Apple & Cinnamon Tray Cake


It’s not like I don’t appreciate a good apple cake. And I still think David is an okay guy. But paired together, they have simply been too much this past week. Sometimes I really wish David would just settle for good. He has literally baked and photographed this cake e-v-e-r-y damn day of the week. I know, apple cake every day sounds like an October dream. But when it is served along with constant whining that: “It’s under baked”, “The apples don’t look nice on this” or “It’s way too much cinnamon on top”, it kind of takes the pleasure out of eating it. And with 57+ other things on our to-do-before-the-baby-arrives list, I just couldn’t believe my eyes when he started baking one more cake last night.

But now he is finally pleased with it, and the photos. So here it is: A Simple Apple Cake (overly tested like it was an advanced science project). Seriously though, it is a really good cake. I can’t really tell the difference from the one he did in the beginning of the week but I’m just happy that we can finally move on to more pressing issues. I’ll leave it to David to talk about the flavours. /Luise




Okay … obviously Luise has no idea what she is talking about. The first cake had way too much cinnamon on it and I hadn’t separated the eggs in the batter so it didn’t rise properly. The photos looked terrible too. So that’s that. What she also forgot to mention is that – thanks to me – we have plenty of cakes in the freezer now, which actually is one of the things on that to-do list of hers. Ha!

Back to the cake. I have a long history of not liking apple cake. I have learned to love it now but I do still think that many cakes are too sweet, some are too dry and other have too much apple pieces mixed with the batter. This one is inspired by a slice of apple cake that we tried at the farmer’s market earlier this autumn. It was perfect. Moist, flavourful and with lots of cinnamon and large apple slices on top and a hint of grated apples in the batter. Ever since we tried it, I have been experimenting with my own versions of it. And as Luise so lovingly pointed out, it has taken a few attempts to get it right. We are using one of our favourite flour mixtures to get a good texture. Oat and almond flour adds nuttiness and richness and rice flour keeps it light. I like to bake it in a small tray to get the right height (roughly 2,5 cm / 1 inch), but it works well as a thick cake in a traditional round cake tin as well  (just increase the baking time 5-10 min). Instead of serving it with the traditional vanilla custard, we prefer a ginger-spiced greek yogurt which adds a nice tartness to balance the sweetness in the cake. /David



Apple, Cinnamon & Buttermilk Tray Cake
Serves 12

Dry Ingredients
100 g / 1 cup rolled oats

100 g / 1 cup almond flour
100 g / 3/4 cup rice flour (or buckwheat flour or spelt flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground vanilla or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Wet Ingredients
100 g / 3.5 oz butter or coconut oil, at room temperature

125 ml / ½ cup maple syrup 
or runny honey
1 apple, rinsed
180 ml / 3/4 cup cultured buttermilk (or yogurt)
3 free-range eggs, separated

2 apples, rinsed

2 tbsp melted butter
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Ginger-Spiced Yogurt
250 g / 1 cup unsweetened yogurt

1 knob (roughly 2,5 cm / 1 inch) fresh ginger
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F bake mode, grease a 30 x 22 cm / 12 x 9 inch tray or springform cake tin and line it with parchment paper.

Place the oats in a food processor and blend until the texture resembles coarse flour. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Make a well in the centre and set aside while preparing the wet ingredients.

Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the bowl of a stand mixer along with the maple syrup and mix until well combined and creamy. Add the buttermilk and egg yolks and mix until smooth. Grate the apple coarsely (with peel), add to the stand mixer and mix until just combined, set aside.

Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients, followed by the egg whites, into the dry ingredients until just combined, making sure not to over mix as the cake will be compact otherwise.

Pour the cake batter into the tray. Cut the two apples in thin slices and place them on top of the batter, pushing them down just slightly. Brush the slices with melted butter and the dust the cake with cinnamon. Bake for approx. 45-55 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely. Store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container and it will keep for a few days.

To make the yogurt, simply scoop it into a bowl, grate the fresh ginger into it, add maple syrup and lemon and stir until combined. Taste and adjust the flavours after preference.


PS! I sprinkled the cake with some powdered sugar because it looks pretty on the photos but it’s really not necessary for the flavor.


  • Veerle Peeters
    Hi! Thanks for all your recipes. I think by now I cooked almost everything of your books. Since I discovered your way of cooking I’m a big fan, eating and cooking vegetarian never was so much fun, so lovely to see and to eat! I made this applecake a few times and I love the taste but I have one question. My cake is always slightly burned, or she is not ready. I tried to put aluminium foil over it for the first half hour, I tried to lower the temperature and leave it in the oven for a longer time but the result is always the same. The cake is dark brown. I would love to have a cake that is less dark, like the colour on your photo’s. Any idea how I can manage this?
  • Liz Ostini
    mmmmm, just trying this my butter and maple syrup won't combine. It has separated.
  • Erin
    I don’t eat oats at all - do you think it would work to sub buckwheat or rice flour?
  • Mai Le
    Just made this cake! I'm impressed by how well the flour ratio worked, I found it only mildly sweet, possibly because I used a tart baking apple in the wet mixture, but I'm definitely making this again with thicker cut apple slices. Great recipe guys! I also added lemon zest instead of juice to the spiced yogurt, tasted amazing.
  • Thanks for giving such a lip smacking recipe !!!
  • completely ignorant of apple cake until I saw the beautiful photo thinking it was of an ancient Roman fresco, guess I had Pompeii on the brain! Upon reading though, love the flavors here and that it calls for no added sugar! thank you for this!
  • INLOVE!! seriously everything from the photos to the food.Thanks for the inspiration..
  • Emma
    What an inspiring recipe and photos, can't wait to try this next weekend! Just one question: approx what size is your "small tray"? Thanks! /emma
  • Irène
    This recipe is phenomenal. I've made it twice now, once with apples and once with pears and they were both delicious. Served warm with creme fraiche it was divine. I think my family will not allow me to bake anything else this winter!
  • Love this article, along with your entire page! :) Keep up the good work, and feel free to follow for similar content. XOXO, Tia
  • These look amazing. I wonder how they would turn out if I used some pears, I think the combination of pears and cinnamon will fit my taste better! Here is one of my favorite apple recipes!
  • Marianne
    Hi! What would you recommend to replace the almond flour with? Have allergies to nuts. looks so delicious!
    • Laura
      Hi Marianne, I guess you can easily replace the almonds with finely ground sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds don't have a strong flavor (compared to pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds), so they wouldn't overpower the apples. Best wishes, Laura
  • Made this cake this morning - found it needed about 1/4 tsp more salt, given the amount of flour. Came together easily, and I took it to my meditation group and 12 people demolished the whole cake! This one will be in regular autumn rotation. Thank you, thank you!
  • Laetitia
    Hi David & Luisa, Do you think this recipe would work with chia or flax seeds instead of eggs?? Thanks Laetitia
  • Stephanie
    ok... we wanted to try this recipe but seriously for the 3rd! time mixing the wet ingredients goes wrong... Butter and eggs yes, butter and honey yes, but adding the buttermilk.. no. i've never seen butter on the wet ingredient list unless it is melted before using... any tips?
    • Hi Stephanie, Since the butter is room tempered and cubed, it should mix easily with the maple syrup. I usually start mixing those until creamy, and then add buttermilk and egg yolks. Actually, I try to take out the buttermilk and egg a bit before so they also are room tempered. If the temperature differences are too big, the wet ingredients might curdle a bit, but I haven't actually noticed any big differences with the baked cake on those occasions. What do you feel was wrong with your cakes after they were baked? /David
  • Jana Teneva
    looks awesome, my version is now in the oven...I added a tiny bit of vanilla though! and it is level 3 difficulty with the eggs;-) lots of autumn sunshine and good vibes all the way from Holland to you guys!
  • This looks stellar. I love how the apples look so golden and are well-lined up on the surface!
  • Filipa
    I have made it today. Easy to make and absolutely delicious. I have used almond milk and worked just fine. Thanks for the recipes. Love your blog!
  • Celia
    Hello, This cake looks amazing!!! I would love to make it for my almost 3 year old daughter, who adores apples, but she is allergic to eggs... Can I substitute them for something else? Thank you so much!
  • Latifa
    Hello....this looks amazing! Do you think chia would work for and egg replacer in this cake?

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