Seasonal Apple Cake — Le gâteau aux pommes saisonnier

The loud pattering noise the rain made when it hit the blinds woke me up. For a second, I imagined we could be in the middle of a storm, like the ones my friend N. and I used to experience when she and I still lived in New Zealand, in the small drafty wooden house tucked away at the end of Breaker Bay road. I stretched from toe to head and yawned before noticing it was actually still dark outside. My watch indicated 7:15 am; Autumn was definitely on its way and soon enough, it would actually be dark even by 8 am. I felt tired. I turned on my left side and made myself comfortable by propping my head onto a second pillow. I hoped I could still get a few hours sleep, but then I started thinking about the day and the plan I had made. So instead, I decided to get up.

It won’t be fun if it rains, will it?” I told my sister-in-law G. on the phone when I was done with a hearty breakfast made of fresh baguette, cheese, fruit and yogurt. She and I were planning to drive to Metz to do some shopping and eat at pâtisserie Fresson. I was hoping to taste the tartines they serve for lunch using Poilâne bread.

I guess you are right,” she replied without even arguing. “Let’s go tomorrow instead.

The city could definitely wait.

But nor Nature or my baking project could.

Fresson Pâtisserie Chocolaterie Traiteur
17, Rue Grand Cerf
57000 Metz
03 87 36 28 17

My brother has lovely apple trees in his garden. And so does his neighbor, and many other people in the village. In fact, most people have apple trees around here.

Ah des pommes, il y en aura cette année !” (we will have lots of apples this year!) my mum told me when I asked about what the fruit year would look like. “Unlike quetsches and mirabelles. Producers say it is a bad year for these fruit.

I take that you will make apple juice again, won’t you?” I asked my brother B later.


My parents had left for the day so I decided to cook a simple lunch with the vegetables from their garden. I stewed young carrots and zucchini with thyme and the organic virgin olive oil brought from Crete, and served this vegetable dish with sautéed rice and freshly chopped parsley. I was glad to have picked the vegetables the day before because the soil in the garden was quite wet, but then I thought about salad. I *needed to have a green salad with my meal.

My dad’s Wellington boots were too big for my yet pretty long feet but they were just what I needed to complete my plan. They left deep footsteps in the water-filled soil but I did not care. I would come back crottée (dirty), that’s all. I picked the youngest salad I found, enough for two.

Five minutes later, a freshly tossed green salad was placed on the dining table.

Then I thought about the apples.

And baking a tart.

What about making a cake with apples?” G. told me. “Ça se gardera mieux, non ?” (It will keep better, won’t it?)

She was right.

Hence this was how instead of a tart, I baked an upside down apple cake.

I walked to B. and G.’s garden to pick a few apples. There were fallen ones scattered under the trees, even if B. had cleaned the area the day before — they were going to make compote with them.

Il y en a plus tous les jours,” he told me (there are more fallen ones every day). “We have too many!

Lucky him!

I was planning to use the leftovers of quinoa and brown rice flours I had, and the fragrant olive oil brought from Crete, once more. I also thought of adding flavor with vanilla seeds and ground cinnamon, and crunchiness with roasted nuts .

The cake was a success by all means.

We sat down after dinner and savored a few slices with a pot of white tea while watching Un Gars et Une Fille on TV. We loved the airy texture of the cake, and the light yellow color provided by the the olive oil. The apples were sweet and melted in the mouth, prompting us to eat more.

And back in my mind, I was already looking forward to breakfast for another slice.

Or two.

Apple Tartlets with Caramelized Walnuts

But then, one day later, I ended up making apple tartlets anyway…

I cooked them very simply, to make sure that we would enjoy the flavor of the fruit first.

Upside Down Apple Cake, with Olive Oil, Vanilla and Cinnamon

Upside Down Apple Cake, with Olive Oil, Vanilla and Cinnamon

You need:

  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter + to butter mold
  • 3 to 4 medium-sized apples
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup blond cane sugar + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in halves, seeds scraped out
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup minus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • *1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • *1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 4 tablespoons almond flour

*Or replace these two flours with 1 cup all-purpose flour total.


  • Preheat the oven at 350 F. Butter a round 9 inch mold — preferably non stick.
  • Place the nuts on a baking sheet and roast them until fragrant (about 5 to 7 minutes). Remove and cool them; chop coarsely and set aside.
  • Wash the apples and slice them finely (do not core them but remove the seeds).
  • In a non-stick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons butter on medium heat, and add the apple slices with the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Toss well and cook for about 4 minutes, or until slightly tender.
  • Arrange the apple slices at the bottom of the mold.
  • In a large bowl, pour the yogurt with the sugar. Add the vanilla seeds, and mix well. Add the eggs, and then the olive oil.
  • Finish with the flours, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nuts.
  • Pour this batter over the apples and bake the cake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the blade of a knife inserted in the cake comes out dry. Let the cake cool and then unmold on a rack.
Le coin français
Gâteau renversé aux pommes, parfums huile d’olive, vanille et cannelle

Ingrédients :

  • 30 g de noix
  • 25 g de beurre + du beurre pour le moule
  • 3 à 4 pommes de taille moyenne
  • 1/4 càc de cannelle en poudre
  • 125 g de sucre de canne blond + 2 càs
  • 125 g de yaourt nature
  • 1 gousse de vanille, graines grattées
  • 3 oeufs
  • 100 ml d’huile d’olive
  • Pincée de sel
  • 1 càc de bicarbonate de soude
  • 2 càc de poudre à lever
  • 60 g farine de quinoa*
  • 50 g de maïzena
  • 70 g de farine de riz complet*
  • 4 càs de poudre d’amandes

*Vous pouvez remplacer ces deux farines par 130 g de farine de blé

Etapes :

  • Préchauffez le four à 180 C. Beurrez un moule à manqué de 24 cm — de préférence anti-adhésif.
  • Mettez les noix sur une plaque de cuisson et faites-les dorer pendant 5 à 7 minutes. Retirez-les puis laissez-les refroidir avant de les concasser grossièrement; mettez de côté.
  • Lavez les pommes et coupez-les en tranches fines (n’enlevez pas le centre mais seulement les pépins).
  • Dans une poele anti-adhésive, faites fondre 25 g de beurre sur feu moyen, et ajoutez les tranches de pomme, 2 càs de sucre et la cannelle. Mélangez et cuisez pendant 4 minutes, ou jusqu’à ce que les pommes soient tendres.
  • Arrangez les tranches de pomme au fond du moule.
  • Dans un large bol, mélangez le yourt avec le sucre. Ajoutez les graines de vanille; mélangez. Ajoutez ensuite les oeufs puis l’huile d’olive pour obtenir une pâte homogène.
  • Finissez par ajouter les farines, la poudre d’amandes, la maïzena, la poudre à lever, la bicarbonate de soude et les noix.
  • Versez cette pâte sur les pommes et enfournez pendant environ 30 à 35 minutes. Laissez le gateau refroidir quelques minutes avant de le démouler sur une grille.


  1. Bea,
    Wonderful photographs, I love your dad’s purple boot! Your recipe is very interesting, I never made apple tarte with olive oil before. I must try it one day.

  2. Love your photos, especially the one of the boots! Your apple cake sounds delicious, maybe one day I will make it.

  3. What beautiful pictures! You really have the ability to capture the perfect moment! That cake and those tartlets look delicious! Wonderful!



  4. encore une belle histoire qui finit en recette delicieuse ! J’aime tes happy-ends !

  5. So pretty! I love the apple slice with the little leaf on top of the cake. And the tartlets really do look like they fell from a tree!

  6. Ce gâteau me semble très gourmand… et très moelleux…
    réconfortant par ce WE un peu frais qui annonce l’automne…
    Bon séjour en France et porte toi bien !

  7. Thank you for such beautiful and inspiring photos! I especially love the first one of the apple cake.

  8. oh my bea… it makes me want to buy a house in the country with a big apple tree and lots of flowers… bucolic, serene, full of light… gorgeous!

  9. Oh Béa, your apple cake is so pretty. I just bought a new mandoline. I can’t wait to try this recipe and my new kitchen gadget.

  10. It’s me again, Béa. Thanks so much for the links, Fresson and Poilâne. I love seeing what’s new in the big beautiful world of baking.

  11. Your photos are just beautiful!! I love going apple picking with my family and we indulge in them all fall. We usually go before Rosh Hashanah so that I can make an apple dish for the holiday.

  12. Thank you for the wonderful recipe and posting. I can’t wait to try out the apple cake myself. 🙂

  13. Les premieres pommes, dans leur plus simple appareil, et les bottes de papa, trop grandes mais si confortables. Ca a du bon la campagne.

  14. Merci pour la version française !! J’adore tes recettes et je comprend l’anglais mais j’ai du mal à convertir les mesures. Cette fois-ci c’est “the top of the top” Thank you very mouch !

  15. my passion is gardening and i love all your pics, just a wonderful series, thank you!

  16. What magnificent views!! How lucky are you to have lived in such beautiful surroundings!

    When my boyfriend looked over my shoulder onto the computer screen while I was reading your post a minute ago, his response was, “Now when are you going to make that?”

  17. Aaah! The joys of the country! Where I live, having an apple tree or getting a young salad from the garden is just a blissful dream…thanks for giving me a peek into your family’s life in France! And that apple cake looks wonderful!

  18. Cool work here! It’s funny I passed by our neighbor yesterday and their “apple mango” has lots of fruits now. Ever taste and tried making a recipe out of it. I’m sure it taste differently from apples.

  19. I’ve just found your founderful blog. Was thinking “mmmm” when a street name leapt out at me. Yes, I’m in Wellington. Can’t see Breakers Bay from my place yet your photo looks to familiar to me. And next I’ll have to start baking. Huggles from springtime downunder

  20. Both apple desserts look absolutely beautiful and would be a welcome new addition to my family’s Jewish new year dinner.

  21. i know how he feels! we have too many apples as well at the moment, and I can’t keep up! luckily, i have your recipes now, so won’t be stuck for new ideas!

  22. je retiens cette idée avec de l’huile d’olive. je suis dans ma phase huile d’olive en dessert.

  23. Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to make this! I’m headed home to my parents’ this weekend and am definitely making plans to stop by the local orchard to pick up some apples for this beautiful cake!

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  25. Beautiful photos! I have been looking for an apple cake recipe and this sounds delicious. What a perfect post for the fall season.

  26. J’ai déjà fait un gâteau semblable mais je meurs d’envie de faire le tien maintenant. Les photos sont magnifiques!

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  29. Bea, this is such a magical cake! I just made it this afternoon and it looks just like your photos. The flavor is so subtle yet complex. Truly devine. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  30. Thank you for your wonderful post on apples and cake. And congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful baby girl! I just wanted to let you know that I referred to this recipe in my newly created blog, where I baked an upside down apple cake with some guidance from your apple cake recipe.
    Best wishes,

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  32. J’ai fait ton gâteau aux pommes cet après-midi, il était délicieux… quoique pas aussi joli que le tien… Merci pour la recette et l’idée de décoration avec les tranches de pommes !

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  34. Hi Bea.i made your beautiful apple cake last week and it was so delicious!
    I am a coeliac and would absolutely love to have your recipe of the tart crust you made for those apple tartlets on the same post.Would you mind sharing it with us as well?the tartlets look just so tempting, i am obsessed with eating them!!thanks.

  35. J’adore ton Blog et y jette un coup d’oeil tous les jours! J’ai cuisiné (avec succès!) une bonne quinzaine de tes recettes déjà et celle-ci s’est avérée particulièrement savoureuse! J’ai réduit la qté d’huile d’olive a 60ml + 60g de purée de pomme et aussi ajouté 135g de zucchini rapé (pesé une fois bien essoré) à la recette. Le résultat était identique à ta photo, avec de jolies touches vertes provenant de la pelure du zucchini. J’ai apporté le gâteau au travail et tout le monde a adoré, surtout mes patrons! Superbe texture, et un goût qui plait à tous les palets. (même ceux qui n’aiment pas l’étiquette “gluten free”) It’s a keeper!!

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  37. We, my parents, my granny and me, just finished enjoying your apple cake with vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee. It was so delicious! Thank you for the inspiration you share with all of us.

    Lucky me. I still have some cake left…

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