Soft and Delicious Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl)- torta a le mele, a simple moist dessert, breakfast, or served as an afternoon tea cake. It's made with creamy yogurt, butter, and fresh apples with a bit of cinnamon for spice.
This is a recipe the entire family will love. Every Italian Nonna has a recipe for apple cake, and here is my nonna's recipe for you!
You will also love these easy and simple cakes Soft Italian Chocolate Cake (torta al ciocolato), Easy Italian Pear Cake (Torta di Pere), and Easy Almond Sponge Cake with Italian Cream.
Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl)
After years of making this family recipe, this is a tried and true recipe everyone loves. Italian Apple Cake, also known as Torta di Mele, or torta alle mele is a moist and slightly cake that is perfectly sweetened.
You will also love these Italian desserts- Chiacchiere di Carnevale Recipe (Italian Fried Pastries), Zeppole Recipe (Easy Italian Donuts), and Traditional Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Cake).
Classic Italian Dessert- Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl)
Italian desserts are made with simple ingredients. They aren’t too sweet and make the perfect sweet bite indulgence without the guilt.
Rarely will you see frosting or ice cream served with any authentic Italian cake. Occasionally, you will see a dusting of powdered sugar or cacao and a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
This cake is fluffy, lightly sweetened, and sure to satisfy any sweet tooth craving without leaving you feeling too heavy. Enjoy!
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Eggs (room temperature)
- Pure Vanilla Extract
See the recipe card for quantities.
You likely have all of these ingredients to make this cake today!
How to make Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl) Step by Step
With a few simple steps and only one bowl, you are on your way to enjoying the most delicious Italian apple cake!
When the kids come home from school and the house smells of cinnamon and apples they know what's coming! It is a perfect afternoon snack. It is simple to make and easy to enjoy!
What’s a 'torta di mele'?
Torta di mele is an easy Italian apple cake that my nonna and many other nonnas make all the time! Why everyone loves this recipe:
- It’s light and fluffy and packed full of apple slices.
- There are only a few ingredients and very simple ingredients.
- It only takes 10 minutes to prepare, but it looks and tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen.
- It is always a crowd-pleaser. Who doesn’t like apple cake?
What Apples are Best for Cakes?
- Honeycrisp, the crisp texture is guaranteed to hold firm.
- Pink Lady balanced between sweet and tart. It will retain its distinct shape when used in this cake.
- Granny Smith apples are always a safe bet as far as a baking apple.
- Jonagold tart with a honeyed sweetness; Jonagolds hold up exceptionally well in the oven.
The number of apples changes a bit depending on the size.
- Small apples about 4.
- Medium apples, about 3.
- Large apples, about 2 ½.
Cutting apples for Simple Italian Apple Cake
I love to dice my apples into small pieces. I like to get plenty of apples in every bite, and this gives the best apple-to-cake ratio! You can certainly cut them into slices if you want bigger pieces.
You can also decorate the top with pretty apple slices to show the cake has an apple in it. I sometimes take this extra step when taking it to a neighbor or friend. I use the diced apple pieces to make it just for us at home.
It is also easier for the children to eat it this way since the apples are already cut small. Either way, it is delicious!
The secret to Adding Yogurt to Italian Cakes
What does yogurt do in a cake? Yogurt adds moisture and fat to a cake batter, making the cake moist. A cake baked with yogurt is never dry. It's always so soft, moist, and absolutely delicious. That is one secret to this super moist Italian apple cake.
Another bonus to adding yogurt to cakes is the acidity of the yogurt works with the baking powder to leaven the cake and make it extra tall and super fluffy.
You don't taste the yogurt at all! It is a secret weapon to add moistness and help your cake rise!
Substitutions for this Simple Italian Apple Cake
It depends! Low-fat dairy products are often filled with "junk" to stabilize the texture. As long as the brand of non-fat yogurt doesn't have any fillers, it will work fine. One brand I recommend is Chobani nonfat yogurt as an alternative.
If you are making this simple Italian apple cake gluten-free, you can use this flour, and it will turn out delicious!
Cake pan recommendation
I like to use a springform pan so it is easy to take out the cake. You can use a regular 9.5/10-inch round pan as well.
Make sure to let the cake cool completely after baking and before slicing. It is worth the wait to let the cake set! This cake is even better the next day.
Go ahead... let your guests think you spent all day making this apple cake. It will be your go-to for bringing to a dinner party since it is easy to transport.
Cake Baking Question: Why Do Cakes Sink in the Middle?
Let me explain this to the baking scientist out there who has come up with all the possible reasons why your cake might sink in the middle! This is something that is far too common, and there are a variety of reasons for this baking disaster. These reasons are explained by, Chelsey from this post on ChelSweets:
- UNDER BAKED. The most common reason why cakes sink in the middle is that they're underbaked. If a cake isn't fully baked through, the center doesn't have a chance to set and it will sink. This creates a doughy, dense texture in the center of your cake layer.
- TOO MUCH LEAVENING. Too much leavening agent like baking soda or powder can cause a cake to rise too high too quickly. The gas from the leavening agents builds up and escapes before the cake bakes through in the center.
- This causes the center to collapse and makes your cake layers sink in the middle. Another reason is- the leaving is expired and the cake couldn't rise properly.
- NOT WEIGHING THE FLOUR. A gram is always a gram, but a cup is not always a cup. When in doubt, measure your ingredients by grams to ensure the correct ratios.
- OPENING THE OVEN DOOR. If the oven door is opened and slammed after it’s opened, it can cause partially baked cakes to sink in the middle.
- If the center isn’t set as the oven door is slammed, it can collapse and won’t be able to rise properly again. Opening the oven door will also cause a draft and decrease in the temperature in inside of the oven.
From my cucina to your table... Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)
Made with Amore, Elena
More Italian Desserts you will love
- Kefir Honey Panna Cotta Italian Recipe (Easy)
- Italian Crostata Recipe (Jam filled Tart)
- Easy Almond Sponge Cake with Italian Cream
- Vanilla Cake Roll with Cream and Berries
- Italian Crumble Cake with Jam Filling
- Puff Pastry filled with Italian Cream
- Easy Italian Pear Cake (Torta con le Pere) Easy
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I know you will love this Easy Italian Apple Cake Recipe! It is one we make often at home!
Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.
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Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl)
Easy Italian Apple Cake (torta a le mele), a simple moist dessert, breakfast, or served as an afternoon tea cake. Made with creamy yogurt, butter, and fresh apples with a little cinnamon for spice. This is a recipe the entire family will love. Every Italian Nonna has a recipe for this recipe and here is my nonna's for you!
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- 3 large peeled (if desired) apples, cut into pieces
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons (14 g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon (pinch) kosher salt
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- ½ cup (113 g) butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon (2 g) vanilla extract
- Confectioner sugar for dusting
- Line a 9.5 inch round baking pan with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F
- In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the sugar and eggs until you obtain a creamy and fluffy texture. About 5-8 minutes.
- Stir in the yogurt, butter, and vanilla extract. Use a fork or spatula to combine until smooth (not the electric mixer).
- In a separated bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Stir gently until well combined. Add the apples and mix gently. Place the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean*. If the cake starts to brown too much on top tent with the top with foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- Cool and dust cake with confectioner sugar. If desired, serve with freshly whipped cream. Enjoy!
*The moisture of the apples may vary the cooking time a bit. You may need to add 10 minutes depending on how juicy the apples are.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Sweet
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: apple, cake, easy cake, one bowl cake, yogurt, butter, cinnamon, Italian cake, Italian recipe, apple cake, dessert
Could I make this in a 9x13 dish, maybe if I double the recipe?
Hi! Yes, that will work! I've actually done that and served in squares.
ka yee says
Very easy to make and tastes incredible!!! Looks and tastes like something from a professional bakery!!! Love it, thanks so much!!
Yes! Happy you love it as much as we do. Bonus- it is so easy to make!
Susan Gleave says
I made this for the first time today and it was fantastic! Unfortunately, everyone wanted a second slice, so there weren't any leftovers. I made it with the small Lady of the Snow apples from my little tree and they were perfect. Because the Lady of the Snow are such small apples, I used five (which may have been overkill), but the cake was so delicious I won't hesitate to do it again. Thank you.
I've never tried those apples! They sound delicious. Yes, with our family there aren't any leftovers either!
Jonathan DeFelice says
Easy and Excellent. Used a 9 inch springform pan and 3 Cosmic Crisp apples. Delicious!
Hi Jonathan, happy you loved the recipe. I need to try those apples- I've heard they are amazing.
Probably one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. I likely added too many apples because my baking time took another 20 min almost but no regrets! Apple in ever bite. Will definitely be making it again.
Happy you loved the recipe, Sophia. I love this cake packed with delicious apples. Enjoy!
This was amazing!!! I didn't have all purpose flour on me so instead I used white whole wheat and used about 1.25 cups instead of the full 2 to avoid it from becoming dry. I baked it for around 50 minutes and it's just amazing! probably the best cake I ever made
Hi Sania, happy you loved it. It is a family favorite here too!
Oh my gosh so good! Takes me longer than stated due to food prep but my family and I are now obsessed. I’ve made it three times!!
So happy you loved it! It is a family favorite.
Could you use sour cream instead of yogurt?
Yes, make sure there are no fillers or it will change the consistency. Enjoy.
Andrea DiGiovanni says
I discovered this recipe about a month ago. It has already become a favorite of my friends and family. I have made it 3 times. The ingredients go so well together with a touch of sweetness. This is by far the best tasting cake and can be brought to any occasion.
Andrea- I am thrilled you loved the recipe. It is a family treasure. I hope you can share it with friends and family for years to come.
Easiest and most delicious cake! I love all of Elena's recipes and I'm trying a couple for Thanksgiving dinner.
I'm happy you loved the recipe! I hope to bring many more to your table.
I made this for my family this weekend for dessert and followed your recipe exactly and it was amazing. Definitely a keeper. I didn't have a round cake pan (or spring form pan) so I used a 8 x 8 square glass baking pan and it came out perfectly with the temperature and time listed for baking. So good! Only regret is that I didn't double the recipe so I would have leftovers for the week - the family wiped me out! Next time. Ha. Thanks for sharing.
This is one of our family favorites! No leftovers here either, ha!