French Fridays with Dorie: Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake

October 29, 2010 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, french fridays w dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 27 Comments

marie-hélène's apple cake

I mentioned last time we met, that R and I went apple picking in Warwick, NY.  Sometimes it’s really nice to escape the city and go to a place that looks like this.  It’s also nice to have a bin full of apples at home!  The first thing I did with them was to make Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake.

This cake is easy to make because it’s easy to mix.   No creaming required, as it uses melted butter.  I actually used browned butter in my cake, which wasn’t entirely intentional (I put it on to melt before I’d had my morning coffee), but as soon as I tasted the cake, I knew it wasn’t a mistake either.  Rum and vanilla flavor the apples, and while you could use cinnamon instead if you wanted, I really think that apples and vanilla are a fabulous combination.  I went a tad skimpy on the sugar measurement, because although I was using a mix of apple varieties (like Dorie and her friend Marie-Hélène recommend), they were all on the sweet side.  There’s really only just enough batter here to hold together all the chunks of apple, and the result is an almost puddingy-soft texture inside.  Definitely one I will make again.

For the recipe, see Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on Epicurious).  Don’t forget to check out my fellow francophiles’ posts!

Want more apple cake?  How about Double Apple Bundt Cake, Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze, Applesauce Spice Bars or Applesauce Snack Cake?


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  1. mmmm browned.

  2. Your cake looks perfect!

  3. Very lovely…am getting to it today, so this is incredibly inspiring for me to get myself in there NOW and bake it! Your posts/photos always so inspiring that way.

  4. Wasn’t this good? I hesitated about the rum but it’s a subtle flavor. Your cake is beautiful!

  5. Your cake looks wonderful! I’ve made this cake twice already and still couldn’t get the almost smooth top like Dorie’s and your cake.

  6. Oooh! I want to make this with browned butter!!!! I will do that for muffins as my ‘secret ingredient’ and I should have thought of it here as well!! mmmm

    Trevor Sis Boom.

  7. Beautiful!!!

  8. looks beautiful, I love the sound of the browned butter addition

  9. Gorgeous! I love those large chunks of apples peeking through.

  10. I bet the browned butter was delicious in this cake! I just made a notation in my book to try that next time.

    The addition of dark rum was a real pleasant surprise…it really added a great depth of flavor to the apples with overpowering it.

  11. Hmmm – it looks absolutely glorious!

  12. Brown butter sounds like an excellent mistake!

  13. I just added apples to my grocery list! Looks fantastic.

  14. I love your picture with the script writing…perfect for this week’s treat.

  15. Looks lovely! I used cinnamon & nutmeg and almost ate the entire thing myself! 🙂

  16. I definitely have to try the browned butter. Great idea. Beautiful pictures.

  17. love your type on the photo. very nice job.

  18. browned butter! what a brilliant (if not accidental) idea! your cake looks so lovely and golden.

  19. Yours looks perfect!

  20. Loved your post – I’ll try the burnt butter next time. Don’t you love those mistakes that actually make things better.

  21. Perfectly golden brown! Looks like you’re on an apple kick this week 🙂

  22. lovely looking cake!

  23. How wonderful to bake a cake using apples that you have picked! The bropwned butter sounds like pure serendipity. A beautiful cake Steph.

  24. Oooh…browned butter. Yum! Nice addition, even though it was unintentional! Just take credit anyway!

  25. Your cake looks so delicious and brown. Gorgeous!

  26. This looks amazing. I am definitely going to give this one a try; perfect for fall. I was wondering if I could make it without the rum (I don’t like buying a whole bottle of something just for one recipe), but a few comments mentioned the extra depth of flavor, so maybe I will. Thanks!

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