This vegan apple cake is inspired by Italian torta di mele. It’s simple and elegant, yet very easy to decorate and prepare. A perfect treat for autumn tea time or dessert!
Like many people, I associate autumn and the holiday season with apple pie. Yet cake is my one true dessert.
But I’ve never made a simple apple cake, and it’s time for that to change.
This lovely autumn dessert is my tribute to torta di mele, a classic Italian treat that’s decorated with apple slices. The apples are pushed into the batter from the top, which creates a lovely pattern.
This recipe is also my tribute to La Cucina Italiana, a digital and print publication that celebrates Italian cuisine and a love of Italian culture.
The online site features many healthy Italian recipes. When I was asked whether I’d like to contribute a vegan dish, it was an easy yes! I love Italian food, and I haven’t made too many traditional Italian desserts at home.
Oftentimes, when I make desserts with apple, I go heavy on cinnamon, clove, and other holiday baking spices.
When I was reading up on torta di mele, I learned that the cake itself is usually very simple, with lemon zest as the main flavor note. I tried to honor that here, using the same cake batter formula that has become the base of nearly all of my cakes and the zest and juice of a large lemon.
Many torta di mele recipes have a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top. Hilariously, I ran out to the grocery store in driving rain to get some when I photographed this recipe.
But, once the cake was made, I thought that the top looked too pretty to tamper with at all. You can use some decorative sugar if you like, or you can leave it “naked,” as I did. Here’s the recipe.
I’m always looking to learn more about foods from around the world. Italian cuisine is more familiar to me than most, since half of my family is from the Mediterranean, but I’m not an expert, and I’m always eager to discover more traditional recipes.
I’m enjoying perusing the healthy Italian recipes on La Cucina Italiana, and I hope I can continue to get inspiration there for both dinner and dessert.
In the meantime, I’m savoring slices of this simple autumn cake with the Italian roast coffee that friends gave to me this past summer. It’s a new favorite, exactly the kind of treat I love, and I hope some of you will love it, too.
Happy Hump Day, friends. I’ll see you this weekend for the usual roundup!