• Leigh

Bake an Apple Cake for the Weekend


I know the internet is awash with recipes for the "Best Ever Apple Cake," and I'm adding to the list. Not having made every recipe and sampled all the resulting cakes, I can't tell you which cake really is "the best ever." Nonetheless, this one is pretty darn good. It's full of apples and sweet spices and will make your home smell like fall as it bakes. This isn't a sophisticated, frou frou recipe. It's much more "down home" and rustic, meaning it's easy and low hassle. The cake also isn't terribly sweet, like many other recipes, nor is it overloaded with butter. Rather the cake gets its sweetness and and moisture from the apples. It also has a sweet, crunchy topping that adds to its appeal. The cake is wonderful served warm with low-fat ice cream or whipped topping. Or you can serve it for breakfast or brunch as a coffee cake. Alternatively, you can feel free to make the cake a day or two ahead of time and serve it at room temperature. In fact, I think the cake tastes better a day or so after baking--if you can wait that long.

Apple Cake -- Serves 8+

1/2 cup of butter, softened

2/3 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of allspice

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

3 cups of chopped, peeled apples (chop them into 1/4-inch pieces or finer)

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Topping

1/3 cup of flour

1/3 cup of dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

3 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9- or 10-inch spring-form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper and coat the paper with non-stick spray if you're worried about the cake sticking to the pan. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla together well. Add the eggs, one-at-time, beating well after each addition. Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices and add them to the wet ingredients, stirring until the dry ingredients are barely mixed into the wet ingredients. Stir in the apples and lemon juice until they are well distributed in the batter. The batter will be quite thick. Dump the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out evenly.

For the topping, in the same bowl in which you mixed the cake batter, combine the flour, sugars, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter and walnuts and mix everything until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the cake, pressing the topping sightly and gently into the batter. Bake the cake for about 60 minutes or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out with no wet batter clinging to it (a few crumbs are fine). Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before running a knife along the inside rim and them removing the rim. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.

#apples #cinnamon

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