.

Moderation is the key to most everything in life.

I don't know who Marie-Hélène is......but I have been seeing her cake on blogs since 2012, so why not start the new year with this beautiful cake!

It's a beautiful simple French apple cake and I am a new fan.

I don't have rum, I never liked it I saw another blogger that substituted the lovely French fleur l'orange (orange flower water) for the rum, and I since I had a bottle, I used that.


I don't usually peel my apples, it makes for a much prettier and more rustic cake, especially when using different varieties of apples.

I used local Golden Delicious and Empire apples for my cake.

Marie-Hélène's French Apple Cake: (original recipe from Dorie Greenspan)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples (use different varieties), diced
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 teaspoons orange blossom water (fleur de l'orange) or rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1 stick)

It's pretty simple. No rocket science going on here.

Mix the butter, eggs, vanilla, rum and sugar in a large bowl until pale yellow.

Slowly add in the flour and baking powder and fold in the diced apples last with a rubber spatula.
It won't look like much batter, but it will bake up fine.

I line my 9" springform pan with parchment paper, and also butter it liberally.

Smooth the batter into the prepared cake pan.

My cake needed 50 minutes at 350F. Times vary from 45-60 depending on your oven.

Let rest 10 minutes in pan, then run a knife around the sides, so it loosens up any stuck apples.

I ate this warm and loved it.

It is also good room temp.

Don't cover this cake, or it will get mushy. I kept it in the cold garage with a piece of parchment paper draped over it.
It didn't last very long for us to worry about it.

Have a slice of cake. It makes life much sweeter.



Anonymous said…
This looks lovely. It’s funny that the recipe just says “ large” apples. I’ve seen some real monster apples.
Bebe said…
Here is Dorie Greenspan on her friend Marie-Helene:

My friend Marie-Hélène Brunet-Lhoste is a woman who knows her way around food. She's a top editor of the Louis Vuitton City Guides (and one of the restaurant critics for the Paris edition), so she eats at scores of restaurants every year, and she's a terrific hostess, so she cooks at home often and with great generosity. There's no question that she's a great home cook, but for me, she's the most frustrating kind of cook: she never follows a recipe (in fact, I don't think there's a cookbook to be found on her packed bookshelves), never takes a note about what she does, and while she's always happy to share her cooking tips, she can never give you a real recipe—she just doesn't know it.

More here:

I found this when I was prowling around trying to find the loaf cake you posted without the recipe because it was overlong. This has apparently become a modern classic. Marie-Helene (the non-recipe baker) via Dorie Greenspan.
Bebe said…
Re Anonymous, most of our apples are labeled “Large” in the market unless they are the little “schoolboy” size. Once in a while there will be a display of supersized Fujis, labeled “extra large”…but most standard sized apples are considered to be large.
Stacey Snacks said…
Thanks for the Marie Helene info!
We don't have apples marked "LARGE" in our markets! How funny!

I have big and little's just the way it is!

I couldn't find a link to Sophie Dudemaine's Apple Normandy cake, otherwise I would send it to you......this one is better anyway!

Sherry Klusman said…
Would like to try this but don't wish to use a springform pan. Do you think it would work in a tradition "deep dish" pan?

Sherry in Arizona
Stacey Snacks said…

Of course you can bake it in a regular pan......springform is just easier, and you should add one to your cooking arsenal! (you've been reading me long enough! ;) ).

Don't forget to butter it very well and line w/ parchment paper. You will have no problem.
I loved this cake!

xo Stacey
Bebe said…
Stacey, our apples themselves aren’t labeled, but signs on their displays in the produce department always say “Large Fuji”, “Large Gala”, etc.
Unknown said…
My son gave me one of Dorie's cookbooks for Christmas and I was looking for a recipe and the book opened to that recipe last night. So it was on my mind....perfect timing.
Anonymous said…
Hi, Stacey, A belated Happy New Year and thanks for all of your delicious recipes. We made a number of them during the holidays, including the Mushroom Wellington.
We've been making this delicious apple cake since a friend gave us DOrie Greenspan's "Around My French" table a few years ago. It's simple and delicious as you note.
I'm not a rum fan either, but the amount of rum in this cake just imparts a subtle liquor flavor when measured sparingly(not a la Julia Child measures).
I've also made the cake in a non-spring form pan to answer a reader's question.
We sprinkle powdered sugar on top before serving. My husband made it this weekend, and then there was your post!
Best, Dennee in LA