This recipe is my dessert best friend, my ride or die, my go-to: it never lets me down. The recipe is straight forward with easy to find ingredients and lets the real star, the fruit, shine. The ingredients resemble those of a peach cobbler, but this is no ordinary mixture of sugared fruit with dough on top. The spiced apples caramelize and soften, but still keep some of their texture. The dough topping is tangy, sweet, and wonderfully moist.

This apple cake is a great way to use those apples from your trip to the orchard

This dessert is the perfect dessert to make when I’m having people over: it’s impressive enough to feel special, but not so complicated it takes me hours to make. While it is a great vehicle to display the deliciousness of fresh fall apples, in the summer, it also does a great job of highlighting nectarines or blueberries. I also like to combine 1.5 cups of peaches with 1/2 cup of blackberries for a sweet, tart mix. Whatever fruit you choose, be sure to use two cups and chop it the same size so it cooks evenly. And never forget the vanilla ice cream on top!


Serves 4


Casserole dish or pie plate that is at least two inches deep


For Fruit:

2 cups peeled sliced apples, peaches, or other fruit

2/3 cup white sugar

The zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbs all purpose flour

4 tbs. melted, unsalted butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

For Topping:

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 egg yolks

1 tbs. melted, unsalted butter

1/4 cup milk


  1. Preheat Oven to 425F. Grease the bottom of the casserole dish with non-stick spray or butter.
  2. In a bowl, combine chopped, peeled fruit with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and juice and zest of one lemon. Mix to combine. Add tablespoon of flour. Mix to combine. Add the four tablespoons of butter. Mix to combine.
  3. To make the dough, in another bowl, mix the flower, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. In a separate bowl, mix together the yolks, melted butter, and milk. Pour the wet into the dry. Mix together with a fork until it just forms a dough (don’t over mix).
  4. Cover the bottom of the dish with the fruit, making it an even layer. Spread the dough over the top of the fruit until it is all covered. The dough is thick, so I find dropping it in clumps over the fruit, and then spreading those clumps out with a scraper spatula or the bottom of a spoon.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Depending on your oven, baking time can vary. Keep an eye on the topping so the sugar in it doesn’t burn. If it’s getting too brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  6. Cool for at least fifteen minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Historian, writer, and enthusiastic home-cook