Torta di Mele (Apple Cake)

Torta di Mele (Apple Cake)

Apples are the star of the show in this lightly sweetened Italian cake. A perfect dessert for fall when apples are at their best. 

I was sent a copy of A Family Farm in Tuscany to review. I was excited to review it because I fell in love with Tuscany when we had the pleasure of visiting a few years ago. It really is a magically land. San Gimignano was one of our favorite hill towns. It’s almost like taking a step back in time.

Sarah Fioroini, the author, is also chef, cooking instructor, sommelier, and manager of their family farm near historic Sam Gimignano. They host guests from all over the world in their quaint farm house. We ate amazing food when we were in Tuscany and I’m looking forward to going back one day.  Maybe we can even stay at Fattoria Poggio Alloro and take a cooking lesson or two.

In addition to the delicious seasonal recipes, it’s also a delightful book to read. She details the history of the family and the San Gimignano area. The book captures the beauty of Tuscany, so it’s a feast for the eyes as well. A perfect coffee table book when it’s not with you in the kitchen.

This cake is not loaded with sugar nor fat. It lets the apples shine through. Sarah recommends using apples with a soft flesh, such as Golden Delicious apples. I decided to add a simple cinnamon glaze to sweeten it up for my crowd, but I hated hiding that gorgeous golden brown color.

Torta di Mele (Apple Cake)

Torta di Mele (Apple Cake)


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespooons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 medium apples, about 1 3/4 pounds, peeled, cored and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon water


Preheat oven to 350º. Butter and flour an 8-inch springform pan, tapping the pan to remove excess flour; set aside. (I used a 9-inch springform pan and sprayed the pan with cooking spray with flour.)

Combine the eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium-high speed for 5 minutes, or until pale lemon yellow in color and thickened. Gradually add the flour, milk, and butter stopping to scrape down sides of bowl after each addition. Beat at low speed until each ingredients is blended, then increase speed to medium high and beat for 3 minutes. Add the baking powder and vanilla and beat an additional 2 minutes to blend well.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the apple slices vertically, with the core side down, in concentric circles in the batter, beginning with the outside edge of the pan and continuing to the center. The arrangement of the apples should resemble a rose in full bloom.

Bake in preheated oven for about 50 minutes (mine was done in about 40 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and apples are lightly browned.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan.

While cake is cooling, whisk together powdered sugar, cinnamon and water to create a thin glaze.

Remove the sides of the springform pan and drizzle cake with glaze.

Serve warm if desired.


slightly adapted from A Family Farm in Tuscany

If you’re interested in reading about our trip to Italy for our 30th wedding anniversary, I posted a trip report on Fodors.

More apple recipes you might like:

Baked Apple Cinnamon Sugar Donuts, Barbara Bakes
Cinnamon Apple Candy Cane Kolache with Cinnamon Drizzle, Barbara Bakes
Apple Pie Popovers, Doughmesstic
Loaded Apple Cider Oatmeal Muffins, How Sweet It Is
30 Apple Cider Recipes for Fall, Amanda’s Cookin’

Cooking With Chopin, Living With Elmo is hosting a World Tour Blog Hop October 29th through November 2nd featuring recipes from A Family Farm in Tuscany.

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. DORIS says

    Would you be able to make this in a regular pan(not springform) since I do not have a springform pan? If what kind and how long to bake. Looks delish, by the way, and looking forward to trying it. Thanks for the recipes.

  2. Anne says

    I just wanted the recipe not the whole list of comments!!!! I am still trying to, print! What is the problem????

  3. says

    Gorgeous! Funny, I just made an apple cake today and yours is like we love it – not too sweet. I’ll put this one next on my list; a not-too-sweet apple cake is my husband’s favorite breakfast/snack/dessert treat!

  4. says

    Love your cake, it turned out beautifully. This cookbook really is stunning. I’ve made a half dozen of the recipes so far and have loved every single one of them.

  5. says

    This looks fantastic Barbara! It reminds me of a tart I had in Spain that I can’t get out of my mind and I can’t quite replicate either. What a cherished and delicious memory.

  6. says

    This cookbook as well as the cake look lovely Barbara. In fact I was looking for a new apple recipe as I got few granny smiths here. Now that I got the power back I should hurry and bake before it goes out again! :)

  7. says

    I made an Italian apple cake last year and it was similar to this but the recipe was add a bit of batter and a row of apples, more batter, another row of apples and finally the top later. It was delicious. The recipe I had said not to peel the apples but I would have liked it better with peeled apples. I’m definitely going to try this.

  8. says

    What a beautiful cake. I think you perfected it with the glaze.

    I’m lucky enough to have been to San Gimignano twice and I loved it. My now husband and I actually had lunch on our 5th anniversary at that very restaurant where your husband (?) is sitting!!

  9. says

    Happy to be a part of the blog tour with you! This cake was one that I had considered making as well. I was so impressed with the recipes and how simple they were. Simple but so good! I think your glaze it applied perfectly and makes it even prettier-great job.

  10. Kathy says

    Barbara – Thank you so much for taking the time to review the book and make that glorious apple cake. I love the drizzle you added. That’s what makes cooking so much fun. Sarah and I are so excited about this blog tour. Thank you for participating!

  11. says

    I had to laugh that the first two blogs (yours and mine) participating in this book review decided to make the same recipe. It must show how delicious it is! Your photos are beautiful and it looks like your cake came out wonderful! :)

  12. Ginny says

    Barbara: This cake is absolutely gorgeous. I love that the icing glaze looks like lace. Thank you for participating in the book tour!