Marie-Hélène Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle


Look at all the apples in this cake!  If you are an apple lover this is the apple cake  for you.  More apple than cake, it is just bursting with fruit.  Using different varieties of apples brings in subtle layers of flavor and texture:  apples that are more tart than sweet or softer than harder give the rather simple cake some complexity. There are none of the spices more traditionally used in North American apple baking such as cinnamon and nutmeg.  The flavoring comes from rum and vanilla. And the Marie-Hélène whose name the recipe bears?  Marie-Hélène Brunet-Lhoste, editor and food critic at Louis Vuitton City Guides In Paris.  I added a drizzle of salted caramel to fancy it up for company but leaving it plain is just as delicious, especially for a brunch.   Feel free to add a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream when serving. Oh la la, délicieux!

Gâteau Marie-Hélène

( Adapted from Dorrie Greenspan’s Around My French Table)


  • 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 4 large apples of different varieties
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3 T dark rum
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 8 T  unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 c salted caramel topping, home made or bought ( I used Trader Joe’s)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and center rack in middle of oven.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and center a well-buttered 8 inch springform pan on top.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.
  4. Peel apples, core and chop in 1 and 2 inch chunks.  Toss to blend the different varieties well.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, then add sugar, rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour then add half the butter.  Repeat.  Fold in the apples and mix only until coated with batter.  Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden.  Rest on a cooling rack 5 minutes then run a knife around the edges to separate cake from the springform’s sides before removing the sides.
  6. If using, drizzle the salted caramel over the top of the cake while it is still warm.

The cake will keep for up to 2 days.

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9 thoughts on “Marie-Hélène Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Drizzle

  1. Wow, what a great idea for breakfast……fruit & rum…..a good way to start the day!!! ha ha .
    Seriously though, do you think that it would be possible to double the cake batter recipe as I really like to taste the “cake” part of an apple dessert? This looks delicious just as it is, It’s just a preference of mine to “eat cake”

  2. Pingback: All About Apples | French Gardener Dishes

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