Easiest Apple Cake Without Eggs

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If you know how to peel and grate apples, you know how to make this easiest eggless apple cake in the world. By “easy” I not only mean the baking and preparation process, but also the recipe which stays instantly engraved in your memory.  Since it doesn’t require any eggs, it is very convenient too. Accidentally, this is also one of the most palatable fruit cakes I know and quite an original one, since it contains semolina and is divided into layers. The upper flaky, crunchy and buttery layer creates a very interesting contrast with the other layers softened by the apple juice produced during the baking process.

This recipe has been “sleeping” for many years in my old notebook until I finally dug it out when, seeing Mr. Three-Cookies baking the hundredth semolina cake or cookie (Three-Cookies blog), I remembered a semolina apple cake I used to make many years ago. Thus, thanks to Mr. Three-Cookies, a very exceptional recipe was brought back to life.

If you have bland apples, you can combine them with cinnamon, vanilla or whatever spice you prefer. I had very good King of the Pippins, so I decided to leave them as they are. You might also add some sugar to the grated apples if you like very sweet cakes or if your apples are sour.

(This is the first recipe with several ingredients measured in cups. Somehow, for once it proved much easier, even for me. My measuring cup has 250 ml.)

Preparation: 1 h 30

Ingredients:

1,5 kg apples (or even 2 kg if you want the fruit to dominate your cake)

1 cup semolina

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1,5 heaped teaspoon baking powder

70- 100 g butter

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Peel the apples and grate them on a vegetable grater (I do this in a food processor).

Combine the flour, the semolina, the salt, the baking powder and the sugar, stirring well with a spoon.

Grease a baking dish (the smaller it is the higher the cake will be, the minimum diameter is 20 cm).

Put 1/3 of the dough mixture into the dish.

Cover with half of the grated apples (or less, if you want to create a thinner and a thicker layer, like I did).

Put another 1/3 of the dough.

Cover with the remaining apples.

Sprinkle the rest of the dough mixture.

Cover the top of the cake with thin butter slices, so that it covers the whole surface.

Bake until golden.

Serve warm or cold.

60 thoughts on “Easiest Apple Cake Without Eggs

  1. Mr. Three-Cookies

    This recipe looks incredible. There is no milk, I guess the intention is that the apple juice and melted butter would combine with the crumble mixture. Also no butter goes in the crumble, all of it is placed on top. Right? I will attempt this for sure.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Mr. Three-Cookies! And thank you for reminding me -unconsciously – that I had this recipe! I’m so happy to have found it that I made it already twice in a row. The upper layer is made crunchy and slightly softened by the butter and the remaining layers are only softened, by the apple juice (this cake doesn’t work for example with ready to use apple sauce because fresh apples have to give their juice to the dough).

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Karen. I have just looked up on orange pippin photos. It looks similar to king of the pippins I used here, so I’m sure it would be great. Thanks for making me discover a new variety (I hope to taste it one day!).

  2. Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar Trips

    you had me at “buttery”

    I have never had or even heard of “King of Pippins” apples, WOW. And here I thought this was the apple capital of the world! Now I’m wondering what other delicious apples I am missing out on!

    This recipe sounds divine, and completely different from the traditional apple cake I make. I am going to have to give this a try!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Jessica. From what I read about the orange pippin Karen has just mentioned, and looking at its photos, I think king of the pippins is a very close variety. Maybe this one is available where you live?

  3. Jeno @ Week Nite Meals

    Sissi, it’s amazing how many recipes of baked goodies are stored on your blog, yet you keep on coming up with new ones! The layers of this apple cake makes it look so wonderful, I can imagine the different textures while biting into the cake, YUM! BTW I had no idea what semolina is, had to look it up on Google. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned about food through your postings!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Jeno for so many compliments! I am really flattered 🙂
      Semolina is a very magic thing: if you put it into a cake mixture, it swells when in contact with liquids (here butter or apple juice) and somehow keeps the dough together. I also use a bit of semolina in my cheesecake (baked) to make sure it keeps well together but without making it heavier or adding to much fat.

  4. shuhan

    wow this is amazing! there’s no egg and milk at all, and everything is just 1 cup! and it looks so impressive with the multi-layers. definitely bookmarking.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you Shuhan. It’s a magic cake: no eggs, no mixing, kneading, weighing ingredients… Even if you don’t have the exact measuring cup it’s not important: everything should just fit into the same big mug 😉

  5. Caroline

    Oh how I love when ‘easy’ and ‘pie’ fit into the same sentence. Puts a big smile on my face! Never heard of those kind of apples, but it sure sounds like they’re delicious. That pie is gorgeous, Sissi. xx

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Caroline. This is a very good cooking and preserving apple variety, but any variety which is not bland would be perfect here.

  6. Kelly

    You know everytime I hear the words palatable and easy in the same sentence, I get all excited 🙂 This is so for moi!!! Love apples, check. Know how to peel and grate, check. Dig fall seasonings, check. Am all about ease and convenience, check, check.

    And, I must say, your cake looks rather deliciously moist, en plus!!

    (p.s. made your soy sauce chicken *again* this week – talk about delicious simplicity).

    Have a great weekend Sissi!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Kelly, my favourite recipes are easy and delicious because I am very lazy… This is a very moist cake indeed. I am so happy you are not bored with the shoyu chicken yet! Thank you for your feedback. Have a lovely weekend too!

  7. Charles

    You know, I’m starting to wonder whether this King of Pippins apple isn’t the same one I’ve longed for. I don’t think it is – the skin seems too streaky, but the way you speak of it makes me (to speak all old fashioned) *YEARN* to try it 🙂 Still haven’t been able to find it – I’ll try to check it out at the market. I feel it’s so hyped up now though… I hope I don’t end up being disappointed by the taste 😀

    To the recipe – I love apple cakes, and the fact that this is in layers makes it look SO pretty. I’d definitely add cinnamon I think because cinnamon and apple cake is just a dream for me – so wonderful. This sounds so simple too – perfect to have with a nice cup of coffee 🙂

    1. Sissi Post author

      Charles, from Karen’s comment and the photos I looked at on internet, I think maybe the apples you think about are cox orange pippins? They are very similar visually at least, but I have never had them so cannot say if the taste is similar too. I love old-fashioned English expressions (remember, I love reading Clarissa D. Wright; her two autobiographical books are full of old-fashioned words and humour and it is such a pleasure for a foreigner!).
      You might be disappointed by this apple. For me it’s a bit too floury to be eaten raw (but maybe mine are always too ripe? I always hate ripe pear for example).
      I always add some spices to apples apart from… king of the pippins which is too good to be altered by any spice.
      It is really I think the simplest of all the cakes I make (maybe apart from the flourless chocolate cake).

      1. Karen (Back Road Journal)

        I decided to pop back in on the apple discussion. Cox’s Orange Pippin is considered the finest of all dessert apples in England. The King of Pippins is very similar. There is a third apple, Allington Pippin, which is a cross of the Cox and the King. All three apples have pronounced flavors. Hope that helps. Having a hundred different varieties in my orchard, I can tell you to try as many different varieties as possible…they all very different in flavors.

        1. Sissi Post author

          Thank you Karen, for this precious comment. Charles’ favourite apple variety might be Cox’ Orange Pippin then. Hundred varieties sound like an apple paradise on earth!

  8. ping

    I like this method of cake making. No beating, no stirring of batter. Layer, dollop and bake. And it comes out so perfect! I suppose I could substitute the apples with some other juicy fruit? I noticed you mentioned the juice is important here to get the dry mixture nice and gooey to hold together.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Ping. Since it’s not my recipe (I don’t remember where I got it from), I can say I love no beating, no kneading, no mixing too!
      You can substitute it with pears too! (I do it sometimes). Pears are perfect too. Only use fresh fruit, not fruit sauce etc.

    1. Sissi Post author

      It will be probably the easiest cake you have ever made. Yours are always so elaborate and complicated!

      1. Zsuzsa

        Sissi, as you already know I made it and shared it with a friend. I just received an e mail from her. I am sharing it, because I think this is more for you than for me. She writes:

        “I really liked the cake. I liked its moistness, its fresh apple flavour and the crispyness of the top offset the moistness of the cake. Granted whipping cream would add to its deliciousness but then it would add to anything (almost). I really enjoyed it as it was. My stomach thanks you.”

        1. Sissi Post author

          Zsuzsa, can you imagine how great it feels to wake up and have my morning coffee while reading such a moving message from you? Thank you for this touching gesture. I am so happy you friend liked the cake so much. She seems to be a real gourmet 😉 You both have just put a big smile on my face and I don’t think it will go away soon 🙂

  9. Cooking gallery

    I LOVE apple cakes! I am actually very choosy when it comes to dessert, I normally just eat something with chocolate, no nuts, no berries, etc ;). But apple cake is one of the few cakes which I really like besides chocolate cake or the beautiful German cake ‘Streuselkuchen’ (I don’t know what it is called in English). Your apple cake looks just like the kind of apple cake that I like to eat, even though I’ve never tried apple cakes with semolina (and I think the apple cakes I have eaten so far always contain eggs). I love how simple the recipe sounds. It’s on my list to try (but first of all I have to find out where I can get semolina around here…!)

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, CG. I hate heavy and/or dry fruit cakes, so I can assure you this one is light and moist. I think semolina is available all around Europe. I think I have seen a German kind of gnocchi shaped (similar to gnocchi) dumplings served in a soup and made with semolina.

  10. Arudhi@Aboxofkitchen

    Sissi, I want this cake!! It seems very easy and fun to make! Oh I`ll definitely get some apples from the store tomorrow. I don`t have the semolina in my kitchen and have never used it before, but next time I find it somewhere, I won`t hesitate to buy it. Thank you for the recipe, Sissi! You`re an angel!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Arudhi. You are completely right: it is extremely easy! I hope you can find semolina. Good luck and thank you for the kind words!

  11. Linda

    This is a wonderful cake and I like the simplicity of the ingredients. My mother always made an apple cake so this immediately brought back some memories and my wanting to try to find it! I like this too as you didn’t overwhelm it with spices allowing the true apple flavor to shine. The presentation of layers is lovely!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Linda. I never put spices when apples have a strong pleasant aroma. I do add them with all the “ordinary” ones though.

  12. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I learned about semolina after I started blogging and until then I’ve never paid attention to that ingredient. It looks like a lot of people use it but I’ve never tasted (I think) or bought before. This apple cake is very tall and looks delicious. I like how recipe is simple and approachable. 🙂

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Nami! I thought about you when starting to write this post because you still want us to believe you are not a skilled baker (the last matcha cookies confirm the opposite though!). This cake is completely foolproof and can easily be made even with children. Especially if you grate the apples in a food processor. Semolina is a bit like polenta, but made with wheat. It works as a binder instead of eggs. I also use it sometimes with savoury recipes instead of eggs. I must post one soon. I hope you can buy it and try.

    1. Sissi Post author

      I’m sorry, Sportsglutton, it was finished several days ago 🙁 Strangely, the cake disappeared quite quickly.

  13. Martyna@WholesomeCook

    Wowsers, I’m all into Polish apple pie and this looks like a perfect recipe for a vegan version (I’m guessing the butter can be substituted by dairy-free spread. Looks so moist and yummy! Breakfast cake!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much! I haven’t thought about the vegan side. The butter taste is absolutely fantastic, so maybe for a vegan version some aromatic oil would be better? (I have no idea though if the consistency would be right).

  14. Sara

    I rarely make apple cakes, I guess the tradition of apple pie is too ingrained. But I always like them when I do, and this looks like fun!

  15. mai

    This cake sounds delicious and interesting. Is the ‘dough’ the dry flour mixture which is moistened by the apples while baking? And the butter only goes on the top? So the dough is simply sprinkled in between layers?
    Thank you!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Mai! I hope my email answer is helpful! Good luck with baking and thank you for visiting.

  16. Helen Smith

    Sissi, I have made your beautiful cake and my husband and I absolutely loved it. I used all the remaining apples from the garden, which are a dual function eater/ cooker, and the result was impressive —crisp top, moist and gooey layers of apple. It is a recipe I shall use over and over again, especially when I want to impress, and maybe add cream occasionally when we feel decadent

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Helen, for this kind comment and for having trusted my recipe. I’m so happy to learn you have enjoyed this cake! I am sure it would taste great with cream! I appreciate a lot your visit and this comment. Such messages make my blogging a magic experience.

  17. Pei

    Hi Sissi, I was just wondering if it is possible to substitute the semolina with polenta? Thought they are quite similar but I’m not sure if they can be substituted with each other in baking. I have some polenta at hand and can’t wait to try this!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Hi, Pei. Since the texture is similar, you can substitute it with polenta, but of course the cake will taste a bit like corn bread maybe. On the other hand I have never done it so I cannot guarantee the result. Please let me know how it turned out. I’m very curious. I cross my fingers. Good luck!

        1. Sissi Post author

          Thank you, Pei, for the feedback. I’m glad your experiment worked and that your friends liked it. Thank you for the link to the photos. Your cake looks gorgeous!

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