Apple Tart or Apple Cake ?? It is Apple Tartake!

As the name indicates, I could not decide what this is. The name of the recipe on my mom’s little recipe notebook said it was a tart. But then going through the ingredients, I saw my family’s traditional approach to a simple cake (3 eggs, flour, sugar, two sticks of butter, baking powder). It sounded like a plain vanilla cake minus water or milk. But the fruit was supposed to go on top, not mixed in the batter, soo…was it more like a tart?

I really thought I was going to have a mess in my hands (or in the oven) with the  dough raising and oozing from the sides of the pie pan while baking.While searching for “cake” tips during this process, I found this link from Fine Cooking magazine that gave me a good understanding of ratios in a cake, in case you are interested – not that I paid any attention to that in this recipe.

Well nothing bad happened. It turned out very good that I have actually made it twice since then. Yes, it does raise a bit in the pan, enveloping the fresh apples from all sides and with the pieces of dough on top, the apples kind of get choked by the dough.  You get a good bit of cake and fresh, chewy apples in one bite.

I came to the conclusion that 10-15 years ago, this must have been my mom’s or one of my mother’s friends’ attempt to make a tart. They must have assumed that if you just put the fruit on top instead of mixing in the batter, it was supposed to be called tart and did not give much thought to the fact that there is a different pastry supposed to go on the bottom or maybe they did not know.

Good attempt though. This was tasty, easy and can be adaptable to different fruits. So it stays with the new name in my recipe notebook!

Apple Tartake


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 sticks of (~230 gr) of unsalted butter(softened at room temperature- not too soft, there should be still some firmness to it)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3 or 3.5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3-4 peeled, cored apples to make 3 cups of chopped or diced apples (chopping them in 1/2 inch pieces gives a fresh, crunchy apple taste, if you like more cooked apples, diced them very finely)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (or less if your apples are really sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Egg wash: 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk, lightly beated.

1. Chop apples, mix with the 2 tablespoon flour and stir to coat the apples.

2. Add brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon to the apples, mix, cover and set aside.

3. Beat the softened butter, eggs and vanilla for a minute. You should still see pieces of butter in the mixture.

4. Add sugar and beat another minute.

5. Start adding flour gradually with baking powder and mix with a wooden spoon.

6. Once it is difficult to mix with the spoon, knead with your hand (maybe after the 2.5 cup or so). The dough should be very soft but not sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl.

7. Take a little bigger than tennis ball size dough, set aside. Fit the rest of the dough in a 9-inch pan. Pat the dough to the bottom of the pan and give 1 inch high sides all around. It should resemble 1 inch deep dish.

8. Drain any water that might have collected on the bottom of the apple bowl. Put the apples on top of the dough.

9. With the dough you set aside, make 4 strips by rolling between your palms and make a cage motif on the apples.  Or cut any shapes you like.

10. Brush the top of the dough and the edges with eggwash.

11. Bake in 350-degree preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown and the toothpick inserted comes out clean.



  1. by Songul
    4:10 pm
    Nov 5, 2011

    looks so yummy:))) Ellerin saglik!! There’s no English phrase for that, unfortunately.. Do you sometimes miss such phrases?

  2. by Parsley Sage
    10:58 am
    Nov 6, 2011

    Ha! Sometimes, not knowing what is ‘supposed to be done’ with certain recipes can yield some pretty awesome result. I think your mom’s tartake looks incredibly delicious! :)

  3. by Calantha @ piecurious
    11:55 am
    Nov 6, 2011

    Tartakes are my favourite kind of tart! I absolutely love treats that attempt to combine the soft, moist crumb of cake with the buttery flakiness of a tart. And I think apples (more than any other fruit) are the best compliment to this duality. Beautiful!

  4. by Jo
    1:43 pm
    Nov 8, 2011

    This looks so good. I love your pictures!

  5. by Marly
    8:40 am
    Nov 22, 2011

    You know what? I don’t care what they call it…I think I’ll call it delicious! Looks SO good. How fun it is to find a recipe and not know exactly what to expect of the finished product. What a find!

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