Apple Almond Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 9½ inch cake
Cake Layers:
  • 2⅓ cups all purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) butter, cold
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1½ - 2 cups sliced almonds, toasted, divided
  • 2½ lbs apples, preferably Granny Smith apples
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar (more or less, depending on taste)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups heavy cream, chilled
Cake Dough:
  1. Place the flour and sugar into a large bowl and grate the cold butter into the flour, mixing with your hands every so often to coat the grated butter. You can also do this in a food processor. (Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces, and pulse in the food processor with the flour until you have a sandy texture. Keep adding all the ingredients until the cake dough is complete.)
  2. Add the egg yolks and mix to combine.
  3. Crush about ¾ - 1 cup of the toasted sliced almonds in a food processor or using a rolling pin. Add the nuts to the cake dough. Set the remaining ¾ - 1 cup sliced almonds aside to be used later to coat the sides of the cake. The amount of almonds depends on how much nuts you want to have in the cake. You can use even less nuts if you don't want them to have a prominent role in the cake. You can also use other nuts instead. Mix to combine. The cake dough will look a lot like cookie dough.
  4. Shape the cake dough into a disc, wrap it in aluminum foil or parchment paper and place it in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, make the applesauce. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters. Place the apples along with the sugar, water and lemon juice into a medium saucepan.
  2. Cover, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until the apples are soft and tender. At this point, most of the water will be absorbed by the apples. If there is a very small amount of water left, that is just fine. If there is a lot of water, uncover the saucepan, increase the heat and let the apples cook for a little while longer, so that most of the water will evaporate.
  3. Take the apples off the heat, add the vanilla extract and mash the apples with a potato masher, or use a food processor or immersion blender. The apples should be soft enough that you can easily do this with a potato masher. Cool the applesauce completely. (If you want to use store bought applesauce, it will have more of a brown color, not a sunny yellow like this one. Also, I would recommend using the one that has a very minimal amount of added sugar, but that's completely up to you.)
Making the Cake Layers:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. When the cake dough has chilled for 30 minutes, divide it into 5 even portions. Roll out each portion of dough into a 9½ inch circle. Roll out the cake dough in between two sheets of parchment paper. This way, you won't have to use any extra flour, it's much easier to work with and you can bake it on the same parchment paper.
  3. This is how I do it. Roll it out into a rough 9½ inch circle. Place a 9½ inch plate or the bottom of a tart pan on top of the rolled out cake layer and cut off all the protruding scraps of dough. Take the leftover scraps and use them to patch up any gaps around the sides or gently distribute the extra cake dough evenly over the rolled out circle. You should use all of it. Use scissors to cut around the parchment paper and place the cake layer with the parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet or in the tart pan.
  4. Bake in the preheated 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Repeat with all 5 cake layers. I bake 2 layers at the same time.
  5. Cool the cake layers completely. The cake layers are very fragile, so they will break easily. Take special care when taking them off the baking sheet and when assembling the cake.
  1. To make the frosting, combine the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract using a hand held mixer or a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until completely smooth. When you taste it, it should taste a little bit more sweet than you want for the cake. The more sugar you add, the stiffer the cream cheese frosting will be.
  2. Set aside ⅓ - ½ of the cream cheese mixture. You will use that later to pipe around the edges of the cake. Place this part of the cream cheese frosting in a piping bag and store it in the refrigerator while you are assembling the cake. (If you leave it in there too long, it will become too cold to pipe and you will need to warm it up a bit before piping on top of the cake.)
  3. Add the chilled heavy cream to the remaining cream cheese mixture and whisk, starting on low and gradually increasing the speed until the frosting is thickened. (If you're nervous about this step, whip the cream separately and then fold it into the cream cheese.)
Assembling the Cake:
  1. I like to line the edges of my serving plate with aluminum foil while I am frosting the cake, that way when I'm done decorating, I can just pull the aluminum foil out from under the cake and the edges of the plate are clean.
  2. Put a small dollop of frosting in the center of the serving plate. This will hold the cake in place. Place a cake layer on top of it. Like I mentioned earlier, the cake layers are very fragile, so be as gentle as you can when handling them. If they break, it's not a big deal. Just put them together again like a puzzle and no one will ever know once the cake is all assembled. Spread ⅕ of the frosting over the cake layer, all the way to the edges.
  3. Scoop about ¾ cup of applesauce over top of the frosting and spread it out all the way to the edges too.
  4. Continue assembling the cake, following the same order: cake layer, frosting, applesauce, cake layer, etc. Frost the sides of the cake and the top of the cake, smoothing them out to make them level. Press the remaining sliced almond on the sides of the cake. (You will probably need less than ¾ - 1 cup, but it's much easier to work with when you use more than you need.)
  5. Spread out more applesauce on the very top of the cake, leaving a small border around the edge. Take the cream cheese frosting that you set aside earlier and pipe any kind of design that you like around the very edges of the cake. Allow the cake to stand in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Recipe by Olga's Flavor Factory at