Sicilian Apple Cake| Italian Apple Cake

sicilian apple cake

We’ve updated our post but the good news is, it’s still the same wonderful Sicilian Apple Cake recipe. From the day we published this cake it’s been a firm favourite. So we hope if you’re only just discovering Sicilian Apple Cake or if it’s been a firm favourite of yours for a while that you’re as delighted with this cake as we are.

Sicilian Apple Cake

Sicilian Apple Cake is an easy cake to make. In fact, it’s more a little bit of batter holding loads of sweet sliced apples, raisins and toasted pine nuts altogether. Finished off with a good dusting of sugar and cinnamon, and you’ve made a cake that is a winner.

The apples melt into the batter creating an almost custard like filling, and the raisins become all ‘jammy’ and sweet. The pine nuts add a little crunch all the way through the cake along with the walnut crust on the outside. Making our Sicilian Apple Cake not only delicious but a cake with a wonderful texture that makes every bite a new adventure.

This cake is very moist, and delicious served both hot or cold. Serve with some softly whipped cream for a superb dessert.

Sicilian Apple Cake ingredients on a marble table


plain flour (all purpose)
baking powder
vanilla essence
icing sugar

Shopping List

toasted ground walnuts
pine nuts
apples (we used pink lady)

What Is The Best Apple For Apple Cake?

Using an apple that falls into the cooking apple catergory is a great choice as they are known for holding their shape and not turning to mush.

  • Granny Smith – is known for being crunchy, fresh, and juicy they’re perfect for juicing, baking, and stewing.
  • Bramley – is very acidic and is generally not consumed raw for this reason. Bramleys come into their own when cooked to make sauces, pies, crumbles, and even apple jellies.
  • Braeburns – are a beautifully crisp apple that has a concentrated flavour and bakes well.
  • Jonagold – is tart with a honeyed sweetness. They hold their shape when cooked, but do not store well.
  • Honeycrisp – are super crisp and guaranteed to hold their shape.
  • Winesap – are intensely flavoured with cider notes and are another great choice as a cooking apple.
  • Pink Lady – has sweet-tart notes and holds its shape well during cooking. Check out our Apple Tarte Tatin with Star Anise and Black Pepper for another show-stopping recipe using Pink Lady Apples

You can use whatever apples you like, but we chose to use Pink Lady apples as they hold well and they added a lovely sweet taste to the Sicilian apple cake.

dusting the Sicilian Apple Cake with cinnamon sugar
generously finish with the raisins, pine nuts, apples and cinnamon sugar

The Batter

Don’t stress the batter is supposed to be very thin when made. Pour a third of it into the tin, then top with a third of the apple, raisins and pine nuts, and repeat, finishing with a layer of apples, pine nuts and raisins sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar on the top.

side view of the Sicilian Apple Cake showing the crushed walnuts
side view of the cake showing walnuts coating the outside of the cake which creates a wonderful nutty warmth to the cake.

Better The Next Day

We think this cake is lovely on the day it is made but even better after it has been refrigerated. Because there is so much apple the cake holds better once chilled.

How Long Will Apple Cake Stay Fresh?

With such a high fresh apple content it’s best to store this little beauty in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days as the apples are likely to ferment if left at room temp. Perhaps we could change the name to Apple Cider Cake…….. Just joking. 😂

Watch How To Make Sicilian Apple Cake

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What’s your favourite apple cake recipe? We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make Sicilian Apple Cake.

warm and cosy desserts
Yield: 12 serves

Sicilian Apple Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Sicilian Apple Cake is any easy, moist cake to make. In fact, it's more a little bit of batter holding loads of sweet sliced apples, raisins and toasted pine nuts alltogether. Finished off with a good dusting of sugar and cinnamon, and you've made a cake that is a winner!


  • 120 g butter, melted (4 ounces)
  • 50g walnuts, ground - optional (2 ounces)
  • 4 large pink lady apples (weighing around 200g / 7 ounces each) peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • lemon zest finely grated
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 250g caster sugar (8 1/2 ounces)
  • 150 g plain (all purpose) flour (5 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 100 ml full cream milk (3 1/2 fl ounces)
  • 100 g raisins (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 70 g lightly toasted pine nuts (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons extra caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar - optional


  • preheat oven to 190c (375 f) on bake, not fan
  • use some of the melted butter to generously butter a 24 cm (9 1/2 inch) cake pan - see notes below
  • generously sprinkle ground walnuts on base and sides if using
  • peel, core and slice the apples thinly
  • toss apple slices with lemon juice and zest and set aside
  • whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar together for 2-3 minutes till pale and creamy
  • now add the butter, flour, baking powder and milk mixing thoroughly (batter is quite thin)
  • pour one third of the batter into the pan
  • now top with 1/3 of the apples, pine nuts and raisins
  • repeat with remaining ingredients, then finish with a layer of apples, pine nuts and raisins
  • sprinkle combined sugar and cinnamon over the top of the cake
  • bake for 55 minutes, then allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin
  • remove cake from tin and sprinkle with icing sugar
  • enjoy!


  • Don't use a spring form tin unless you really like cleaning your oven as the batter is very thin and could easily slip through the base and onto the floor of your oven. 😢

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 324Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 69mgSodium 171mgCarbohydrates 44gFiber 3gSugar 38gProtein 4g

Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.


Cooper has found another dam full of mud to swim in. Aargh!

Golden retriever covered in mud
Cooper after a swim in the dam with no water

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  1. Carol Curtis says:

    Ooooh this is gorgeous….I served it with ice-cream and thick cream and my guests were drooling and wanting more. I’ll definitely do it again. Can’t wait till tomorrow to see what it’s like then.

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Carol, We think you’ll find it eats just as well the following day….maybe even a little better as the flavours have time to marry. Thanks for your comment. Regards, Jo and Jen

  2. Priscilla Whole says:

    OMG!! So simple & delish!
    Went back for seconds while it was still warm!!
    Not much left for tomorrow ?

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Priscilla, so pleased you enjoyed the cake. Try to leave some for tomorrow as we think it’s even better then. Regards, Jen and Jo

    2. Libby Scheer says:

      Hi. Am making this cake for a dinner party. Can it be gently reheated

      1. Recipe Winners says:

        Hi Libby, we’ve not reheated this delicious cake but would think it would be fine to wrap in foil and pop it into a low oven around 150c (300f) for about twenty minutes. Let us know how you go. Enjoy! Jo and Jen

  3. Lynda Peters says:

    Fantastic cake!
    Can someone tell me how it freezes please? Otherwise the two of us turn into little piggies!

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Lynda, so pleased you loved this cake. Unfortunately we’ve never frozen it, but Jen and both feel it probably is not the best cake to freeze because of the volume of apple. Having said that we have never tried it so maybe try freezing a slice and see how it goes. Thanks for commenting. Regards, Jen and Jo

  4. I cannot thank Tamara Milstein enough for her amazing recipes. This one I have been making for years with just a few tweaks. I use both raisins and diced dried apricots that have been soaked in brandy/cognac (microwave 30 seconds for speed) and also use ground cloves as I love cloves in Apple. I use ground almond to coat pan. Everyone loves this when I make it. If you don’t have a copy of bake your cake and eat it too, you need to.

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Michelle, We’re fans of Tamara Milstein’s too, and her book is a little winner of beautifully researched cakes from around the world. We love your addition of diced dried apricots, ground almonds and cloves and will definitely give this a go when we next bake this delicious cake. Thanks so much for sharing. Regards, Jo and Jen

  5. Hi, I don’t have a 24cm round pan but have a 20 and a 23 springform – could I use one of these ?- the cake looks spectacular! I’ve looked at recipes for this cake on various websites and the pa/ tin sizes vary a bit tho the quantities of ingredients are similar.

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Ania, you should be fine using your 23cm springform pan. Yes, it really is a lovely cake and we’d love to hear from you when you make this cake. Kind regards, Jo and Jen

    2. I’ve got the cake baking right now and it looks and smells absolutely divine, I just have one question – my fruit seems to have sunk as the cake is rising. Is this normal, as your fruit is still visible. Have I done something wrong?

      1. Recipe Winners says:

        Hi Gianna, hopefully you still enjoyed the cake despite the fruit sinking. It’s hard to envisage exactly why you’re experiencing this problem. The apple slices are held together with a thin layer of batter which should prevent the fruit from sinking. We’re wondering if the variety of apple you used broke down more than the pink lady that we used and this allowed the fruit to sink. Sorry we can’t be of more help. Regards, Jo and Jen

  6. Kate Gould says:

    This turned out perfect….absolutely delicious !!!

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Kate, we’re so pleased you liked the cake. It is a winner in our books too. Thanks for commenting! Jo and Jen

  7. Cheryl Lush says:

    Sounds delicious. Can it be frozen ok?

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Cheryl, to be honest we haven’t frozen the Sicilian Apple Cake but really can’t see a reason that it wouldn’t freeze well. Just be sure to wrap it well with cling film and then foil. Jo and Jen

  8. I’m very excited to make this cake but I have to eat strictly gluten free. Given it’s a very wet cake, do you have any suggestions about using gf flour which makes a very thin batter anyway?

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Callie, we both feel it should be fine to use gluten free flour. We would love to hear how you rate it when you make it. Regards, Jo and Jen

  9. Good Morning,
    have purchased the ingredients. I am making this for my husband’s birthday. Tell me if you will: Do the ground walnuts used to line the bottom/sides of the springform pan really keep the cake from sticking?
    Thank you for your input!!!!

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Jackie, the walnuts are about adding a walnut crumb to the outside of the cake. The buttered cake tin is what stops the cake from sticking. Hope you enjoy the cake. Regards, Jo and Jen

  10. Sally Martin says:

    This is delicious! Maybe a bit sweet… I may use less sugar if I make it again. Also it seemed scant on the batter compared to the apples. A problem was that I didn’t have a scale on hand, so had to google each weight and convert to cups, which resulted in very inexact amounts. Do you have a cup-based version?

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Sally, as we say in the post “ Sicilian Apple Cake is an easy cake to make. In fact, it’s more a little bit of batter holding loads of sweet sliced apples, raisins and toasted pine nuts altogether”.
      So yes, there is very little batter.
      Sorry to say we don’t have the measurements in cups as we find a scale gives an accurate measurement when baking.
      Glad you enjoyed this delicious cake.
      Kind regards, Jo and Jen

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