No Butter Apple Cake

I have mentioned in other posts that in the old days of my childhood, my mom and grandma had get-togethers with their friends on a weekly or biweekly basis. They used to take turns to host the afternoon tea parties, and every host used to create a feast mostly based on high-calorie dishes. When the waistline and cholesterol started to become a problem for many in the group, all of a sudden, this cake showed up on the tables every single time!It became the healthy item on the menu due to the lack of butter. Nobody seemed to mind the sugar and flour, though!

It is very hard to keep track of the recipe origins in Turkey.  Every recipe in my mom’s collection carries somebody’s name along with the title and eventually the recipe stays the same but shows up with another name when it is passed down to somebody else. This cake is one of those cakes that I have no idea where I had it first but I know I had it almost everywhere for a long time!

If you want to feel good about your cake, I would highly recommend this moist, soft and somewhat chewy apple cake. The batter gets lost in the diced apples, and I wondered many times that if it would actually raise like a cake. Due to the fragility of the batter, I did not preheat the oven. Turned it on at the same time I put the cake in.

So next time you are worried about your waistline, bake this one for your sweet tooth!  At least you can feel good about omitting the butter!

No Butter Apple Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 medium sized golden apples (peeled, diced and mixed with 1 tablespoon flour and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cups of chopped nuts (your choice: I normally go with walnuts but I have made with pecans and hazelnuts time to time)

1. Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl for a minute or two until it is all well blended, and the color is very light yellow.

2. Add flour, baking powder and cinnamon, beat at medium speed.

3. With the help of a spatula, mix in the diced apples and chopped nuts.

4. Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch pan lined with parchment paper.

5. Bake for 40 min or until a toothpick comes out clean at 350 degrees.



  1. by Buket
    9:25 pm
    May 1, 2011

    You are absolutely right, I remember that time when we only baked this one thinking it is healthy because we did not use butter :))
    My aunt introduced this cake to the family, thanks for bringing memories back.

  2. by Parsley Sage
    7:59 am
    May 2, 2011

    Mmm…this is my second apple-y treat to see this morning and I swear its just as beautiful and tasty! Brilliant recipe. Thanks so much for sharing :)

  3. by Geni
    9:19 pm
    May 3, 2011

    Hello, it was nice of you to stop by my blog. I love this cake. It sounds so homey and delicious. How great that it has no butter!

  4. by Tanvi
    1:37 am
    May 4, 2011

    Looks so moist.Cant believe that its w/o butter.I love such rustic looking cakes.Thanks for the recipe.
    Re: I really have no idea how the flatbread will taste if baked.I have always eaten it fried and never thought the other way round.May be you shoulf try it and lemme know :)

  5. by rebecca
    5:29 am
    May 4, 2011

    great cake and lovely family tradition :-)

  6. by Angie@Angiesrecipes
    6:41 am
    May 4, 2011

    That’s a healthy and tasty sweet treat!

  7. by Peggy
    4:06 pm
    May 4, 2011

    This cake sounds amazing! I know that when we start getting boatloads of apples in our CSA, that I’ll know how to put most of them to use!

  8. by Shelley Lucas
    6:39 pm
    May 4, 2011

    Looks fantastic! I make a similar fruit based cake but I suspect it’s not quite as healthy. Must give this version a try!

  9. by Sommer@ASpicyPerspective
    10:21 am
    May 5, 2011

    As in no Fat?!? That’s amazing. It still looks so moist!

  10. by Kristi Rimkus
    9:47 pm
    May 5, 2011

    Yum! How simple. For a non-baker like me, this is perfect, and you know I won’t miss the calories in the butter. :)


  11. by redmenace
    11:59 am
    May 6, 2011

    Who needs butter when you have such a wonderful cake? I’m sure it’s not missed. I LOVE apple cake. Thanks for posting this!

  12. by Ilke
    1:39 pm
    May 6, 2011

    Thanks everyone… please let me know how it turns out if you try this..with apples or any other fruit! I am thinking maybe strawberries next time… Do you guys think they would hold their shapes or just melt into the cake?

  13. by birdie to be
    1:12 pm
    May 6, 2011

    Yum! This look fantastic! I will definitely give them a try!

  14. by All That I'm Eating
    4:01 pm
    May 7, 2011

    No butter! That’s just an excuse to eat more cake. Every time I visit your blog I find out something new about Turkey/the food of Turkey. It’s like an education but with appetising food at the same time.

  15. by Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets
    4:52 pm
    May 7, 2011

    This looks great and I love that there’s no butter!

  16. by Three-Cookies
    12:37 pm
    May 15, 2011

    This sounds really delicious and glad to come across this recipe. In a few months there will be an abundance of apples in my backyard.

  17. by Pavlina
    12:57 pm
    Apr 25, 2012

    Ilke, I love the recipe! Just done it and it looks and taste great – i have used 2 more apples and came up great.
    Thanks a lot – excellent recipe.

  18. by Neena
    7:00 am
    Oct 3, 2012

    Firstly this cake was absolutely brilliant and moist and sooo delicious. I was wondering if you could substitute the apple and cinnamon for other ingredients such as lemon and poppyseed, if it will
    retain the moisture. Thank you.

  19. by Jenny
    3:40 pm
    Nov 1, 2012

    I am baking this cake right now! Not for the health aspect (since with all the eggs and sugar, like you mentioned, i don’t think it is THAT healthy ;-) but rather because i don’t want to use up a stick of butter today :) I had some applesauce on hand and remembered a fat free applesauce cake recipe from long ago, so i did a search for butter-free applesauce cake…. This is of course quite different, but i am hoping it will be a hit with the kids! I simply used a half cup of applesauce since that is all i had ( no apples) we’ll see! i’ll try to update with the results.

  20. by Ilke
    3:42 pm
    Nov 1, 2012

    Please do update me, I have never tried with the applesauce. It would be a good shortcut if it turns out good because peeling and chopping not my favorite things to do :)

  21. by Jenny
    5:32 pm
    Nov 1, 2012

    I’m back – The results of the applesauce cake: Very nice!! So spongey! The kids loved it. I think it also helped that i put pieces of a hershey bar all over the top (at my daughter’s request), since chocolate makes everything that much better!! I also added nutmeg, since i love it.

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    And by the way, I am Albanian-American, so it is funny to find this info on a Turkish website :)

  22. by Ilke
    5:34 pm
    Nov 1, 2012

    I am definitely making it with applesauce then! Love the chocolate addition :)
    Food knows no boundaries, right :) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Hope you will be back :)

  23. by safaa
    8:32 pm
    Dec 30, 2012

    Thanks a lot for posting this. I was out of butter today and the family begged me for cake so i searched a “no butter” cake and found your cake :) just baked it and i hope itll be as delicious as your picture. Btw i didnt peel the apples cause i forgot :/ hope it doesnt make a difference.

  24. by Ilke
    10:33 pm
    Dec 30, 2012

    It should not make much difference in terms of taste but maybe texture since they might not melt into the batter once baked. Let me know how it turned out. If you give thumbs up with unpeeled apples, I think we just cut down 15 min of the prep time like that :)

  25. by Corina
    5:35 am
    Nov 2, 2016

    Dear Ilke,
    From a dozen recipes of apple cake I decided to try yours. :D I started baking cakes a couple of months ago and this cake is so far my no 1. It’s super simple to make, absolutely delicious and looks really good. Thank you for sharing! xx


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