Apple Loaf Cake with Pine Nuts

Apple Loaf Cake with Pinenuts

Apple Loaf Cake with Pinenuts

I love”homey” food, but you already knew that, didn’t you. Some people like to curl up with a warm blanket and a book, I myself, like to curl up with a hot cup of tea and a piece of cake. When curling up, it’s always best not to have a piece of cake that’s too sweet and sugary. No, proper curling should be done with a less sweet, almost bread like cake that will perfectly compliment a cup of tea. Ta Da! That’s where this Apple Loaf Cake with Pine Nuts comes in.

This cake is the BFF to a cup of tea. The “not-so-sweet” cake is filled with chunks of juicy apple and topped with earthy, crunchy pine nuts. Really, a perfect combination of flavors. This recipe will make two, 8″ x 4″ loaf cakes, so guess what, keep one for yourself and give the other to your BFF. Wrap it up in parchment paper and tie it with baker’s twine, and I guarantee, they’ll be very impressed.

Apple Loaf Cake with Pinenuts

Apple Loaf Cake with Pinenuts

Apple Loaf with Pine Nuts

Adapted from Real Food, Winter 2013

  • 3 large, crisp tart apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2″ slices
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 5 large eggs
  • 10 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. For this recipe I used two, 8″ x 4″ loaf pans. I sprayed the inside of the pans, then I cut parchment paper to fit in the pans and sprayed that too. I like to use the parchment insert because the cake will lift out effortlessly.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Set aside.
  3. Next, in a large bowl, I added the lemon juice and lemon zest. I cut the apples into 1/2″ slices and as I added them to the bowl, I tossed them in the lemon juice so that they wouldn’t oxidize. Then, sprinkle the apples with 2 tablespoons of sugar, and gently toss.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and 1 cup of sugar for 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly, stir in the butter and vanilla. In several increments, add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter over the apples and gently fold it in.
  7. Evenly divide the batter between the two pans, and sprinkle the pine nuts on top.
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 2, 8″ x 4″ loaf cakes

Apple Loaf Cake with Pine Nuts

Apple Loaf Cake with Pine Nuts

Mama’s Tips:Β 

In baking, size does matter. Make sure you always adjust your baking times if you’re using a pan that’s not the one specified in the recipe.

  • An 8″ x 4″ loaf pan holds 4 cups of batter
  • An 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan holds 6 cups of batter
  • A 9″ x 5″ loaf pan holds 8 cups of batter

Whenever working with fruits like apples, pears and bananas, toss them in a little lemon juice to keep them from oxidizing. Brown fruit is definitely not appetizing.

When baking, remember all ovens do not work the same, so baking times are always just an estimate. I always check my cakes 5-10 minutes before they’re supposed to be done to make sure they don’t brown too quickly.

I always like to put a parchment paper insert into my pans (which I spray along with the pan) so that cakes will always lift out effortlessly. It’s a bummer when the whole cake doesn’t come out intact!

Apple Loaf Cake with Pine Nuts

Apple Loaf Cake with Pine Nuts

Recipe: Easy

50 Comments on “Apple Loaf Cake with Pine Nuts”

  1. OMG this looks delicious!

  2. misseffay says:

    hmmmmm looks absolutely delicious; and everything that has cardamom in it is a winner for me… I don’t have any plans for Sunday, so might just have to bake this and then curl up with a cuppa tea like recommended πŸ˜€
    I’ll let you know how it went. Thanks for the tips too!

  3. This looks sooo good and moist. It made my mouth water. I love apple cakes, muffins, breads, loafs, pies, etc. They have the perfect sweetness to them and play so well with other ingredients. Lovely recipe and photos, as always, Sheryl.

  4. How delicious! I stored all the apples from the tree in my garden. We had an abundant crop in September and October. I’ve been slowly getting through them by making lots of apple cakes. I always enjoy trying new apple recipes.

  5. This looks so delicious! I do love less sweet cakes like this! I feel less bad when I eat them! lol

  6. dipmaker says:

    This looks so delicious !!!!!

  7. Looks so yummy! I am not a big fan of pine nuts, but will definitely try to make this recipe – minus the nuts!

  8. Medeja says:

    I am sure I would like to curl up with a book, cup of coffee and a piece of THIS cake πŸ™‚

  9. I would love to curl up with a slice of this cake and cup of tea, really love the pine nuts!

  10. Not too sweet…perfect! I never know what to do with pine nuts! What a great recipe!

  11. cloverleaf says:

    What a pretty loaf! What do you think about substituting toasted slivered almonds for the pine nuts?

  12. I should not read your posts while hungry! A cup of tea and this cake sound wonderful!

  13. I love a loaf cake and I especially love it when you can bring one out at tea time (and then) send a BFF home with their own loaf of goodness! Cosy days were certainly made for these!

  14. With pine nuts! Excellent!

    Thanks for including a little chart about loaf pan sizes + amount of batter.

    Question: Do you think this recipe would work if you halved it?

    • I would have to say no on the halving. This recipe was originally formulated for one 11″ x 4″ cake. Since I don’t have that size pan, I baked it in two smaller pans. You could give it a try, but I don’t think it will work that good.

  15. Hannah says:

    This looks great! I’ll have to try it!

  16. I love pine nuts, in any kind of recipe and I love your recipe… sometimes we need to be comforted by simple recipes. Beautiful photos too!

  17. I love sweet loafs. They feel healthy, and they taste yummy, so it’s win-win! I would probably top with sesame seeds instead of pine nuts though, they cost a bit less πŸ™‚

  18. Carolyn Chan says:

    That is the PERFECT tea cake !! I love that it’s not too sweet, it would pair perfectly with a large mug of tea.

  19. That looks sooooo good!!! Great photos πŸ™‚

  20. This loaf looks incredible, Mama! The Husband and I adore apple desserts. I’d never have thought to use pine nuts in cake. As for a cozy afternoon, I’ll take the blanket, book, tea AND cake. Perfection!

  21. Paul says:

    That looks great, a cup of tea and a slice of that sounds ideal

  22. I love these kinds of cakes. Naturally sweet, but not too sweet. And indeed, bfffff with a cuppa πŸ™‚
    Well done lady!

  23. Delicious! My type of cake, for sure…

  24. Looks amazing — love pine nuts! Will definitely have to try! πŸ™‚

  25. CarpeBriem says:

    Sounds warm and toasty – something you have with a cup of tea and a great book. I love this.

  26. Looks great! Have a nice Sunday! xoxo Celia

  27. Brooks says:

    Let the fruit and nuts shine…way to go Sheryl! Although I didn’t know “not too sweet” was a prerequisite for proper curling. No worries, I have this dandy of a recipe for retraining.

  28. Mmh pine nuts… great addition!

  29. thefolia says:

    Thanks for the protein tip–never would have thought to use pine nuts in this.

  30. ohlidia says:

    What a fabulous-looking loaf! All golden and with those pine nuts popping out over the top. Just beautiful!

  31. This looks soo….. good!! The photos are so beautiful . I am dying to have a slice nowβ™‘β™‘

  32. This looks excellent! I love how the golden color turned out.

  33. naomimgruer says:

    Another delicious-looking recipe to try!

  34. It has been raining here for a few days (unusual for us here in So Cal!) and I have everything I need for this so I am making it tomorrow…. I soooo can’t wait!!!

  35. infotabletop says:

    Looks gorgeous! Will try at the week end. Thank you x Agnes H

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