Gibeau Apple Cake

This is a satisfying and simple cake I make in the fall, when the gnarly old apple tree at Gibeau starts giving up her fruit. It great served right out of the pan. Or, you can dress it up a bit by dusting the top with powdered sugar and passing small pitcher of cream laced with a bit of Armagnac or Calvados. It’s important to bake this cake several hours or even the day before you intend to serve it. (Serves 6-8)


  • 2 TBS unsalted French butter
  • 3 Cups baking apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped.
  • 1 1/2 TBS Armagnac or Calvados
  • 1 1/4 Cups sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 Cup plain yogurt (not low-fat or nonfat)
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Generously grease an 8-inch round cake pan (no need to grease if pan is nonstick).

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the apples, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the Armagnac, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the cinnamon. Set aside until needed.

Whisk together the yogurt and the remaining sugar in a large bowl, until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Combine the flour and baking soda, then add the oil and eggs, whisking well after each addition. Stir the apple pieces into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Set on a sturdy baking sheet and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

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Rene’s Four Cup Cake

During one springtime trip to Gibeau, my wonderful friend Ron (Rene to friends in France) introduced me to this cake. It’s so easy and quick to make. It keeps well and travels for picnics. It’s delicious by itself and it’s the perfect match to sliced strawberries, which the farms around Marmande, the nearest good-sized city from Gibeau, are famous for. (Serves 6-8)


  • 1 Cup of cake flour
  • 1 Cup of sugar
  • 1 Cup of ground almonds
  • 1 Cup of milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350°

  • Butter an 8 or 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment, butter the parchment, and flour the pan, tapping out the excess.
  • Stir together the cake flour, sugar and ground almonds.
  • Stir together the vanilla extract and the milk, then pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven until it’s golden and a toothpick tester comes out clean. Start checking at about 30 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then invert it onto the rack, remove the parchment, turn it back right side up and cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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