Camping Recipes

French Apple Cake

This French Apple Cake is packed with apples and has a dense, creamy base with a cake-like top layer! Recipe based on Cooks Illustrated.

10″ deep oven: 1 ring and 3 extra of coals on top, 1 loose ring on bottom to make 325 deg oven

Cook time: 1 hr 15 minutes


  • 1½ pounds Granny Smith apples (about 4 large apples), peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and sliced ⅛ inch thick crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon Calvados, apple brandy or white rum
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Light up coals enough to make 325 degrees F. Make a parchment disk to fit the 10 in oven. Spray the oven and parchment with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cook the chopped apples for about 3 minutes in microwave in a covered dish, or use the dutch oven/skillet and cook the apples are pliable and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Toss the apple slices with Calvados and lemon juice and let cool for 15 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour, 1 cup of the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Transfer 1 cup of the batter to a separate small bowl and set aside.
  5. Add the egg yolks to the remaining batter in the large bowl and whisk to combine. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cooled apples. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan; using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly to the pan edges, gently pressing on the apples to create even, compact layer, and smooth surface.
  6. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into the reserved batter. Pour over the batter in the pan and spread evenly to the pan edges and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar evenly over the cake.
  7. Bake until the center of the cake is set, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  8. You will need to replace the top coals at about 40 minute mark of cook time. So, make sure you are ready with a new set. This makes it so the cooking temperature inside the pot doesn’t go down or fluctuate.
  9. Take the oven off the heat and and cool for 5 minutes. Run a paring knife around the sides of the pan.  Invert the cake, remove the parchment and then flip right back over and cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.
  10. Dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
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