vacation blues – mini french apple cakes

by hungryrabbit on July 12, 2013

Mini French Apple Cake

The good thing about the end of a vacation is that I have new memories of great new adventures with M. We had an incredible time exploring Portland and Seattle, both the local cultures and the food scenes.

The down side about the end of a vacation is seeing all those people in the airport so excited about the start of theirs.  I wish I could join them and jet off to London, Barcelona, or Paris for their first trip to Europe. Oh, how I long for those days of being a student and be carefree with minimal responsibilities.

Alas, there will be no trip to Paris for us this summer, so baking something French is a good consolation prize. There are so many great choices, but I opted for a dessert made with apple–classic, slightly rustic, and simply delicious. Enjoy it with a dollop of sweetened créme fraīche, vanilla ice cream or simply with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Bon Voyage.


Mini French Apple Cake

yield: Six 3-inch cakes or one 9-inch cake


2 pounds (about 4) Granny Smith apples , peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and sliced 1/8 inch thick crosswise
4 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs. room temperature
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4  cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Spray six 3-inch round cake pan (3-inch high) with cooking spray, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment. Place prepared pan on rimmed baking sheet, set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown, about 5-8 minutes; remove from heat and let cool slightly.

3. Place apple slices into microwave-safe pie plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave until apples are pliable and slightly translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Toss apple slices with 1 tablespoon of dark rum and lemon juice and let cool for 15 minutes.

4. Whisk 1 cup flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Whisk eggs, brown butter, milk, remaining 3 tablespoon of rum and vanilla together in second bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Using spatula, gently fold in cooled apples. Divide batter evenly between prepared pan; using offset spatula, spread batter evenly. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar evenly over cakes.

5. Bake until center of cake is set, toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and top is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; let cool for 15 minutes. Run paring knife around sides of pan and invert cake from pan and cool on wire rack completely, about 1 hour.

Serving suggestions

Serve with a dollop of sweetened créme fraīche, vanilla ice cream or simply w a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Cakes can e refrigerate in airtight containers for 3 days; bring it to room temperature or warm cake in 350℉ oven for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 12, 2013 at 7:47 am

Coming back from vacation is totally weird, but the memories will always be with you! Also, this cake looks fabulous!

Laura@MotherWouldKno July 12, 2013 at 8:51 am

Gorgeous – as always:) Where do you get those adorable cake pans?

hungryrabbit July 12, 2013 at 9:12 am

I believe I got them at NY Cake but most online baking supply sites should have them. -Ken

dixya| food, pleasure, and health July 12, 2013 at 10:59 am

this is a beautiful way to remember great time you had on your vacation :)

B. July 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm

These mini french apple cakes look really delicious. I love apple cakes. I will need to try these soon.

JB & Renee July 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm

This looks so good. Stunningly beautiful photos too.

Carol Sacks July 13, 2013 at 8:27 am

What a beautiful cake, Ken! Welcome back from vacation, too!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef July 13, 2013 at 9:14 am

I like looking at people in airports and deciding where I think they’re going.

There’s not much better than a fresh apple cake and these small ones are really lovely.

Lizzy (Good Things) September 13, 2013 at 5:55 am

I agree with Maureen… apple cake is divine and these look so good!

j koes September 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm

looks divine! what do i do if i don’t have a microwave? any tips?

hungryrabbit September 14, 2013 at 9:44 am

Hi there, I would spread the apple slices on sheet pan, cover it tightly with foil and bake at 375℉ until tender. The slices should still hold their shape. I suspect it will take 30 minutes or more to achieve the texture. Happy Baking! -Ken

Martha September 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I made this on Sunday and it was a hit! I need to know about the individual cakes. the information says 6 3″ pans…are you referring to the height of the pan being 3″? and if so what is the width?
I would like to do the individuals the next time.

hungryrabbit September 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

Hi Martha, so glad you liked the recipe. These are the pans I used for the individual size cakes. Happy Baking! -Ken

Martha September 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

THANKS…..I’m excited about getting these little cake pans……sad I know :)

Sharon October 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Do you think I could use popover pan to bake these?

hungryrabbit October 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Hi Sharon, I believe it should work nicely. Keep me posted. Happy Baking! -Ken

katrina October 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm

You have 1 cup (5oz) and 1 cup (7oz) in the ingredients above but in the directions you have 1 cup of each item. I made it and my batter is very loose. Is this 1 cup plus 5oz and 1 cup and 7oz?
And do you drain the apples before adding them to the mix?

Thank you,

hungryrabbit October 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Hi Katrina, 1 cup (5 ounces) of flour does not weigh the same as 1 cup of sugar, which is 7 ounces. The apples are moist but should not be super juicy, drain if the apple mixture looks watery. The batter should not be loose either, perhaps it’s the extra liquid from the apples. -Ken

katrina November 1, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Thank you for clarifying. In my world 1 cup equals 8oz. I will adjust my numbers so my batter is consistent to cake batter.

hungryrabbit November 4, 2013 at 11:08 am

Make sure you differentiate between dry and wet measuring cups and don’t go by the fl. ounces marked on the wet measure. -K

Pat November 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I can taste this apple cake already. Have you been to France? Thank you for sharing.

Robynski January 5, 2014 at 10:41 am

I absolutely love French apple cakes. I believe I could say its my favorite. And now you’ve given me this way to share it with friends with only two or three in a family. A large cake for a small group just won’t do. This is perfect! And your presentation? I’m stealing that too. ;0)

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