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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. Hi! I’m about to try this recipe, I’ve been waiting for a good occasion. I’m planning to bake it tonight to serve tomorrow evening. Any tips for overnight storage?

    Anna Marie

    1. I just cover the cake with plastic wrap and keep at room temp. in a cool place out of the sun. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    A bonafide hit! I’m so glad I made this for a friend’s dinner party. Do yourself a favor and make this cozy spiced version of french apple cake.

  3. How does this compare to your Cinnamon Apple Crumb Cake? They both look so good, I cant decide which one to make! Also, sorry I asked this before but I’m out of butter and was wondering if can I sub oil for the butter? Or will that alter the texture/taste?

    1. This cake is lighter and a little less sweet. The crumble cake is a bit more indulgent. both are great! Yes, you can use canola oil. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

    1. HI! NO adaptions needed. that skillet will be great. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  4. The recipe says to cube most if tge apples and zlice onky a half to lay on top. Your photo looks like you sluced more apple than cubed. Would you share exactly what you did?

    1. Hi! I added an extra apple half for topping to create that look. The extra apple is not need, but can certainly be added if you’d like. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this recipe! 🙂

  5. This looks amazing and I’ve been drooling over it since I saw it a week ago.
    I don’t have a skillet to bake this in, so if I were to use an 8×8 pyrex glass baking dish (as someone else mentioned), what modifications would I have to make to the baking time?

    1. No modifications needed. Baking in an 8×8 will be great! Let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe. Thank you! 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you! It worked perfectly in the pyrex dish! I just made it for the second time today in a pyrex 9.5inch diameter pie dish this time, it only came out of the oven about 20 minutes ago and we’ve already devoured half of it, it’s absolutely addictive.

        I didn’t have any cognac on hand so I substituted it out for bourbon (both times, and added a dash extra of vanilla), which is still absolutely delicious. This time around i also subbed out a little bit of the cardamom for some cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg (so still a majority cardamom, but a little less strong this time)

        It’s amazing. I’m definitely making this again for Thanksgiving. I think I may make a vanilla bean custard to go along with it.

    1. Yes! I would suggest and 8×8 inch baking dish. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this recipe! 🙂

  6. Am I the only one that can’t get a recipe to print on my MacBook Pro???? Anybody have any hints? I have to copy and paste into a word doc, then print. Sheesh!

    1. Hey Sharon!
      I also have a macbook pro and after hitting the print button on my page a new window pops up with the recipe. From there I just select file + print. Is this not happening for you?
      Let me know!

  7. 5 stars
    Hi, thanks for fabulous recipe and gorgeous photographs! Do you think I could use oil instead if nelted butter? If so would you suggest same anoint i.e. 1/2 cup – thanks

    1. Hi! I do recommend using the butter, but I think a canola oil might also work. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this recipe! 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan,
    I love this recipe and would like to try it this weekend!
    I only have a 13in cast iron skillet. Do you have any sugguestions for modifications? Or, could I bake it in an 8×8 glass pyrex dish?
    Appreciate the assistance! Your website is my new favorite for recipe inspirations!!

    1. Hi Ashley! I think and 8×8 inch pan will work great!! And thank you so much! Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this recipe! 🙂

  9. That description for the cake is perfect: “Bread pudding-like.” I was gifted this amazing cookbook which is GORGEOUS and this cake was the first thing I made from it. I agree with you on the texture! Its moist, not too sweet, and perfect for showcasing some of the more unique baking apple varieties we have up here in WA.

  10. This cake is beautiful, and so is your new site design!! I’ll have to make it . . . Honeycrisps are my favorite too! Also, I’d just like to say that I finally ordered your cookbook yesterday and I can’t WAIT for it to arrive! Your recipes are the best. <3

    1. Ah I hope you LOVE the book! I can’t wait for you to see it! Also, so glad you’re loving this recipe. Hope it turns out amazing for you! Thank you Brynn!

  11. Hey, Tieghan! First off, I LOVE your recipes; I’ve never been so excited about food, and I’ve never eagerly checked a website daily before! That being said, where’s the feature that lets you save recipes to Big Oven? Is it still here and I’m just missing it? I wanna make this cake, and don’t want to lose the recipe! 🙂

    1. Hi Katalina! THNAK YOU! We haven’t worked with big oven for a while, so I am not sure that is an option anymore. I will look into it though. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this recipe! 🙂