Loaf of invisible apple cake on a white plate.
Cakes

Invisible Apple Cake | Gâteau Invisible

8 comments

I am a huge fan of apples and apple desserts. Also, French desserts are one of my favorite things to make and eat, combine the two and you have the invisible apple cake or Gâteau invisible aux pommes.

This invisible apple cake recipe is so incredibly easy to make and tastes amazing. I will show you how to make two different styles both of which are amazing.

If you love apples and you love custardy style desserts, you are going to love this recipe. Let’s get baking!

Why is it called invisible apple cake?

I have heard a couple of reasons why it is called this, one is that the apples kind of disappear into the cake, and the other is that very little of the cake and be seen between all the thinly sliced apples. Either way, it is fascinating.

Ingredients for this Classic French Dessert

To make the invisible cake you need just a handful of simple ingredients:

  • Flour – I normally use all-purpose flour but cake flour will work too.
  • Cinnamon – I love adding cinnamon to this, but it is optional.
  • Nutmeg – Another optional ingredient I like to add.
  • Salt – Just a little bit of salt to balance out the flavor and enhance the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Apples – The star of this dish. I like to use honey crisp apples, Granny Smith apples, fuji apples, pink lady apples, etc.
  • Lemon juice – This is optional, but it will help keep the apples from browning and give a little zing to the apple cake.
  • Eggs – Eggs are the only leavening in this cake, there is no baking powder or baking soda.
  • Sugar – I use white granulated sugar but brown sugar will work too. This cake is not an extremely sweet cake but just enough sugar to satisfy the sweet tooth.
  • Milk – I always use whole milk, but 2%, skim, almond milk, etc. can also be used.
  • Butter – This adds a bit of flavor and richness to the cake.
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla is optional but adds a nice flavor.
  • Sliced almonds – Not always added to the top, but add a nice crunch.
Whole Invisible apple cake on a white plate.

Tools and Equipment

  • Bowls
  • Whisk
  • 8×4-inch loaf pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Knife
  • Peeler

How to make an invisible apple cake at home

Bowl of flour and other ingredients on a wooden cutting board.

Begin by preheating the oven to 350F/176C.

Now in a medium bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients, the flour, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. You can also use a sifter if you want.

hand slicing peeled apples very thin.

Rinse and dry the fresh apples. Then peel them with a knife or peeler. Again you can use pretty much any apple that you want. I mentioned my favorites above.

NOTE: Peeling is optional, but traditionally they are always peeled so the peel doesn’t show in the cake ruining the “invisible” effect.

Cut down the core, then slice the chunks until you are left with thin slices of apples that are about an 8th of an inch thick. Place the slices in a bowl. You could add a tsp of lemon juice if you want as well to the apples and lemon zest.

Large bowl with invisible apple cake batter.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, and melted butter. You can also add a splash of vanilla extract if you like.

Dump in all the flour mixture and whisk until you are left with a very runny custardy batter. It is pretty much like a thin pancake batter.

Bake the Gâteau invisible

Several thin slices of apple in cake batter.

Add all the thin slices of apple to the large bowl of batter. Then fold and mix with a spoon or rubber spatula until all coated.

Apple cake batter in bread loaf pan.

Then scoop the apples and place them in an 8×4-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. You can also use shortening and flour on the pan instead of parchment paper. I always use parchment paper, however.

Make sure to scrape out any remaining batter in the bowl and pour it on top of the apples.

Top the cake with the sliced almonds.

Baked invisible apple cake on a wire rack.

Bake at 350F/176C for 40 minutes. Then cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes. The top of the cake should be lightly golden brown but not too brown. If you don’t use almonds, it may not even be lightly brown, just a hint of brown.

Allow the baked cake to cool completely, for at least an hour, before slicing it.

Slice of invisible apple cake with almonds.

Now you can remove the cake from the pan and slice it. You will notice that the apple slices kind of blend in with the cake. And there is not very much cake compared to the apples.

Slice of invisible apple cake with caramel and whipped cream.

Serve it plain or add a caramel sauce and whipped cream, powdered sugar, or vanilla ice cream.

More Traditional Style of Invisible Apple Cake or Gâteau invisible aux pommes

Traditional gateau invisible on a wooden cutting board.

Now I want to briefly describe how to make a more traditional style of invisible apple cake.

What I showed above is probably my favorite way to make it, although it isn’t as traditional.

Loaf of freshly baked gateau invisible

Prepare it the same way, however, leave out 1/4 cup of flour, and leave out the cinnamon, and nutmeg. You can still include the almonds but I wanted to show how it looked without the almonds. The batter will be more of a custard base.

Sliced invisible apple cake.

After it is done baking, let it cool for about an hour at room temperature then put it in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours or even overnight to set properly.

Amazing traditional french invisible apple cake loaf on a wooden cutting board.

Both versions are amazing. I encourage you to make them both and see which way you like better. Make sure to comment and let me know if you tried both ways and which one you like better!

Enjoy!

How long will this easy invisible apple cake last?

Store it covered in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. It can be frozen as well for a few months.

Can I make this gluten-free?

Yes! Swap out the all-purpose flour with a 1 to 1 gluten-free flour. I usually buy the Bob’s Red Mill brand but any 1:1 gluten-free flour will work.

Invisible apple cake pin for Pinterest

Here are some other recipes you may like:

Cinnamon French Toast Sticks

Classic French Macarons

Peach Galette

Loaf of invisible apple cake on a white plate.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Invisible Apple Cake

Learn how to make an amazing invisible apple cake (Gâteau invisible aux pommes). It is light, not super sweet, and tastes amazing!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Cooling Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 5 minutes
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: apples, custardy, sweet
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 231kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Bowls
  • Whisk
  • 8×4-inch loaf pan
  • parchment paper
  • Knife
  • Peeler

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour 120g
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon 1g
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg 1g
  • 1/4 tsp of salt 1g
  • 3 large apples – Honey Crisp Granny Smith, etc.
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice optional (5g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar 100g
  • 1/2 cup of milk – whole milk 2%, skim, almond, etc. (120g)
  • 2 Tbsp of butter melted (28g)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract optional (2g)
  • 1/2 cup of sliced almonds 50g

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/176C.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  • Rinse, dry, and peel the apples. Then slice them into thin slices about an 8th of an inch thick and add to a bowl. Add a bit of lemon juice (optional)
  • In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, and melted butter. You can also add a splash of vanilla extract if you like.
  • Dump in all the dry ingredients and whisk until you are left with a very runny batter it will resemble a thin pancake or crepe batter.
  • Add the sliced apples to the batter and fold and stir with a spoon to make sure all the apples are coated with the batter.
  • Scoop the apples and place them in an 8×4-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. You can also use shortening and flour on the pan instead of parchment paper.
  • Top the cake with the sliced almonds, optional.
  • Bake at 350F/176C for 40 minutes. Then cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely, for at least an hour before slicing it.
  • Serve it plain or with caramel sauce, ice cream, powdered sugar, whipped cream, etc. Enjoy!

Traditional Version

  • For a more traditional version, prepare it the same way, however, leave out 1/4 cup of flour, and leave out the cinnamon, and nutmeg. The almonds on top are optional. The batter will be thinner and more custardy.
  • Bake the cake for the same amount of time. Allow it to cool for 1 hour at room temp then cover and chill in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours or overnight so it can set properly. Then slice and serve.

Notes

list of nutritional benefits for apple invisible cake
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

Nutrition

Serving: 147g | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7.7g | Saturated Fat: 2.8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 120mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g

Do you like this recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I appreciate it. Save the Pin to Pinterest! If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I’m so glad I came across it. Baking it for the second time now 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This was the best cake! Has fantastic flavor.

  3. 5 stars
    What a beautiful cake!! Love the apple layers & the sliced almonds give a nice crunch. This cake tastes incredible!!

  4. This turned out amazing! We have friends in from out of town so I wanted to impress them with something, and this was it!

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