Torta di mele is a rich and delicious Italian apple cake. It’s flavored with almonds, honey, lemon, and buttermilk, and pairs perfectly with a shot of espresso and a dollop of whipping cream.
One bite and you’ll feel like you’re watching the sunset over the Mediterranean sea.
This cake is seriously that GOOD.
I’ll confess that this is one of my favorite ways to bake with apples. Sure, I could make apple muffins, cobbler, or pie, but there’s something about this cake. It’s just so easy and delicious. It’s been one of my go-to recipes for years.
Here are a few ways I’ve served torta di mele:
- At a dinner party: It’s a very impressive dinner party dessert. Serve it with a dollop of whipping cream, vanilla ice cream, or whipped mascarpone cheese.
- With coffee: Since this cake isn’t actually that sweet, it’s perfect for brunch or as a tea cake. I love how the flavor pairs with coffee. It’s just right.
- School snack: Provided your school doesn’t have a no-nut rule, this cake is a perfect school snack. Bake it in a square dish, then slice it up in snack-sized squares. I love giving my kids a bit of protein in their lunch treats.
- Gift: One of my friends has a massively productive apple tree in her backyard. Every year she borrows our apple picker, and we always get a few bags of apples in return. One year we got more than just a few bags of apples, so dropping off an apple cake was required!
A Gluten-Free option
I’m actually gluten-free, so I usually make this cake with GF oat flour (which is my favorite to bake with). No need to use a starch-based GF flour mix with this recipe. Here’s how to get a flavourful and delicious cake with gluten-free flour:
- Replace the flour with whole grain gluten-free flour. The eggs and almond flour are sufficient to give this cake a good structure and texture.
- Mix the flour and the buttermilk together prior to making the cake. Let the flour soak for at least 15 minutes. If you like to use fully soaked and fermented grains, let the mixture ferment for up to 24 hours.
- Follow the rest of the recipe as written.
Torta di Mele
Torta di mele is a rich and delicious Italian apple cake. This version is made with ground almonds, honey, and lemon for a flavorful treat. See the section above for making a gluten-free cake!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6-8 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lemon, zested (add the zest, not the juice)
- 2 apples
- Preheat the oven at 350 F (180 C).
- Following the muffin method, mix the cake batter together (leaving the apples aside).
- Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples.
- Pour half cake batter into a prepared 8-inch cake pan. Cover the cake batter with half of the apples arranged in a thin layer.
- Pour the remaining cake mixture on top. Then decorate the top with the remaining apples.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake is finished when a cake tester comes out clean and the apples are browning.
- This recipe works with either gluten-free flour or wheat flour. See the section above for converting this into a gluten-free recipe.
- Though this recipe calls for buttermilk, you could use milk kefir, sour cream, or plain yogurt.
- If the cake is not sweet enough, dust with icing sugar prior to serving.
Keywords: apple, gluten free, honey, refined sugar free, tea, coffee, soaked, prefermented, healthy, simple, summer, fall, winter, cake