Apple Cake “Palermo style”

Apple Cake


This is the recipe for an apple cake which is quite different from the usual one.
I call it “Palermo style” because it is inspired by some apple pastry that are prepared in Palermo.

This cake is composed of three layers: yellow cream, apples and on top a thin layer of gelatin.  This cake is particularly suited for summer and is (in my opinion) best served cold.

Preparation time: ~3 hours (+2 before being ready to be served)


  • 300 gr. Flour
  • 150 gr. Butter
  • 6 Eggs
  • 400 ml. Milk
  • 265 gr. Sugar
  • Vanilla essence
  • 40 gr. Starch
  • 3 Apples
  • 1 Gelatin sheet


  • Prepare the dough first:
    • Melt 150 gr. of butter in a small pot (or in the microwave)
    • In a large container, mix 300 gr. of flour, 100 gr. of sugar, 2 yolk of eggs and the melted butter.
    • With you hands work the dough until it is solid and uniform.
    • Put the dough in the fridge to rest for one hour.
    • Now you will have wait, you cannot really continue the preparation until then…
    • Once the dough is ready, grease the baking tin with a bit of butter.
    •  Shape the dough inside the baking tin by spreading in it uniformly on the bottom and on the sides of the tin.
  • You can now start pre-heating the oven at 180°C.
  • Let’s continue by preparing the yellow cream that will fill the cake:
    • Mix the yolk of the eggs and the sugar (140 gr.) and whip them until they become homogenous.
    • Add the starch to the mixture and keep whipping.
    • Put the milk (400 ml.) in a pot and heat it up.
    • When the milk is warm, add the mixture of eggs and keep whipping until it become dense.
    • Remove from the stove and pour it inside the dough.
    • Spread the cream so as to create a uniform layer.
  • Cut the apples in thin slices and place them on top of the yellow cream. For a nicer appearance you can slightly overlap the slices.
  • Bake the cake at 180°C for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and  let it cool down 15 minutes.
  • The last step is to cover the inner part of the baked cake with gelatin:
    •  There are different ways to prepare gelatin. I typically use gelatin sheets:
    • Put 1 gelatin sheet in cold water for 10 minutes.
    • In the meantime heat 200 ml. of water and 25 gr. of sugar. Stir it frequently.
    • Remove the sheet of gelatin and make sure to squeeze it to remove as much water as possible.
    • Add the sheet to the warm water and stir it until it dissolve.
    • Bring to boiling point and keep stirring for one minute.
    • Pour the liquid over the apples until a uniform thin layer cover them completely.
  • Let the cake rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Best served cold.

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