Easy Checkerboard Apple Cake – breakfast fun

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Apple sauce, apple pie, apple tart, apple crumble, apple strudel…what about checkerboard apple cake? Super easy to prepare. Perfect for a bake together activity with your toddler. Few basic ingredients that I know you already have in your pantry and 4-5 juicy apples. My kids particularly like the aesthetic of this cake, how the apple slices are geometrically lined one next to the other, how they stand up from the cake base, how they can pull out the apple slices one by one and enjoy the cake base all together at the end. On my side I like the flavor (apple + touch of lemon) and the texture (soft).

Let’s bake together and start preheating the oven to 400F.

This cake is prepared with the most traditional method. Eggs and sugar are whisked together in a bowl. The whisking adds bubbles of oxygen to our batter that will make the final cake fluffy and airy. Keep whisking up until the mix will look pale yellow and bubbly, 2 minutes.

Slowly pour in the melted butter and mix. Add also the flour, one tablespoon at the time and the almond meal too.

It’s time to add the water and whisk up until obtaining a silky texture. To give a citrusy background flavor we will also add the zest of one medium lemon. The batter is ready.

Transfer the mix in a rectangular baking sheet (8×12 inches) and spread evenly. Set aside.

Peel, core and slice the apples, 1/4 inch thick.

Insert the apple slices vertically in the batter creating a pattern. I did groups of 6 slices, flipping the direction each time to create a checkerboard look.

Sprinkle some sugar on top of the apples. If you want you can even mix a tablespoon of jam and a tablespoon of water and brush the surface of the apples for a shiny final look.

Bake in preheated oven to 400F for 35 min up until the apples will get a nice golden color on top.

WHAT KIND OF APPLES TO USE?

My favorite are Pink Ladies or Fujii. They are sweet with a nice tart background flavor. They have character. For a stronger flavor you can use green apples.

NUT FREE CAKE?

Sure, substitute the 1/4 cup of almond meal with flour for a total of 2 cups.

CAN I USE PEARS?

Oh my, yess! You can substitute apples with pear or…mix them! I would alternate one slice of apple with one slice of pear so that you will taste them at every bite.

SUGAR ALTERNATIVES

The quantity of sugar used for this cake is very low. 1/2 cup for the whole cake. If you want you can switch the cane sugar with maple syrup or dates syrup, same quantity.

NO EGGS?

It’s doable. Skip the eggs and substitute them with 1 Tbsp of flaxseeds meal mixed with 3 Tbsp water. Add also 1/4 cup applesauce or pumpkin puree. 

DAIRY FREE?

You can substitute the butter with coconut oil to obtain a dairy free cake.

MORE APPLE RECIPES FOR YOU

Checkerboard Easy Apple Cake
Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour (200gr)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 stick butter (115gr)
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 1 medium lemon, zest only
  • 4-5 medium apples, Fuji or Pink Lady
Instructions
  1. In a bowl wish together eggs and sugar to a pale yellow cream.

  2. Add the melted butter, mix.

  3. Add the flour one tablespoon at the time.

  4. Add the almond meal and the water. Mix to obtain a silky texture.

  5. Add the lemon zest. Mix.

  6. Transfer the batter in the baking pan and spread evenly. Set aside.

  7. Peel, core and slice the apples, 1/4 inch thick.

    Insert the apple slices vertically in the batter creating a pattern. Create groups of 6 slices, flipping the direction each time to create a checker board look.

  8. Sprinkle some sugar on top of the apples and bake in preheated oven to 400F for 35 min. Let it cool down 5 min and enjou!

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