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Packed with fresh apples and perfumed with cinnamon.

| By Rachael Thompson | Recipes

Paola Bacchia's Sicilian Apple Cake

Packed with fresh apples and perfumed with cinnamon.

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, the author of 'Italian Street Food' and 'Istria', Paola Bacchia shares her recipe for a divine Sicilian apple cake.


  • 50g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 120g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 100ml milk
  • 50g sultanas, soaked for one hour in brandy or rum, then drained
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dark or light brown sugar
  • Icing sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 150 Celcius fan. Grease and line the base and sides of a springform 22 – 23 cm diameter cake tin.

Pour a little of the butter in the base of the cake tin and scatter on the walnuts.

Peel the apples, remove the core and cut each quarter into 3 or 4 slices. Toss in a bowl with the lemon juice and zest and set aside until needed.

Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes until well combined and starting to become fluffy.

Fold in the flour and stir in the milk and the rest of the melted butter until the batter is homogenous.

Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared tin over the walnuts, then top with 1/3 of the apple slices (no need to drain them) and scatter 1/3 of the sultanas and 1/3 of the pine nuts. Repeat twice after this – batter, apples, sultanas and pine nuts. Lastly, scatter on the cinnamon and brown sugar.

Bake for about 70 minutes until firm to touch and golden on top.

When cool, remove from the tin and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Store for 3 or so days in a lidded container in a cool spot (fridge not needed unless you are in a warm climate).

For more from Paola follow her at @italyonmymind

Photography by Maddie Roux. Styling by Beck Simon.

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