Low-Fat Apple Cake

Make the most of apple season by baking this low-fat apple cake. It’s not overly sweet, it has a moist, tender crumb, and it’s packed with lemon flavor and fresh apple slices in every bite. Serve it with just a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream!

Slice of apple cake on a white plate.

Easy apple cake recipe

While this cake may look fancy, it couldn’t be easier to make. It’s so simple you can’t mess it up even if you tried! (Perfect for beginner bakers).

It’s such a great recipe to keep up your sleeves when you need a quick and easy dessert for a party or when friends are coming over on short notice.

The best part of it is that apples are available year-round! 🙌🏻

Ingredients and substitution suggestions

This low-fat cake uses pantry staples you already have:

  • Apples – lots of apples – both folded into the batter and layered over the top.  I like to use Pink Lady or Golden Delicious for this cake, but you can use whatever apples you love best. Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Braeburn, and Jonagold are all excellent options. Feel free to combine different varieties.
  • Lemon – lemon zest brightens up the flavor of the apples; lemon juice prevents them from browning. You can omit the lemon zest and replace it with cinnamon or vanilla extract.
  • Eggs – help the batter bake up light and fluffy with good structure.
  • Sugar – I used granulated white sugar.
  • Salt – sharpens the flavors.
  • Flour – I have only tested this recipe with standard all-purpose flour.
  • Baking powder – lifts the batter.
  • Milk – I used 2% cow’s milk for this recipe, but you could use skim, whole milk, or plant-based milk.
Apple cake ingredients on a textured background

How to make this healthyish apple cake recipe

To make this apple dessert, simply…

  • Prep the apples: peel, core, and slice the apples, then toss them in lemon juice.
  • Beat sugar + eggs: beat the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and salt until the mixture is thick and creamy. This will take some time—about 5 minutes.
  • Add the dry ingredients+milk to the batter: add the dry ingredients, beat until just combined, then add in the milk.
  • Fold in the apples: fold in two-thirds of the apples into the batter.
  • Add the remaining apples: pour the batter into the pan, and add the remaining apples on top.
  • Bake: sprinkle with a tablespoon of granulated sugar, and bake.

Serving suggestions

This cake tastes fantastic with just a dusting of powdered sugar on top. But for special occasions, you can serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

How to store leftovers

The sliced apples keep this cake deliciously moist. Store it in an airtight container in a cool place for 2 to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days. In warm climates, it is better to store it in the fridge.

You can freeze this low-fat apple cake cake for up to 1 month. Once baked, cool it completely then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Bring it to room temperature before serving.

The recipe is adapted from the book  “La buona cucina di casa” written by the Simili sisters.

More apple recipes:

More cake recipes:

A sliced apple cake dusted with powdered sugar
a slice of apple cake dusted with powdered sugar
5 from 59 votes
Low-Fat Apple Cake
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Author: Elena Tomasi
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: apple cake recipe, fall baking

This Low-Fat Apple Cake is incredibly easy to make. It has a moist, tender crumb and is packed with lemon flavor and fresh apple slices in every bite.

  • 1.21 lb (550 grams) apples
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (90 grams) granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon (110 grams) all-purpose flour sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon (75 ml) milk I used low-fat (2%) milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar to sprinkle on top
  • powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (356 degrees F).

  2. Grease and flour a 22 cm (9 inches) pan, and set aside.

  3. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Place the slices in a bowl with the lemon juice, toss to coat, and set aside.

  4. Put the eggs, sugar, grated lemon zest, and salt in a bowl, and beat until thick and creamy.

  5. Add the flour, baking powder, milk, and mix on low speed until combined.

  6. Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, fold in two-thirds of the apples into the batter.

  7. Pour the batter in the prepared pan

  8. Arrange the remaining apple slices, flat-side down, over the top. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional).

  9. Bake the apple cake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, and the top is golden brown.

  10. Cool completely, then dust the cake with powdered sugar just before serving.

  11. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy it!

  • Apples:  I used 3 apples. The weight of the apples was 1.21 lbs (550 grams) BEFORE peeling/coring.  Net weight was 0.86 lbs (390 grams). 
  • Which apples to use: I used Pink Lady for this cake, but feel free to swap in any  apple that holds up well when baked- Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Jonagold are all good options.
  • Baking pan: I baked my cake in a ceramic pan. You can use your favorite pan as long as it’s 9 inches.
  • Baking time – all ovens are different and, therefore, the baking time for this cake may vary. If you notice your cake browning too quickly, simply place a sheet of foil over the top and continue baking. 
  • Nutrition –  Nutrition facts are for 1 of 8 servings. Each serving is approximately 90 grams.
Nutrition Information
Amount per serving (1 slice) — Calories: 133, Fat: 1.2g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 18mg, Carbohydrates: 28.6g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 17g, Protein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #aseasyasapplepie. We’d love to see what you come up with!

low fat apple cake on a wooden background