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Come fall, I always look forward to baking with apples. This cardamom cognac apple cake is my new go-to for autumn apple baking.

Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake | @hbharvest

I am so happy to be sharing this french style apple cake with you guys. The recipe comes from the incredible Athena Calderone and her new cookbook that’s out today, Cook Beautiful. If you are unfamiliar with Athena’s work, I highly suggest you take a look at her blog, Eyeswoon. There you will find beautifully photographed recipes, tablescapes, and stories. I have followed Athena for years now and it’s her love of food and creating beautiful things that have kept me drawn in. Her passion always shines through and that’s what I love most.

I first got my hands on Athena’s cookbook a couple of weeks ago. Immediately I just had to open it up and skim through it. I was blown away at first glance. It’s simply stunning. I appreciate so much the number of photos and writing that went into creating the cookbook. As a cookbook author myself (that is so weird writing that out), I know all too well how much work goes into creating a beautiful book. I can say with confidence that Athena created a five-star, beautifully crafted cookbook.

When Athena asked me to share a recipe from Cook Beautiful, I had a pretty difficult time choosing just one to share. In the end, my love for fall baking gave in and I decided on this apple cake. And trust me, it was one of my better decisions because this cake is all too delicious.

Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake | @hbharvest
Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake | @hbharvest

Not only is it delicious, this cake is simple, moist…almost bread pudding-like, and not overly sweet.

It. Is. So. Good.

The batter is a simple mix of flour, eggs, buttermilk, etc…the basics when it comes to cake. What makes this cake stand out, however, is the addition of buttermilk, cardamom, and cognac. The buttermilk is what makes the cake almost pudding-like. It’s not traditional in french style apple cakes, but it really kicks the cake up a notch.

The cardamom and cognac add a little touch of spice and flavor, but don’t overwhelm the sweet Honeycrisp apples.

And speaking of those apples, I love that this cake recipe uses Honeycrisp apples. Most apple cakes use a bland variety baking apples. But I always love the way Honeycrisp apples bake up…and okay, they are also totally my favorite apple!

Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake | @hbharvest
Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake | @hbharvest

I have now made this cake twice and both times it’s been incredible. The second time around I added a touch of cinnamon because I just love the combo of apples and cinnamon too much. If you’re into cinnamon, add a pinch or two, it’s delish.

I served this cake warm, right out of the oven, but it’s great at room temperature too. Most importantly though? Be sure to generously dust your cake with confectioners sugar before serving. No exceptions.

This is the perfect thing to whip up just about any day of the week, but today is looking like a pretty good day to me. I always love baking up something sweet midweek to keep things fun!

Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake | @hbharvest

Lastly, before I go, I just want to give you guys a head up that there will be no Wednesday post tomorrow. As mentioned in Sunday’s Favorites post, we are finally launching the blog redesign that we have been working on now for months. So excited to give HBH a fresh new look!

It takes a bit of time to implement the new site design, and there might be some glitches in the process. Therefore, I decided not to post tomorrow, just in case we have any issues. I will be back on Thursday though, with a whole new layout and brand new Instant Pot recipe!!

Already so excited about it.

In the meantime, let’s all bake up this delicious apple cake.

Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake | @hbharvest

If you make this Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories Per Serving: 427 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place a piece of parchment paper into an 8-or 9-inch cast iron pan and grease with butter.
    2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Whisk in the granulated sugar, cognac, and vanilla extract. Pour in the buttermilk and whisk to combine. 
    3. Peel, halve, and core 2 1/2 of the apples, then cut them into 1/2-inch-thick cubes. Reserve the remaining half apple (unpeeled, and cut into 1/4-inch slices) for the top. 
    4. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined, then gently fold in half of the melted butter. Repeat with the remaining flour and butter. Gently fold in the cubed apples, reserving the slices. Transfer the batter to the pan and arrange the apple slices in a circular pattern on top of the batter. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake until the cake turns a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55-65 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes. The cake may be served warm or at room temperature, directly from the skillet; whichever you choose, be sure to dust with confectioners sugar before serving. 
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Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake | @hbharvest

And don’t forget to order a copy of Cook Beautiful. You will love it. Promise.

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  1. I made this in an 8″ cake pan instead of cast iron and just buttered instead of parchment and it worked great! Really tasty, thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey Kristen,
      Happy Sunday!!🍂 Thanks a bunch for making this recipe and your review, so glad it was enjoyed:) xx

  2. 5 stars
    I made this cake with gluten free flour (wheat allergy in my family). Some recipes work with a simple substitute, others don’t and cake is always risky. It was absolutely delicious. I will 100% be making this again. Love your recipes, Teagan. Each one I try is better than the last. Thanks for sharing your talent!

  3. I’ve baked this cake many times and it’s always come out beautiful and delicious. We’ve had it for Christmas Eve dessert and for breakfast too at times. I’m actually in Europe right now and needed a recipe to bring to a dinner, so I thought of this. My only beef with the recipe is that the picture with the apples in the batter before baking is not “true” to what the recipe tells you to do: there is no way that all those 1/4″ slices of apple came from just 1/2 apple. I spotted that the very first time I made this and have always used a whole apple for the top slices. You need to use a whole apple to get the cake to look like the pictures. Other than that, great recipe and beautiful pictures.

    1. Hi there,
      Happy Friday!!🌼🐰 I really appreciate you making this recipes often and sharing your review, so glad to hear it always turns out well for you! The recipe calls for 3 apples:) Sorry, I am not sure what the confusion is here. xx

  4. 3 stars
    You know I liked this – great way to use cardamom and extra apples. I’m more of a light cake person and this gave me dense ,
    Moist coffee cake vibes but still this recipe was easy and tasty

    1. Hey Mariana,
      Happy Monday! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it turned out well for you! Thanks for your comment! xT

    1. Hey Anna,
      Sure, that should work well for you, I would just be sure to freeze in an airtight container. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was a definite keeper. I used brandy and Jonathan apples and it turned out moist and delicious. Served it warm with a scoop of Vanilla Ice cream @brunchontheporch loved it!

  6. Hi! Looking to make this recipe this weekend. What can I substitute for buttermilk? Also, is it easy to remove from the cast iron skillet and transfer to a carrier to take to a party? I’m bringing dessert to someone’s house otherwise I would serve it in the dish!

    1. Hi Akta,
      You could try using whole milk in place of the buttermilk. Yes, as long as you line with parchment paper, it will come right out. I hope you love the recipe! xT

    1. Hi Elaine,
      Sure, you can freeze this and the recipe calls for honeycrisp apples:) I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xT