Holiday Project: Italian Apple Cake

While the Bolognese sauce was bubbling away (from this post) Lachy asked if he could make a dessert.  We don’t have dessert often, so as we were going to have a guest  for dinner I acceded his request.

I pulled my copy of  Light of Lucia  and we came across a recipe for Italian Apple Cake, or Torte di Mele.

Luciana Sampogna’s book consists of “occasion” chapters and the Apple cake comes from the Mother’s Day section.  In Luciana’s words,

“It really is home cooking at it’s best and

easy enough that a child can make it.” 

First things first, and in line with encouraging my kids to become good sous chefs, Lachy had to get it ready himself; find all the ingredients, equipment ready, prep all the food – for this recipe that included peeling, coring and slicing up a kilo of apples!   It’s a good lesson in perseverance and patience for kids, and its learning through their mistakes that will motivate them do better next time.   (Sounds harsh, but I am finding that they enjoy critiquing themselves after each cooking adventure.)

So, here’s the recipe.  And if you are bribe-mum-savvy like Lach, you could get someone to core and slice the apples for you – by offering to empty the dishwasher maybe? There were a lot of apples to peel.  Poor little chap :)

Torte de Mele

Apple Cake


1 kg Granny Smith apples – peeled, quartered, cored and sliced thinly

3 eggs

120 gr castor sugar (which Lachy made from raw in the Thermo) plus extra for sprinkling

zest of one lemon

150gr plain flour

165 ml milk

2 teaspoons baking powder

50gr butter – plus extra for greasing

icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.  Grease a round 25cm oven proof dish and sprinkle base with a little sugar.
  2. Place eggs, sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer till thick and pale.
  3. Add the flour and milk and continue beating till well combined.
  4. Add the baking powder, mix till combined and then add 2/3 of the apples.  Mix well.
  5. Place the cake mixture in the dish and top with the remaining apples.
  6. Dot the top of cake with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Bake for 45min or until skewer withdraws clean.
  8. Serve warm or cold with a dusting of icing sugar.

We sprinkled the top with cinnamon (true to Dutch heritage) and served warm with ice cream.

Great baking effort Lach!  The lemon in the mix gives it a lovely tart taste.

Critique…that’s between the head and sous chefs.

If you ever make home-made pasta (be ready for flour everywhere if you do it with kids) watch Luciana’s video here.  In her book she talks about  the gluten in a pasta dough being like a man.  Needing time to rest…. ahem.

I’ll leave you with this great goco print from here.


2 thoughts on “Holiday Project: Italian Apple Cake

  1. As we get older it takes so much longer to rise back up, contrary to kids who bounce back so easily.
    Metaphorically and Physically :-)

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