Rustic apple cake | torte de mele

rustic apple cake
Slice into a soft torte de mele with real apple bites that can b put together with the simplicity of the pantry ingredients. This Italian-style rustic apple cake is an absolute baking beginner recipe, yet even in the hands of a professional turns out perfect each time.
I do find that a well-made apple cake is overburdened with cinnamon and vanilla that it loses its identity as a fragrant fruit! It is this basic Italian home-maker-style recipe that put me back on track with the apple that shines.

Torta de mele

Like most joint families, Italian families have an expert nonna who just puts basic pantry ingredients in a bowl and when baked it becomes special thanks to the secret ingredient, love. Whenever I bake this rustic apple cake, this is all that I think of! It is all about the apples, the butter and the flour. That is the magical ingredient to transform into the softest cake. If you don’t believe me… try it.

Father’s day treat

When I think of a cake for my father, I don’t think of layers of cream or elaborate assembled ones. What he enjoys the best are simple basics. He loves travelling, yet at tea time looks for a bite to have with his cup of tea. So a teatime style cake is what I would bake for him. Since this rustic apple cake is one that he will enjoy, it is my always-to-be Father’s Day treat.

Which apples are best for baking this cake?

The firm apples let out the juices the moment they touch heat. Hence for baking you need a type of apple that will hold its shape even when it is going heated without making the batter runny. Honey gold, gala, and granny smith varieties are found to be better at bakes than the red, Fuji or pink lady. For today’s bake, I have chosen gala apples. The granny smith certainly is crisper, but has a slightly tart flavour and hence I avoid using it in this sweet cake.

Ingredients  to make this rustic apple cake

Apples: Choose from apples to use in this recipe. Wash, peel and core the apples. Slice some thin for the top and chop the rest. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on this to prevent browning.
Wet ingredients
Eggs: The egg is the best binder in this recipe. I have baked this egg with an egg replacer as well and it comes out good. Make sure the egg for baking is best at room temperature. 
Milk: sometimes eggs aren’t enough to provide the liquid batter. So a bit of milk helps through easy mixing and smoothening the batter.
Sugar: usually white sugar or unrefined sugar is enough to make this cake. As the cake is an easy mix and has lots of sweet apples not a lot of sugar is needed.
Salt: a pinch of salt always make the best desserts. This brings forth the sweetness of the apples.
Butter: since we use melted butter for this recipe there is no creaming or heavy whisking needed to combine the wet ingredients. It is practically a mix-and-dump cake and so perfect for beginners.

Dry ingredients

Flour: I have used whole wheat flour. This is the regular baking style whole wheat flour and not atta ( used for chappati)
Lemon zest: Lemon zest brightens the flavours of this cake. I love the fragrance it gives as you rub it into the dry flour.
Baking soda and baking powder: for the perfect rise of the cake add new baking soda and baking powder.
Pinenuts: Toasted pinenuts give a delightful nutty bite to the cake. 
Icing sugar: I like to dust a bit of icing sugar on top once the cake cools down. This is totally up to you. 

Let’s get baking

Prepping the baking dish: Traditionally, Torte de mele is baked in a round baking pan. grease the pan and line the base with some baking paper. 
Preheat the oven: get the oven heated up to 180 degrees for about 10 minutes. When the cake is placed in this warm oven the baking powder and baking soda are activated causing the rise of the cake.
Get the cake batter together: Whisk the wet ingredients together and combine them with the dry ones. then add in the apples chopped and mix the batter well. You don’t have to have any equipment to do this s just a big bowl and spatula will do.
Baking: the cake is baked in a preheated 180-degree oven. You may have to pre-calibrate the oven to help you understand the temperatures a bit better. I have used a round pan, if using a bundt pan, the cooking time will slightly reduce. The batter in the round pan should only be halfway up to ensure it cooks evenly.
Cooling and slicing: Once the cake comes out of the oven rest it for at least 30 minutes. This is to allow the cooked apple slices to cool before cutting so they do not turn mushy. Just before slicing sprinkle some icing sugar on top for that old-time bakery looks. 


Rustic apple cake

Slice into a soft torte de mele with real apple bites that can b put together with the simplicity of the pantry ingredients. This Italian-style rustic apple cake is an absolute baking beginner recipe, yet even in the hands of a professional turns out perfect each time.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
cooling time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Desserts, Snacks, Sweets and savories
Cuisine American, Baby toddler food, Baking, International, Kids choice, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 12 slices


  • cake mould 8 inch round.
  • mixing bowls and spoons.


Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour baking variety.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 large egg or flax eggs

other ingredients

  • 4 medium apples roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small apple sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice.


  • 2 tbsp pinenuts to add to the batter.
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar for dusting.


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Grease an 8-inch round cake pan and dust it with flour. Set it aside.
  • Peel, core and chop the apples.
  • Toss in with the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • Slice the apples for the top and coat them wih lemon juice too.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together and set aside in a bowl.
  • Gently rub the lemon zest into the dry flour to release the fragnace.
  • Whisk the wet ingredients together till combined.
  • Add the wet mix to the dry and combine gently.
  • Add in the apple chopped and mix gently to spread evenly.
  • Pour batter into the prepared cake tin.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  • Check with a skewer for doneness. Sometimes the batter may need another 5 minutes in the cetre.
  • Remove and cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
  • Unmould by loosening the sides with a knife.
  • The torte de mele is now ready to be sliced.
    rustic apple cake


This is a dense batter and swell by absorbing the moisture from the apples.
It also bakes slowly. If you feel the top is getting browned faster cover with an foil which has slits for steam to pass.
You can use any type of apples depending on your preference.
Keyword christmas recipes, Winter warmers
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Meal prep with torta de mele

The torta de mele stays great for a week in the refrigerator. Save it in a closed container and slice it as you go to prevent drying. I haven’t tried freezing this cake, if you have successfully done so, let us know in the comments.

Setting up an afternoon tea

The meal that is eaten between 3 to 5 pm consisting of mainly tea and snacks is afternoon tea. Since the setting for this tea is easier and usually set outdoors during the better weather, this is what we are planning for the day. A selection of tea is the first one to sort out. You can have a tea box with an assortment of black, fruit or other infusions or have a couple of pots of tea set up. My favourite to do is to set up 3 types of tea to choose
Classic masala tea
The lighter Assam tea and
Hibiscus tea.
For smaller bites, you can have some cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches or a simple tomato cheese one.
The main attraction is the desserts anyway. Slice up this rustic apple cake and add some fairy cakes. Keep some sweet whipped cream or a basic vanilla ice cream to have with the cakes. Individual shot cups of chocolate mousse or mango custard also look great for afternoon tea. You can also pop in a couple of cookies onto the tray for a variety.
Enjoy your tea!

Stay connected

As we slice this simple apple cake, I wish my father and mother would travel to be with us so I can bake these delicacies for them. However, some decisions remain wishes!
Enjoy making this cake and hopefully, you will share it with your dad for this fathers day. Let us know how the bake came out and rate this recipe as you make it. Subscribe or stay in touch through Instagram or Facebook to see our updates.
Happy Father’s Day!
See you later
Rustic apple cake


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Poonam Bachhav
6 years ago

This looks so delicious !

Mayuri Patel
11 months ago
Rating :

Love this rustic looking apple cake, perfect for tea time. I decided to bake it for dessert and everyone loved it. A few enjoyed it with custard but most had it on its own. I replaced the egg replacer with 1/4 cup thick yogurt and it worked well. Thanks for this lovely recipe.

11 months ago
Rating :

It is very true that some things taste best in their simplicity. I have made apple cakes with flavors of cinnamon and zest. This evening I tried this rustic cake using flax egg. It came out quite well.

11 months ago
Rating :

My Dad used to pamper us silly with bakery cakes, but I bet he would have loved this tea time Rustic cake with apple and no toppings with his afternoon cuppa

11 months ago
Rating :

I love this rustic apple cake, it is simple and easy to make and taste mein best. This delicious classic bake will make an excellent treat for our party this weekend. Thank, Seema.

Priya Vj
11 months ago
Rating :

Ŵhat a delicious and wonderful way to celebrate Father’s day with this rustic apple cake !
A quaint corner with some hot tea and exclusive daddy daughter time will add so much more flavor and happiness to this cake 🙂

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