Italian apple cake with Grand Marnier mascarpone

Neil Perry
apple_neil Photo: William Meppem

The apple cake can be made with pear or quince if desired.


3 medium-size sweet red apples

10-20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

150g soft unsalted butter

150g caster sugar, plus 25g extra

5ml vanilla extract

finely grated rind of 1 orange

4 eggs

200g plain flour

5g baking powder

pinch of fine salt

60ml milk

20ml Grand Marnier

ground cinnamon, for dusting

Grand Marnier mascarpone

180g mascarpone

40ml double cream

15g caster sugar

10ml Grand Marnier


Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 22cm round cake pan; line the base and sides of pan with double thickness of baking paper to extend 2cm above the side of pan.

Peel and core apples and cut each apple into 16 slices. Toss apple slices in lemon juice to prevent browning.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, vanilla extract and orange rind until light and creamy. Add eggs separately, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add half the flour mixture to butter mixture and stir well. Add milk, liqueur and remaining flour mixture, and mix until batter is smooth. Spoon batter into prepared cake tin. Combine extra sugar and cinnamon and toss with apple slices to give a light coating. Overlap apple slices in a concentric circle over top of batter.

Bake for about 1 hour, or until cooked when tested with skewer. Stand in tin 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.

To make Grand Marnier mascarpone, combine all ingredients and whisk gently until well combined and soft peaks form. Serve alongside apple cake with a sweet dessert wine.