Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake

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Autumn is now well arrived, so it was time to prepare a seasonal cake. Even if I love summer fruits (strawberries, cherries, apricots…), there is nothing as simple and delicious as a good apple cake! This Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake is particularly soft and fluffy. Want to know my secret? You’ll find it a little further down!

Which apples to choose for a cake?

Which apples to choose to make an apple cake? That’s the question we ask ourselves every time! My answer? All of them! You can use almost all types of apples to make a delicious cake.

And this is the advantage of apples, they all taste different, with more or less acidity or sweetness and different textures. With the same recipe and ingredients, you can get some much different flavors. Depending on the type of apples, however, apples will melt more or less quickly when cooked and will be more or less sweet.

Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake
Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake

Characteristics of the most common apples

  • Boskoop: Perfect for baking, they have a nice acidty and soft texture
  • Jonagold: Firmer than Boskoop, they have a texture neither too firm nor too soft, they are very sweet and with little acidity
  • Gala: They are rather firm and most of all very sweet with little acidity
  • Golden: They are firm with a nice balance between sugar and acidity and they keep very well
  • Elstar: It is firm, sweet and tangy and as it is very juicy, apples will quickly melt into cooking
  • Granny Smith: This apple is very firm and especially very tangy. This may be the only apple I would not recommend for this cake, unless I slightly increase the amount of sugar.

There are many more kinds of apples! Don’t hesitate to try this recipe with different apples and you’ll find the one that suits you best. Personally, I have a penchant for Jonagold and Elstar.

What’s my secret to an ultra-soft apple cake?

For this recipe, I have two tips that allow to give a nice softness to the cake.

Tip 1: Apples in the dough

I cut half the apples and small pieces that I incorporated into the dough. The apples will melt when cooked and the dough will directly soak in their juice which allows the cake to remain fluffy and not dry!

Tip 2: Egg whites

In order to bring volume to the cake, I separated my egg whites from the yolks and beat the whites until stiff. I then incorporated them into the cake dough at the end. Simple but effective!

Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake
Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake

Recipe for Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake

For this recipe, you need the following ingredients:


  • 4 apples
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g sugar
  • 125g butter
  • vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 125g flour
  • 60g ground roasted hazelnut (or hazelnut flour)
  • 4g baking powder
  • 30g hazelnuts, chopped
Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake
Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake
Step 1: Eggs

Start by separating the whites from the yolks. Place the whites in a small bowl and the yolks in a large bowl.

Step 2: Sugar and yellows

Add the sugar to the bowl where the egg yolks are. Whisk the sugar and yolks with an electric mixer or by hand until you reach a white and foamy mixture.

If you don’t have much time, skip step 1 and mix the whole eggs directly with the sugar. You will get a cake just as good, just a little less airy!

Step 3: Butter

Then add the butter. This one must be soft. Add the cinnamon and the vanilla. Whisk again until butter is well tied to the mixture. For this step it is best to use an electric mixer (otherwise, see my advice below).

If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can melt the butter over very low heat or in the microwave at very low power. The melted butter will incorporate more easily.

Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake
Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake
Step 4: The dough

Then add the flour, ground roasted hazelnut, baking powder and chopped hazelnuts. Mix it all up.

Step 5: Apples

Wash the apples, cut them in four and remove the seeds. Book half the quarters for later.

Peel the other half of the apples and cut them into tiny pieces (between 1 and 2 cm). Then add these chopped apples to the dough.

If you have a vegetable cutting machine, you can simply use this one to cut your apples.

Step 6: Egg whites

Beat the egg whites until they are firm. Gently add them to the dough.

Then pour the cake batter into a buttered or covered with baking paper cake pan (26 cm).

Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake
Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake
Step 7: Decoration

Cut the remaining 8 apple wedges into thin strips and place on the cake batter. Add a few chopped hazelnuts to decorate.

Step 8: Cooking

Bake for 45 minutes at 170 °C (fan oven). Then let it cool a little before eating.

Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake
Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake

How do I vary this recipe?

You can quite vary this recipe for Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake, here are some ideas:

  • Replace hazelnut powder with almond powder
  • Replace chopped hazelnuts with chopped almonds or pistachios
  • Save time and replace chopped apples with 150g apple compote
  • Bake this Tatin-style cake, placing the apple slices in the bottom of the cake pan and then pour the cake batter over it

If you liked this recipe, then you will surely like these other cake recipes too!

Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment if you have any questions!

Print Recipe

Apple, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Cake

Rate this recipe! Slide over the stars below to rate this recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Gâteau
Cuisine Allemande, Française, International
Servings 8


  • 4 apples
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g sugar
  • 125 g butter
  • vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 125 g flour
  • 60 g ground roasted hazelnut or hazelnut flour
  • 4 g baking powder


  • Break the eggs and separate the whites from the yolks.
  • In a salad bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar. Beat until you get a foamy mixture.
  • Add the soft butter. Beat it until the butter is well incorporated.
  • Add the cinnamon and vanilla.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, ground roasted hazelnut and chopped hazelnuts.
  • Peel half of the apples (2 apples), quarter them and remove the seeds. Then cut the apples into small pieces (> 1 cm). Add them to the dough.
  • Beat the egg whites until stiff.
  • Then add them little by little to the main preparation.
  • Pour the cake dough into a cake tin (26 cm) covered with baking paper or buttered.
  • Cut the two remaining apples into quarters and remove the seeds. Cut the apple quarters into thin slices and place them on the cake dough.
  • Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts (optional).
  • Bake in the oven for 45 min at 170 °C.
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