Italian Apple and Cinammon cake

My two months in Italy already seem so far away in the past. It has only been two weeks since I’ve been back, but, as it always is, all the things you put on hold and stop worrying about when you are on holiday, come back to haunt you and to kick you in the rear as soon as you return. If, on top of that, you add meetings for a new job within hours of arriving in Sydney after an excruciatingly long flight, a family reunion in Adelaide two days later (mind you, this was great fun and we could count on an endless supply of babysitters…), two -boring- visits to the Mac Genius Bar hoping to get my laptop fixed, and two children under five both sick with colds and sore throats, then you get a the pretty picture.
This morning I decided to wake up early and start the day the right way around.  Everybody  is still asleep as I type this, and I’ve already fed my baby and put him back to sleep, had a hot bath in a quiet and calm environment, with no rubber ducks or squirting toys of any sort floating around me, and, most importantly, the cake is already in the oven and I can smell the lemon and the cinnamon impregnating the house with their sweet and intoxicating aromas.

Today is going to be a great day!


3 eggs, separated

200 gr (1 cup) of brown sugar

130 gr (1/2 cup) of Greek yogurt

75 ml (1/3 cup)of grape seed oil (or light olive oil, non extra-virgin)

1 teaspoon of vanilla paste (or extract)

220 gr (2 cups) of sifted self-raising flour

50 gr (1/3 cup)of Almond meal

3 table spoons of sultanas soaked for 30 minutes (or 1 minute in the microwave) in Marsala wine (or Rum)

1 table-spoon of cinnamon powder

1 grated apple

zest of 1 lemon

2 apples cut in quarters, 2 table-spoons of butter, 1 table-spoon of castor sugar

How To

1. In a frying pan, caramelize the apple quarters with sugar, lemon zest and butter for 10 minutes.

2. Whisk the sugar with the yolks until pale and creamy. Pour in the yogurt, oil, the grated apple and vanilla and mix well then add your flours, cinnamon and the pre-soaked sultanas with two table spoons of the soaking liquid.

3. Whisk 3 egg whites until soft peaks form and gently fold them into the cake batter.

4. Pour cake mix into a cake tin lined with baking paper and top with the caramelized apples and almond flakes.

5. Bake at 170 Celsius (350 Farenheit) for around 35/40 minutes

As tough as it is, allow to cool before you cut yourself a large slice…

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32 Comments Add yours

  1. That looks fabulous and like the perfect start to a day!

    1. That and a flat white and the day is sure to be great!

  2. Mel Mac says:

    Hi Silvia,
    I am a big fan of your web site. I too am a little bread obsessed and it was your wonderful ‘no knead’ bread recipe that first enticed me to your site!

    I am having a picnic lunch on Saturday with friends and our kids (I have two boys, 2 & 5) and I would love to make this cake, but as I am having my hair cut in the morning, I wonder if I can make it Friday? Or is it best served the day it is made?

    1. Hi Mel, thanks for your lovely message. You can absolutely make this cake the night before. It will keep moist and delicious for a few days…if it lasts that long!

  3. What a wonderful morning, and a gorgeous cake, it looks perfect to have with a cup of coffee. And those vanilla beans are the lushest I’ve ever seen!

    1. Oh, thanks Sue. We had the very last piece for breakfast today, need to make more!

  4. Crystal says:

    Hi, I live in the U.S. and have a couple of questions. 1)What are Sultanas and where can you buy them or is there a sub? 2)What is castor sugar and can you sub. something? 3) Can you sub Flaxseed oil for the oil?

    1. HI Crystal,
      Sultanas are dried grapes, much like raisins. Currents also work well.
      Caster sugar in ordinary sugar, I think you may call it granulated sugar?
      yes, you can use flaxseed oil, but keep in mind that the cake may colour a little too much.
      Hope this helps!

  5. alman0 says:

    Hi, This looks fantastic! I would love to try this out, but I have an allergy to Almonds unfortunately.
    Can I still make this beautiful cake without them, or substitute for something else?

    1. Hi! Thanks a lot!
      You can try using potato starch. It will help keep the cake light and fluffy.
      Hope this helps,

      1. Joe says:

        Great! I’ll try that out. Quick question, do I still use the same amount [50 gr (1/3 cup)], of the potato starch?
        Thanks 🙂

      2. Hi Joe,
        yes I would stick to 1/3 cup sifted potato starch. Let me know!

  6. alman0 says:

    This looks Fantastic! I would love to try this out, but…
    I have an allergy to almonds. Can I still make this without them, or substitute with something else?

  7. Swivle says:

    I’m going to bake this JUMMMMMMMMM

  8. This looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  9. Nat says:

    I’d love to make this while i am living in Torino, but I’m finding it difficult to purchase ‘self-raising’ flour. is there are specific type of flour, or name in Italy i should be looking for?

    1. Hi Nat. In Italy you should be able to find ” Farina per dolci miscelata”, pre- mixed cake flour. It should contain “lievito”, yeast. failing that, use plain flour and add i sachet of “lievitp per dolci” (Pan deli angel or Bertolini seem to work really well). Hope this helps,

      1. Nat says:

        Thanks for your help, I’ll do my best 🙂

  10. Su Drzewicka says:

    I had friends over for lunch last Sunday and decided to make this. So special. Reminded me of the glorious apple cake my mother used to make. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Su, you make me very, very happy! Thanks for letting me know.

  11. Grazie, Silvia! This cake is so beautifully lemony-coloured on top and sooo tall! Made it for my sister’s birthday (we’re having an avalanche of apples from our garden at the moment!), substituting almond flour with rice flour and omitting the raisins. Keep sharing great Italian recipes – they are pretty much appreciated in the other corner of the world! =)

    1. Thanks! I am so happy you enjoyed it!

  12. The lady says:

    I am not really a fan of apples, is it ok if I dont add it?

    1. The apples make the cake super moist. Pears, maybe?

  13. Gio says:

    Not being a great cook I look to receipes for help! This particular receipe has some lovely ingredients which encouraged me to try it. Issues: brown sugar I took to mean
    just that; no direction to size of cake tin, therefore the cake (unlike the photo) was caramel coloured. For not great cooks like myself more clarity would help.

    1. I’m sorry yo had troubles.
      I’m not sure what is confusing about brown sugar… Maybe it’s not available where you are? Just replace with white. Cake tin is always 20 cm unless die ufi rd otherwise. All the best

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