This Apple Cake (or Milopita in Greek) is moist, tender and filled with thinly sliced apples. The apples and warm cinnamon spice make this the perfect fall treat to pair with a cup of coffee or tea.
My mom has made this cake for us every fall since we were kids and it is always a treat we look forward to.
This Apple Cake is perfectly soft with warm cinnamon notes and wonderful pops of delicious apple flavour. With its tender crumb and delicious apple cinnamon flavour, what is not to love about this cake?
The base of the cake is made similarly to many other Greek cakes and sweetened breads that my mom makes. It starts with separating the egg whites and egg yolks and whipping those whites until they form stiff peaks. Whipping the egg whites into a meringue is what helps produce the most tender, fluffy texture. This technique is also used to make other Greek baked goods including Ravani (Greek Semolina Cake), Tsoureki – Greek Easter Bread and Vasilopita (Greek New Years Cake).
If there is one cake that is on my must-bake list this fall, this milopita or apple cake is the one! It is an absolute treat and I feel confident in saying I think you will enjoy it as much as I do!
Ingredients for Apple Cake or Milopita
- Apples: And lots of them. We are making an apple cake, after all! I use about 4-5 apples that have been thinly sliced.
- Eggs: I use 4 large eggs in this recipe. The egg whites and yolks are separated so that the egg whites can be whipped into a meringue. This helps produce a fluffy cake.
- Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is used in this recipe. It is sweet without being overly sweet. If you like sweeter desserts, you could add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more. Icing sugar can also be used to dust over top of the cake after it cools, though this is optional.
- Oil: I use vegetable oil as it is light with a mild flavour. You could substitute a similar mild-tasting oil.
- Orange juice: I use freshly squeezed orange juice for optimal flavour but you could also used store-bought.
- Vanilla extract: Added for extra flavour.
- Cinnamon: And lots of it! I use about 2 teaspoons in total (1 1/2 teaspoons in the cake batter and 1/2 teaspoon to coat the apple slices). If you want to pack more of a punch, you could add a bit more.
- Baking Powder: leavening agent.
- Flour: All purpose flour is used in this recipe. I have not tried it with gluten-free or whole wheat flour.
Note: Ingredient quantities and full instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Apple Cake or Milopita
1. Prep the apples: In a large mixing bowl, toss the apples with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle some onto the bottom of a 10 inch baking pan (or arrange them evenly for a prettier cake top). Set the rest aside.
2. Whip the egg whites: Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Begin by whipping the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.
3. Beat egg yolks and sugar: In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar.
4. Add the wet ingredients: To the bowl with the egg yolks, add the oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
5. Add the dry ingredients and egg whites: Add the cinnamon and baking powder to the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, slowly mix in the flour and the whipped egg whites, alternating between the two until it is all incorporated. The cake batter will be thick.
6. Fold in the apples: Fold the remaining apples into the cake batter. Pour the cake batter into the baking pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
7. Bake: Bake the cake at 350F for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is cooled, dust it with icing sugar and serve.
Tips and Tricks for making Apple Cake or Greek Milopita
- Prep your ingredients before you begin: To keep things simple and running smoothly, I find it helpful to have all of my ingredients pre-measured and ready to go before I begin this cake. Since one of the steps requires whipping the egg whites, I don’t want to spend too much time searching for ingredients and measuring, while they sit there and deflate.
- Don’t over-mix: As with most baking recipes, you do not want to over mix your batter once the flour is added otherwise you will end up with a dense cake. When I am mixing in the flour and egg whites, I gently mix them until they are incorporated and then stop.
- Adjust cooking time as needed: Since oven temperatures can vary, you should opt to check on your cake at about 50 minutes and adjust the cooking time as needed. This is also important if you use a different sized pan. I used a 10 inch round spring form pan.
- Simplify things: I opt to make this an apple upside down cake by arranging the apple slices at the bottom of the pan and then flipping it over after its baked. You can totally skip this step and just keep things simpler by mixing in all of the apples directly into the batter. You could bake the cake in a large pan (like a lasagna pan) and slice and serve it directly out of this pan without flipping it. This is what my mom actually does.
How to store leftovers
Leftover apple cake can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days. You can either place it in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap. If you plan on storing it for longer, it should be placed in the fridge. It will last four a couple more days stored this way.
Can you freeze apple cake?
Yes, apple cake can be frozen. Whether you are freezing the entire cake or just individual slices, make sure they are completely cooled and then wrap them tightly with plastic food wrap. Then place them in an airtight container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
How to serve this cake
Apple Cake or Greek Milopita can be served cold or warm. If you are serving it cold, I like to dust the slices with icing sugar. I wouldn’t bother with this if serving it warm as the icing sugar will just melt and disappear.
A scoop of ice cream on top of each slice is one of my favourite ways to enjoy this cake. You can also serve it with whipped cream.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!
Kali orexi (bon appetit in Greek)!
You may also like these other Greek baked goodies:
Tsoureki – Greek Easter Bread
Ruffled Milk Pie (Greek Patsavouropita)
Vasilopita (Greek New Years Cake)
Apple Cake (Greek Milopita)
For the apples:
- 4-5 apples thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the cake:
- 4 large eggs separated
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup oil vegetable oil or a similar light-tasting oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- icing sugar for dusting over top
- ice cream or whipped cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a 10 inch large round baking pan (or similar) with parchment paper or grease it generously with butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the apples with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle some onto the bottom of the pan (or arrange them evenly for a prettier cake top). Set the rest aside.
- Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Begin by whipping the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar.
- To the bowl with the egg yolks, add the oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- Add the cinnamon and baking powder to the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, slowly mix in the flour and the whipped egg whites, alternating between the two until it is all incorporated. The cake batter will be thick.
- Fold the remaining apples into the cake batter. Pour the cake batter into the baking pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
- Bake the cake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the cake is cooled, dust it with icing sugar and serve.
Made this cake today for a Greek meal tomorrow. Going to Greece in 6 weeks. I followed the recipe exactly. I used a 12 x 7 1/2 ceramic dish (my lasagna dish) and it was done in about 50 min. I put a layer of sliced apples down and poured the batter on top. I will leave in the dish, not flip over. Very tasty! Husband loved. I will serve with whipped cream.
So happy you enjoyed it as much as my family does!