Baking | Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake … a winning Dorie Greenspan recipe

“Better late than never.
Titus Livius

Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake, Dorie GreenspanI wish I had made the apple cake earlier, but I’m SO GLAD I made it when I did!  It made for the best dessert we’ve had in a while … fresh baked, almost steaming hot, a cake which unbelievingly delivered perfect light as cloud slices. I added a scraped vanilla bean to the batter, and flaked almonds on top. Despite the cake going through 2 LONG power outages, it still came out slam dunk delicious!  That was the first time I made it. I decided to make it again a few days ago, this time as petit fours in individual dessert rings {from my little shop in Old Delhi}, pictured above.Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake, Dorie Greenspan bookGuess what? Yes, power outage again!! Felt like I was on a mission to test this particular cake to its limits. I do bake a lot, an understatement maybe, and rarely face power outages these days. Not this instance though. The cake won the ‘battle of power outage’ again. Everything about Marie Helen’s Apple Cake is wonderful & well balanced – the fruit, the texture, the sweetness, the lightness; above all the power to satisfy. It’s a designated winner in my book; one which I will make over and over again.

Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake, Dorie Greenspan book I’m pretty sure most of you have baked it in the last few months. If like me, you haven’t, the time is now. Do yourself a favour. Been reading about it on just about every blog under the sun since Dorie’s new book Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes From My Home to Yours’ hit the stands. Saw a zillion folk bake it for the  French Fridays with Dorie group, and most came out with a wonderful review. I wonder what kept me from baking it sooner?Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake, Dorie Greenspan bookThen Pamela mentioned it over lunch at the French Pastry Festivals Le Cordon Blue workshop, singing praises of it. I had it on my mind ever since. Dreamt of it that night, yes I have ‘sweet dreams’. I  knew it was what I wanted to make for dessert the afternoon as my nephew was coming over for lunch. Life isn’t that easy, and my menu was based on bakes… Chicken, Mushroom & Roasted Pepper Juliene, Buttermilk Cluster Bread and an apple cake. I managed to do all of this at breakneck speed as the power was horribly erratic. Each time I popped the cake in, blink, power cut. It baked in 3 20 minute intervals, with gaps of an hour in between, still came out fabulous. By the time lunch was served, it had baked for the 3rd time … resulting  in a nice warm cake for dessert. I let it sit for 10 minutes in the tin, before slicing it.

Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake, Dorie Greenspan bookWhat a charmer the cake is. Elegant, fuss free, light, delicately flavoured … in one word PERFECT! Very simple to make too. I did read some reviews on Epicurious about increasing flour because of pooling butter etc, but that didn’t happen with me. It was well set and firm after an hour of intermittent baking, and even though I used a 9″ tin instead of an 8″ one, it still looked quite good. I think flaked almonds added a nice touch to the top, and yes, the scraped vanilla bean added beautiful flavour throughout. Vanilla bean is now my favourite baking ingredient and I am so glad India grows some of the finest vanilla beans now. I have had the pleasure of receiving a box of Ecopsice Bourbon vanilla beans from Mia, and they are excellent.

Marie-Hélène’s Apple CakeMarie-Hélène’s Apple Cake
Minimally adapted from Epicurious
Recipe by Dorie Greenspan, Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes From My Home to Yours
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples {if you can, choose 4 different kinds}
2 large eggs
3/4 cup vanilla sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 vanilla bean,scraped
1/4 cup slivered almonds
100gms unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake, Dorie Greenspan book
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180C. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan, or 12 individual dessert rings bottoms lined/sealed with aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put the springform/ or dessert rings on it.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.
Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks {cut them slightly smaller for individual bakes}.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and scarped vanilla bean.
Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter.
Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan/rings and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish. Sprinkle the top with slivered almonds.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes. {Individual dessert rings baked for about 30 minutes}.
Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. {Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.}
Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature.
If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.
Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake, Dorie Greenspan bookServing: The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène’s served her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination. {The cake reheats very well too in the microwave}
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥


I want to thank all my readers for taking the time to vote for me at the Blog of the Year contest on Blog Revue. Blog Revue Winner 2010-2011I am really happy that I won.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. CONGRATS DEEBA!!!! It does not come as a surprise though as PAB deserves to win!!! Wish you many more such accolades and more and more success!! Wish you all the very best, u made us proud!!

    The apple cake looks and sound super enticing and perfect for a winter dessert.. added to my list of must- try-soon!!
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  2. I have this fabulous book and can’t wait to bake this cake. It’s actually very similar to a CWA (Country Women’s Association) recipe I have been using for a while. A stand out recipe, and one I’ve baked a million times too. An instant favourite. Yours looks delicious!

  3. What a funny little coincidence, Deeba, I was debating all day yesterday between this cake and the one from Jamie Life’s a Feast “Hanukkah Apple Cake”. I was tempted to try Dorie’s, but was making the cake for a varied crowd at work, so I went with the Hanukkah cake. Its not going to be long before I try this version though because I have it printed out and ready to go. It looks divine. Your food styling is simply spectacular as always.
    And congrats on your win. You deserve it!

  4. Congratulations! Though it is no surprise as your blog is really brilliant – recipes, photo’s and text! Well done! This recipe again is wonderfully photographed. I don’t have any of Dorie’s books but I think I am going to have to change that!

  5. penny aka jeroxie says:

    congras!! what a wonderful win!

  6. Congratulations Deeba!!! Beautiful cake and beautiful presentation. Loved the photography as well. All in all a great post!!

  7. congratulation Deeba!!

  8. congrats on the win Dee. I’m making this cake anyhoo! Have heard alot about it myself and I have no choice but to make it!
    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen´s last blog post ..Coconut Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Curd FillingMy Profile

  9. Congrats Deeba..tht award is well deserved.I visually enjoyed this apple cake as all of your posts.Love the feel of pictures in this post.
    Tanvi@SinfullySpicy´s last blog post ..Indian Style Cranberry &amp Green Chilli PickleMy Profile

  10. congs Deeba u deserve this.
    cake is fantastic and presentation is marvellous
    santoshbangar´s last blog post ..BATHUA PRATHAMy Profile

  11. Congrats!

    I still have to try that Dorie G. recipe. Your little cakes look magnificent.



  12. Natasha says:

    Hi Deeba,
    Congrats on the win!You most certainly deserve it with your great pictures, wonderful recipes, fantastic write ups and for the enthusiasm that comes through on all your posts and never fails to inspire.
    Much love

  13. WOW!!! Congrats, sister, on the great win (I voted for you!) you know that you are truly the blog of the year! Yes! And these apple cakes prove just how talented you are. An warm-from-the-oven apple cake must be our favorite dessert – JP’s favorite dessert – and this one looks fabulously perfect! But you always take everyone one notch higher with your presentation. Stunning! xoxo
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  14. Congrats Deeba!

    I bought the book but I still have to try that recipe. Your cake looks wonderful and the shots amazing!
    Cherine´s last blog post ..Deep Dish Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

  15. Congrats Deeba! You deserve this and many more…
    Next year we will again vote for you like this as yours is the best food blog and our fav too.
    sayantani´s last blog post ..Baked Savory Onion crackers or NippatuMy Profile

  16. Every picture here is so pretty, you absolutely deserve to be Blog of the Year. Well done! xx
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  17. Dear Deeba waht lovely and beauty are always your apples cake or tarts, look awesome, I love them and I love all with apples!!! Send you huggs, xoxoxoxox gloria

  18. Congrats Deeba! You should join FFWD too!
    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite´s last blog post ..Mead – not just from the olden daysMy Profile

  19. Yours pictures are amazing!! xx gloria
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  20. Congrats because you win!! You are the best! Im sooo happy because of course I voted for you!! baci! gloria
    gloria´s last blog post ..onion soup with a twistMy Profile

  21. Congratulations!! So well deserved..! I had read of this cake..your presentations are superb!
    Monique´s last blog post ..MMMMacarons!♥My Profile

  22. ARTHI says:

    Congrats Dee…I voted for ya and I am so glad you won..Lovely pics and must be a very decadent cake

  23. I absolutely love this cake Deeba. When I shared the recipe my mom and dad made it twice in a week.

  24. Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog says:

    Congrats Deeba! You deserved to win this award! :)
    Congrats again for this charming and subtle-flavored apple cake!


    Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog´s last blog post ..4 Reasons Food Tattoos Are So PopularMy Profile

  25. Congrats Deeba, that’s great! Looks like you celebrated with some apple cake.Baked apple desserts are one of my absolute favorites, in a cake, in a tart, in a turnover, in a strudel, any incarnation, really. I can’t get enough of that incredible apple aroma coming out of the oven. I think I might be the last person to not have that book, but I KNOW it will be good, so I better put it on my list.
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  26. Deeba, I’ll never get tired of telling you how much I love your blog. It inspires. I don’t have to read the recipe to understand the taste of what you’re cooking – enough to look at your photos. Brilliant.
    And cogratulations! Thank you so much for your wonderful blog.
    And I must try your cake. Already favourited it :)
    Jurgita´s last blog post ..triufeliai su marcipaninėmis akutėmisMy Profile

  27. congrats Deeba on your win, you deserve it. apple cake looks scrumptious.

  28. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle says:

    I made this same cake, however, I have yet to post it and I would do myself justice to let that remain the case. You’ve made it look so beautiful and elegant; how I would love the time to fashion ribbons on my cakes Deeba…so pretty!

    And congrats…you deserve it!
    Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle´s last blog post ..Beef Bourguignon- My Birthday with Julia Child and @ManPans GiveawayMy Profile

  29. gorgeous gorgeous cake deeba – and congrats on the win!

  30. Helene says:

    Congratulations! I have seen many bloggers that bake the cake. I should try it. Looks delicious. Love the way you took your pictures.
    Helene´s last blog post ..Giveaway- Tetley Tea Colour Therapy Gift BasketMy Profile

  31. congratulations on your oh-so-nice win! the Dorie Apple Cake is a winner too. I have yet to make it, but hope to during the holidays. your version looks lovely.
    nancy at good food matters´s last blog post ..Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple-Sage Brown ButterMy Profile

  32. Deeba, congrats on winning. Welll deserved! I’ve been meaning to try DG’s MH’s cake. It looks decadent.

  33. Deeba you’re such a styling innovator! I mean those cakes are stylish on branches! Brilliant! 😮

  34. Deeba congratulations my friend! Well deserved!

    You know, I have been seeing this recipe for apple cake around for quite some time but resisted making it, much like you did. Oh, but now I am so eager to dig into this beauty. Your cake looks just amazing, even with those awful power outages.
    I love those hearts and stars ornaments by the way.
    My Little Expat Kitchen´s last blog post ..There are others like me out there- rightMy Profile

  35. I don’t think I have ever seen a prettier looking apple cake!
    Susan: My Food Obsession´s last blog post ..Giveaway! Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from CrustMy Profile

  36. NO wonder u won the award..u truly deserve it Deeba. Congrats on your winning !!! Mmm i love the cake as well. I have tried this Apple cake from Dorie book as well. tasted so so delicious and the pictures are good. WIsh u an ur family advance Happy christmas.

  37. Congratulations on winning, Deeba! You surely deserve it.


    PS: Could you, please, bring back the Search option on your website? I am one of those people who get fascinated by a different ingredient each time and want to see how it can be used 😉

  38. That is just beautiful.
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  39. Good job on the win, and delicious-looking cake! You’re a consistent stream of good recipes and ideas. Thanks!
    Amanda´s last blog post ..Fruitcake- an obsession- a loveMy Profile

  40. Congratulations on the win Deeba!!! I voted for you and I am glad you won. Cakes look super festive.
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  41. Twinsy Rachel Abraham says: so happy that u won :)))))) Congratz n goodies r droolworthy.. am sure we can see them soon transformed to mouthwatering desserts :)) Apple cake is awesome.. will soon try before apples goes out of season

  42. Congratulations, Deeba! You deserve it….I love visiting your blog. :)

    I think I am getting Dorie’s book from Santa. I’m so excited. I’ve heard the fuss over this cake and while I am not overly fond of apple cakes, this one really looks delicious. You did such a nice job with your mini cakes too!
    Barbara´s last blog post ..A Simple Holiday Salad- Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata CheeseMy Profile

  43. I’m hanging my head in shame–I have the book and haven’t cracked it open and started cooking from it yet. Obviously, I need to. This cake looks incredible! The crunchy almonds on top are a great touch.
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  44. Congratulations and that looks like one delicious cake!
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  45. indrani says:

    Hello Mrs. Deeba,

    Congratulations on your winning..!!
    I have made this cake after getting inspired by your description and glad that it came out well. Would love to make it again.
    Thank you….!!


  46. Thats such beautfil presentation Deeba. The apple cakes look so delicate and soft and yummy ! Congrats on the Godiva … !

  47. Congratulations, you deserve it! And you have presented this dish beautifully!
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  48. i love this cake and your cake looks beautiful. lovely post!
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  49. Congrats D!!! That Godiva hamper has me envious :)

    I’ve always wanted to make this cake! It looks gorgeous! Great pictures
    Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)´s last blog post ..GingersnapsMy Profile

  50. Congratulations!
    I’m very happy for you. Beautiful post and pictures.
    Wishing you all the best

  51. Congratulations!
    I’m very happy for you. Beautiful post and pictures.
    Wishing you all the best

  52. hiDeeba,
    i really got hooked to ur site,FANTASTIC!by the way deeba,i would like to know the difference between all-purpose flour,self-raising flour are they same or different,pls let me know,thx

    • Hi Komala, Thank you for your sweet words.
      Re flours. All purpose is the same as plain flour {maida is what we refer to as in India}. Self raising flour is flour to which a small portion of raising agent and salt has been added. You can make your own self raising flour. 1 cup self raising flour = 1 cup flour + 1 tsp baking powder + a pinch of salt.


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