Babette Friedman's Apple Cake


Le Coucou chef Daniel Rose stirs apples into the batter of this pound cake–like dessert, then tops it with more of the Calvados-spiked fruit. Slideshow: More Apple Cake Recipes 

Babette Friedman’s Apple Cake
Le Coucou chef Daniel Rose stirs apples into the batter of this pound cake–like dessert and then tops it with more of the Calvados-spiked fruit. We think we could eat this cake pretty much each and every day of the fall and be extremely happy. We think you would be too. Photo: Roland Bello
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins
8 to 10



  • 3 Fuji or Gala apples (1 1/2 pounds)—peeled, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick

  • 1 tablespoon Calvados

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for brushing

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder


  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Make the cake In a large bowl, toss the apples with the Calvados, ginger, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Let stand for 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush a 9-inch springform pan with butter.

  3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the 3 sticks of butter with the remaining 2 1/4 cups of sugar and the salt until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and baking powder until a thick, smooth batter forms. Fold in 8 of the apple slices. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

  4. Arrange the remaining apples in slightly overlapping concentric circles on the batter and drizzle on the apple juices. Bake for about 1 hour and 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

  5. Meanwhile, make the glaze In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 2 tablespoons of water and bring to a simmer without stirring. Cook over moderate heat, swirling the pan, until an amber caramel forms, about 4 minutes. Carefully add the cream and butter (the mixture will sputter) and cook, whisking, until the caramel is smooth, about 2 minutes.

  6. Transfer the cake to a rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Unmold the cake and brush the top with the glaze. Let cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.

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