Make Ahead

Rum Apple Cake

June  8, 2021
17 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

The first time I made this was when I had an overabundance of apples from an apple picking trip. I was determined to make something with more apples and less bread. This is also excellent with brandy or calvados instead of rum. This comes out wonderfully crumbly and tender, although make sure to allow enough cooling time otherwise the cake may fall apart to much to slice. Serving this with a your favorite ice cream, gelato or whipped cream is essential! —colombedujour

Test Kitchen Notes

When we tasted colombedujour's apple cake, our first thought was: this is an apple cake for grownups. Rich and buttery, delightfully boozy and chock full of tender apple pieces, this cake is a sophisticated ending to a fall meal. The recipe calls for ground almonds instead of flour (we tried regular and blanched almonds, and both were good). Maple sugar, which has the same molasses tones as brown sugar, is drier and helps keep the cake from being soggy. Folding whipped egg whites into the batter (a technique that reminded us of making French macaroons) keeps it from being too dense. We used both an 8-inch and a 9-inch springform and found we liked the results with the 9-inch better. If you do use an 8-inch pan, you may want to cook the cake for a bit longer than suggested so that the fruit is tender throughout. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar (you may substitute cane sugar or muscovado is great)
  • 6 ounces butter
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Rum, Brandy or Calvados
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Butter an 8-inch spring form cake pan with a removable base.
  2. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut 2 of the quarters into thin slices, toss in a bowl with a splash of lemon juice and set aside.
  3. Slice the remaining apple quarters more thickly into cubes. In another bowl, toss with a splash of lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon maple sugar and set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Cream the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and then incorporate the ground almonds and baking powder, working the mixture as little as possible to keep it light. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  5. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold half into the cake mixture and then fold in the remainder. Add the rum, and any juice given out by the thicker chunks of apple. Gently fold the chunks into the mixture. Transfer to the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface.
  6. Drain the reserved finely sliced apple and arrange on top of the cake, fanning out the apple slices in a circle. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and leave it to cool for several hours before serving. If you'd like to serve it warm you may reheat it. It keeps well in a covered container and can be reheated to serve warm later. Dust the cake with confectioner's sugar and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Good Dinner Mom
    Good Dinner Mom
  • Ms. T
    Ms. T
  • CTBaker
  • drbabs
  • dymnyno

25 Reviews

Baking 2. April 30, 2023
L try making your apple rum cake did everything you send but didn’t come out right please use video so we can see when making recipes
Thank you
Good D. November 4, 2021
The picture for this cake was so lovely and with it being the winner for "Your best cake", I had high expectations. I should've read the reviews here first as my recipe also reads 'ground almonds', not almond flour. Not only did this become a fail in texture due to this error, the pretty apple slices that I placed on top sunk down under the crust so were invisible. We were also disappointed in the lack of rum flavor in this cake, almost non-existent.
Gizell October 20, 2021
I just made this as currently posted (10-20-2021) listing ground almonds. I wondered about the absence of flour and ground my almonds with 2 T of the sugar to get a finer grind without making a paste. The bottom of my oven is covered in butter and apple juice.
So what is to be used ?? Almond flour which I did have or ground almonds? Please correct the recipe if still in error
Lgwild April 18, 2020
Would someone let me know how much Almond flour or all flours how much to use? I see ground almonds but that is not “Almond Flour”? Thank you.
Smoothiesrule April 18, 2020
1 1/3 cups almond flour. try deleting all your internet history so you don’t get the cached version of the recipe. It now shows the almond flour.
Melanie H. October 21, 2021
Mine still says ground almonds. 10/21/21
Lgwild September 21, 2019
The ingredients is missing the “cake mix” or dry ingredients that makes up the cake mix. This made the directions very hard to follow and some folks who are not bakers may not know what to do or worse yet not have added any dry ingredients.
Smoothiesrule April 15, 2020
The version I see lists almond flour. Was that missing when you made it? That would be an oops.
Lgwild April 18, 2020
Hi gosh I know I sound crazy but the almond flour is not in the list I see on this site. I wish I could post a picture, here is the list I see:
Ingredients send grocery list
2 Granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
3/4 cup maple sugar (you may substitute cane sugar or muscovado is great)
6 ounces butter
3 organic eggs
1 1/3 cups ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Rum, Brandy or Calvados
1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
Smoothiesrule April 18, 2020
Ingredients send grocery list
2 Granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
3/4 cup maple sugar (you may substitute cane sugar or muscovado is great)
6 ounces butter
3 organic eggs
1 1/3 cups ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Rum, Brandy or Calvados
1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
Lisa November 2, 2015
Mine came out looking beautiful, but very mushy as well. When I tried remove it from the spring form after cooling down a bit, it all crumbling apart, very disappointing. Can you provide some tips on how to keep it intact after baking?
Ms. T. September 24, 2012
Made this yesterday to bring to a dinner party and it was fabulous! I was looking for new ideas on how to use up the apples from our tree--we've got a bumper crop this year--when I stumbled upon this delightful recipe. And I totally lucked out when I discovered (after I'd chosen the recipe) that the hostess is on a gluten-free diet.

My only issue was that it was a little too moist/mushy in the center. Next time, I'll try leaving it in the oven a little longer and/or turning up the heat a touch. But it was still delicious, so thanks for sharing!
Carlynn H. November 5, 2011
I tried to print this recipe and ended up with 20 pages of graphics from the site. But I don't want to bring my computer into the kitchen! Is there not a function to print a one-page recipe?
Ghazzzit November 5, 2011
Hi Carlynn, if you click the small gray printer icon to the left of the recipe photos (it's right under the "like" and "tweet" buttons), you'll get just the recipe to print. Don't use the print button on your actual browser, it will always print everything viewable on the site.
CTBaker November 22, 2010
this recipe didn't work for me. followed exactly. i took it out when the tester came out clean after allotted time, but it was mushy inside. don't know why. also, it didn't look anywhere near as pretty as the one pictured! like another person commented, the apples in the middle sunk leaving the top plain. i'll try one more time but not sure what i could do different!
ohyoucook November 19, 2010
No flour? I'm making this cake for Passover ... if not sooner! Thanks for posting. Was this cake really entered in the soup category? I guess if it wasn't baked ...
drbabs September 6, 2010
I made this for the 2nd time for a dinner party this past weekend. Since my mixer has only one bowl, I beat the egg whites first (A little salt helps them stiffen up.), put them into another bowl, and then creamed the butter and sugar in the mixer. Also, for some reason, the apple slices on the top mostly baked into the cake. They didn't do that the first time I made it, and I suspect that my slices were a little too thin. But I love this cake! And can't wait to make it again.
dymnyno May 20, 2010
I am not sure what this apple cake is doing in the soup contest but I never noticed it before and it sounds amazing.
nymangosteen February 24, 2010
I made this cake today with hazelnuts instead of almonds, because I am slightly allergic to almonds. It was fantastic! Also, instead of Granny Smiths I used Braeburn Apples, and added an extra tablespoon (and splash or so) of rum. It's lovely to eat a flourless cake that is not a chocolate flourless cake! It was very special.
nymangosteen February 20, 2010
is it possible to use something other than almonds for this recipe?
MoiraDetroit October 24, 2009
I was disappointed with this recipe. The promise of apples, rum, and maple sugar was very enticing, but the cake turned out to be a waste of time and ingredients.

It looks and smells great, but the apples, rum and maple flavors are all lost in the butter and almonds. It's a rich, crumbly cake, but muted in flavor, and not sweet - kind of like a rich almond bread. Maybe if the amount of butter was reduced, and the apples and maple sugar increased this would be better.
luvcookbooks October 5, 2009
pretty AND delicious looking!!
santa October 4, 2009
Since I am a celiac and a boozer, I voting gor thid one.
Chef G. October 4, 2009
I think I am going to have to vote for this one for 2 reasons. One, the apple decoration looks like a sun, and I live in sunny Arizona (and we have some nice apple farmers, too.) Two, I like the word "boozy." And I like to eat boozy desserts even better than I like the word "boozy."
ouidzyn October 4, 2009
This is an amazing cake...even better that it has no sugar and no flour for those of us who cannot or do not want to consume either! I vote for this one.