I have been wanting a very apple-y cake for some time now--something with more fruit than cake. I've been on this fruity kick through the summer, and experimented with plums that way too... (one of those unposted recipes I tease with every once in awhile...)
As we were headed over to Seattle last weekend, I wanted to contribute something to a lunch that my brother and sister-in-law had invited some friends over for, and so offered to bring along an apple cake. Now, I had to get it together!
I have an old apple cake standby recipe in the legendary (in my childhood, anyway) Apple A Day cookbook, but it's more of a breakfast cake than a dessert proper. Since I wanted the fruit to be plentiful throughout the cake, I thought getting a visual on the recipe would be essential, so I went rummaging through tastespotting.com, which I haven't done in a while, and was able to quickly come up with a lovely looking option from a food blog, Kosher Cambembert.
I neglected to take a picture of it once it had been baked, so head on over to see how Kosher's turned out. Mine was a little "earthier" looking, as I used whole wheat flour, but you'll get the general idea. And it was yummy!
4 apples – I used a variety (1 each of Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)
Lemon juice to prevent apples from browning as you cut
2 Tbsp butter
1-2 Tbsp sugar (or to taste)
For cake batter:
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tbsp demerara sugar (optional--I didn't use...)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan, springform or square pan. (If you want to plate this, use a springform; otherwise, just serve it out of the pan.)
Peel and core the apples, then cut into about 12 slices. Sprinkle with lemon juice (you don’t need much, maybe a tablespoon or so for 4 apples) while the others are being sliced to prevent browning. You can see my nifty method below. I don't get to use that handy dandy corer-peeler nearly enough during apple season, so I hauled it out!
Heat butter in pan over low heat and add apples and 1-2 T white sugar. Stir for about 10-15 minutes until apples soften. Some of the liquid will soak into the apples, but if too much of it starts to evaporate, then turn the heat down.
While the apples are on the stove top, mix together the remaining ingredients (except for the demerara sugar)—flour, sugar (the 3/4 cup), eggs, oil, baking powder and vanilla. No mixer is required; you can just mix everything by hand even though the batter is quite thick.
Add half the warm apples (juices and all) to the batter and mix. Then pour into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly with a spatula. Arrange the remaining apple slices on the top of the batter as decoratively as possible (though even a mishmash will look nice... which I did!).
Sprinkle the cake with demerara sugar if you’d like and bake for 1 hour.
This one is definitely a make-again. It was just the right amount of fruit, and not too sweet (though the ice cream was lovely alongside!). We had a wonderful risotto lunch with an autumn salad, topped off by cake! And made some new friends in the process... what could be better? I can't think of anything!