Photo: Jennifer Causey
Total Time
2 Hours
Serves 10

A cream torte is like a cross between a cake, a custard, and a dutch baby. The tender-sweet varieties of apples used here soften more readily than some when baked, making them a better match for the delicate cake. Look for Northern California and Northwest varieties at your local grocery store or farmers' market from August through November. Five great Western apple varieties in the Cameo, Gravenstein, Ida Red, Pink Pearl, and Sierra Beauty.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°. Butter and generously flour a 9-in. springform pan. Shake out excess flour and set aside.

Step 2

Using a paring knife or sharp corer, core apples from stem down through seeds and base to remove in one cylinder. Peel apples and slice crosswise into 1/4-in. rings. Set apples aside.

Step 3

In a large bowl, using a mixer with whisk attachment, beat eggs and granulated sugar on high speed until pale and slightly thickened, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add cream and vanilla. Beat about 30 seconds more to blend. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and blend on low speed until evenly combined.

Step 4

Add apples (including any uneven end pieces) to batter and stir gently with a spatula to coat, separating slices. Pour mixture into prepared pan and arrange apples flat.

Step 5

Bake cake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into center of cake (rather than an apple piece) comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let cake cool on a rack 20 minutes, then run a slender knife between edge of cake and pan. Remove pan rim and cool cake at least 10 minutes more.

Step 6

Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with powdered sugar and topped with spoonfuls of crème fraîche if you like.

Chef's Notes

30 minutes cooling time

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Ratings & Reviews

Just like a Parisian cafe...

February 18, 2017
This is a perfect and simple recipe, reminiscent of little French cafe treats.  Not too sweet but light and lovely.  I added berries on the side for a rainy day dinner--yes, we had cake for dinner.  Why not?  

Wonderfu, delicate texture!

December 11, 2016
Someone brought this to our annual Christmas party. It looked really pretty and I had to try it--I was not disappointed--it's my new favorite dessert! I normally insist on cinnamon in anything apple, but I have to say I love this for its subtility of apple flavor. The delicate texture is what makes this dessert so exceptional--the texture was a-m-a-z-I-n-g. It was served with whipped cream and the friend who made it said she used figi apples. If I could I'd give this a 10-I absolutely loved it and will be making it myself this Christmas season!

Best Apple dessert ever

November 16, 2016
This is the easiest and best Apple dessert. I was so happy I found the recipe again. Sunset magazines never lets me down

Tastes like Clafoutis

November 06, 2016
My daughter nailed it on the head; It tastes just like a clafoutis. She liked it better than I did.   I made it without changes except I served it with whipped cream instead of creme fraiche. I think, as other people have mentioned, it could use a little boost.  I was thinking of maybe adding  a tablespoon of brandy and some sliced almonds on top next time?  Or some nutmeg and cinnamon?  I think it will be nice for breakfast tomorrow.

Great choice for Book Club

September 13, 2016
I made this today for my bookclub and all the ladies thought it was delicious.  I did add a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon because of an earlier review but 2 tsp would have overpowered it.  Lovely, light, great apple flavor.  Would definitely make it again.

Fresh and Tasty

September 11, 2016
As an apple pie lover, I am always looking for another way to enjoy apples in pastry.I made the torte as written serving it without the Crème fraiche. Although I was nervous about the simple ingredients the recipe was great as written.Everyone wanted seconds.The apples remained crisp and their flavor came through.I will be making it again soon.For a change up I might use almond extract and top with slice almonds and Turbinado sugar.

Need s a little something

September 03, 2016
I made this last night, but the ingredients seemed really bland. No cinnamon in an apple cake?! So I tossed the apples in cinnamon before I added them. I usually like to stick to the recipe the first time I try it, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.I also sprinkled some chopped pecans on top, as well as a little cinnamon and sugar before baking.It was a little tricky to test ford oneness, but I think I got it right, after about an hour, or a few minutes longer.It is still very tasty this morning, as I couldn't resist having a few bites with my coffee!