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Aug 20, 2023

Classic French Apple Cake

This classic French apple cake, or Gâteau aux Pommes Classique, is a wonderful and easy loaf cake filled with apples and rum-infused raisins, and then brushed with an apricot jam glaze and later drizzled with a second glaze of rum and confectioners' sugar. 

Classic French Apple Cake loaf cut so you can see the apples in the crumb.

According to Aleksandra Crapanzano, the author of the book, Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes, during apple season, versions of this cake are served throughout France, with each region using it's own liquor or liqueur, such as Calvados (in Normandy), Cognac (in Cognac), and Armagnac (in Amagnac). 

This recipe calls for dark rum, which is easily accessible, but I'm sure bourbon, St. Georges Apple Brandy, Apple Jack, or a pear liqueur would be delicious too. 

This cake is baked in a loaf pan for an everyday casual presentation (en famille) and is wonderful for both breakfast and dessert. For a fancier (and fussier) version, be sure to try the French Apple Cake I posted a few years ago. 

Classic French Apple Cake loaf on a white oblong plate.

Ingredients in this Cake:

Raisins: I used a combination of golden and standard sun-dried raisins. You can use either one or both. 

Dark Rum: You will use a couple of tablespoons for soaking the raisins as well as creating the final glaze. 

Unsalted Butter: This is a very buttery cake, with the recipe including 8 1/2 tablespoons. 

Confectioners' Sugar: You use confectioners' sugar both in the cake batter as well as in the final rum glaze. 

Pantry and Fridge Ingredients: Eggs, all purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. 

Apricot Jam: Warmed and strained apricot jam is used for glazing the cake when it first comes out of the oven. I didn't have enough apricot jam, so I used a 50/50 mixture of apricot and peach jam. 

Apples: Be sure to use firm apples that will hold up well and not get mushy when baked. I used Honeycrisp apples, but you could also use Braeburn, Envy, Fuji, or Granny Smith, or a mixture. 

You could also make this cake with pears. Use a firm pear, such as Anjou, Bosc, or Asian. 

Classic French Apple Cake slice with a bite on a fork on a white plate.


To make this cake, first you soak the raisins in some of the rum. 

After that, you cut the apples into small chunks, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch sized. 

Next, you beat the butter until creamy and then add the confectioners' sugar and continue to beat until pale and light. You will add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until each is fully incorporated. At first the mixture will appear to "break," but it will come together as you are beating it with your mixer. 

Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold it into the butter mixture, and then fold in the raisins and the apples. Bake the cake in a parchment-lined loaf pan and then brush it with warmed apricot jam while it is still warm. 

Finally, after the cake has cooled, remove it from the pan and drizzle it with a rum and confectioners' sugar glaze. 

Classic French Apple Cake slice on a white plate with glaze.

This cake is super moist and filled with an amazing apple flavor. It's pretty much irresistable. We had it for dessert the day it was made, and then continued to enjoy slices for breakfast. 

You can store this cake at room temperature for a day or two, and then keep it in the refrigerator. Re-warm leftovers for about 20 seconds in the microwave. 

For dessert, it is delicious topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or sweetened crème fraiche. 

Cake Slice Bakers Logo.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Gateau book cover.

This year's book - Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes - our choices for August 2023 were ~

Apple Cake - The Classic

Lemon Verbena Peach Yogurt Cake

Strawberry-Rhubarb Rouleau with Lemon Buttercream

Classic French Apple Cake slice on a white plate.

Classic Apple Cake

Classic Apple Cake
Yield: 16 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 30 M
This classic French apple cake, or Gâteau aux Pommes Classique, is a wonderful and easy loaf cake filled with apples and rum-infused raisins, and then brushed with an apricot jam glaze and later drizzled with a second glaze of rum and confectioners' sugar.


For the Cake
  • 1 1/4 cups raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 medium Honeycrisp apples (or another firm crispy type of apple), about 14 ounces total
  • 8 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 112 grams (1 cup) confectioners' sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 143 grams (~1 cup plus three tablespoons) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons apricot jam
For the Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 38 grams (1/3 cup) confectioners' sugar


To Make the Cake
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 8 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, enough to create a sling with some overhanging parchment for lifting the cake out of the pan when it is ready to serve.
  2. Place the raisins in a small Pyrex-style bowl or measuring cup and cover the raisins with boiling water. Let sit for two minutes. Drain the water from the raisins. Warm the rum in the microwave and pour it over the raisins. Stir and set aside.
  3. Peel and cut the apples into 1/3 to 1/2 inch chunks, discarding the cores.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) beat the butter with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar while continuing to beat the butter, until the mixture is pale and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition until fully incorporated.
  5. Using a mesh strainer, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into the bowl and fold the ingredients together using a rubber spatula. Add the raisins, along with the rum, and the apples, and fold to incorporate.
  6. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. Do not remove the cake from the pan.
  8. While the cake is still warm, heat the apricot jam and then strain out the solids. Brush the top of the cake with the remaining strained jam. Let the cake come to room temperature.
  9. When ready to serve, whisk together the rum and confectioners' sugar for the glaze until smooth.
  10. Lift the cake out of the pan and place it onto a serving plate, discarding the parchment sling. Drizzle the cake with the glaze, slice, and serve.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

7 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

4 g

Carbs (grams)

32 g

Fiber (grams)

2 g

Net carbs

31 g

Sugar (grams)

14 g

Protein (grams)

3 g

Cholesterol (grams)

51 mg
cake, apples
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