Today I’m sharing a recipe for a light Italian apple cake, also known as Torta Di Mele.
Confession/Disclaimer: I’m a successful lifetime Weight Watcher who likes to bake. While I sometimes enjoy baking up lighter, healthier desserts, more often than not, I find it easier and tastier to skip any attempts at shaving calories and points, opting to enjoy a smaller piece of the real deal instead. Since adopting this common-sense, all things in moderation philosophy of my maternal grandmother, I’ve come much closer to achieving the happy-healthy-balanced life I’ve always craved.
Every autumn I get a craving for apple cake. I began making my Mom’s fresh apple cake recipe back in college. And it is still the recipe by which I measure all others.
The Skinny on Italian Apple Cake
This year when the craving struck I decided, once again, to bake something different, an Italian Apple Cake. It’s based on two recipes: Italian Apple Cake from Cortina d’Ampezzo, a recipe from Great Italian Desserts by Nick Malgieri and Torta Soffice di Mele (light Apple Cake) from Tuscany the Beautiful Cookbook by Lorenza De’ Medici. While the titles may sounds fancy, this apple cake epitomizes plain & simple, which is just what I was looking for.
Here in our little old lakeside cabin in the woods, my pantry is stocked with only the most basic of ingredients and I had everything I needed on hand to make it.
We finished off what was left of our apple cake this morning for breakfast. Warmed for 20 seconds in the microwave , accompanied by a big dollop of plain Greek yogurt and drizzle of maple syrup it was a luscious way to start the day.
As I sat savoring each morsel, along with a steaming mug of coffee, it dawned on me that I’ve often had muffins and pancakes for breakfast that were much sweeter and more decadent than this simple cake.
According to Weight Watchers Recipe Builder each slice has 8 Freestyle SmartPoints. Enjoy!
Apple Cake from Cortina d'Ampezzo (Torta di Mele Ampezzana)
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Pinch salt
- 4 large tart apples (I used Granny Smith)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan and set it aside.
- In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, lemon zest, and salt until a smooth batter is formed.
- Spread the batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Peel and core the apples then slice them thinly. Arrange the slices in concentric circles on top of the batter. They will sink a little.
- Sprinkle top with 1 tablespoon sugar.
- Bake the cake/torta in the middle of the oven until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
- Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool slightly. Then unbuckle the sides of the springform pan.
- After the cake has cooled completely, run a knife or spatula between the cake and the pan bottom, and slide the cake onto a serving plate.
- Keep the tort loosely covered at room temperature.
Sources: Great Italian Desserts by Nick Malgieri and Tuscany the Beautiful by Lorenza De’ Medici
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
Here’s another version of Italian Apple Cake Recipe from Italian Chef Deborah Dal Fovo for her Nonna’s Homemade Italian Apple Cake. Made with thinly sliced apples both within and atop the cake, it is the version I plan to try next…
In this entertaining video Laura Vitale bakes up Italian Apple Cake with her sweet Nonna…
More Apple Desserts Made Lighter
Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake Cups (EmilyBites)
Microwave Mug Apple Pancake Puff (Simple-Nourished-Living)
Scoopable Slow Cooker Apple Pie (HungryGirl)
Healthy Baked Apples (Simple-Nourished-Living)
Apple Fritter Loaf (DrizzleMeSkinny)
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