Dolci & Desserts Italian Regional Recipes

Stale Bread and Apple Cake

This simple cake is easy to prepare and such a great idea to reuse that stale bread that one should never ever throw away.

It has poor origin, the use of stale bread is one of the staples of Italian cuisine and this cake is a worthy representative of it since it was created primarily to use stale bread, then enriched with the addition of dried fruit and apples.

In Lombardy region, a similar cake is prepared by cocoa powder, called Torta Paesana.

Serves: 4 – (fills a Ø24 cm cake mould)| Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 50-60 mins

  • Stale bread: as needed (we used about 350 g)
  • Raisins: 60 g
  • Walnuts (or any other dried fruit): 60 g
  • Milk: 500 ml
  • Eggs: 2
  • Apples: 3  (Italian Renetta or Stark Delicious or Golden or Granny Smith)
  • Sugar: 4 tbsp
  • A knob of unsalted butter, just to butter the cake mould
  • Icing sugar, just for garnishing


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350 F/ Gas 4.

Soak the raisins in lukewarm water for at least 20-30 minutes, then squeeze them well to get rid of most of the water. Soak the stale bread in milk until it softens, then squeeze it. Sed aside.

Roughly chop the walnuts, set aside.

Tip: You can use a food processor to chop the walnuts – just be careful to not turn them into a fine powder, as the walnuts are meant to add a crunchy texture to the cake.

Peel and slice thinly the apples, crumble the bread with your hands.  Beat up the eggs in a bowl along with milk and sugar; whisk until they’re evenly mixed.

Butter the bottom and the edges of a cake mould, then cover the bottom with a first layer of bread. Use just about enough bread to create an even layer, then use the apple slices to create another even layer on top of the bread.

Pour a ladle of egg and milk mixture on top of the apple slices and bread chunks, use your fingers to gently press them down. Scatter raisins and walnuts on top of the apple slices, then again a layer of bread, one of apple, a ladle of egg and milk mixture, then some raisins and walnuts. Proceed in this fashion until you finish the ingredients.  

Bake it for about 40- 50 mins in a static oven.

Allow the cake to cool down at room temperature before serving it, then garnish with icing sugar.

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