Sicilian apple cake

Sicilian apple cake

Elisa Watson

This cake, full of apples, pine nuts and sultanas, also has the Mediterranean flavours of cinnamon, lemon and vanilla. It’s best eaten on the day it’s made and should have an almost custard-like texture between the layers of goodness.


Quantity Ingredient
75g walnuts
1.5kg granny smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
1 lemon, zest
155g pine nuts
5 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla paste
385g caster (superfine) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
160g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
225g plain (all-purpose) flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
150ml milk
180g sultanas (golden raisins)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Place the walnuts in a food processor and pulse, in two-second bursts, until evenly ground.
  3. Grease a 25 cm cake tin generously with butter, then sprinkle the base and sides with the ground walnuts and set aside.
  4. In a bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon zest and juice and set aside.
  5. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and toast the pine nuts, tossing, until lightly brown. Leave to cool.
  6. Combine the eggs, vanilla paste and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together until pale and creamy. Add the melted butter, flour, baking powder and milk, and mix thoroughly.
  7. Pour one-third of the cake batter into the prepared tin, then top with one-third of the apple slices, pine nuts and sultanas.
  8. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, finishing with a layer of apples. Sprinkle the cinnamon and some sugar over the top.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes.
  10. Turn the cake onto a platter and dust with icing sugar before serving.
Jewish cooking
Chicken soup
Yom kippur
Dinner party
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