Nothing says September in our house like apple desserts. This easy new cake uses applesauce and sliced apples to celebrate the season.
We always make a stop in tiny Laurelville, Ohio to Laurelville Fruit Farm's apple store to get their famous cider slushies and a paper bag of just-picked Honeycrisps. And while yesterday it was 90 degrees here in Columbus, today is a crisp 64 just in time to herald in the first day of fall.
Our double apple cake is made in a 9x9 pan. It gets a lot of its flavor from a good amount of applesauce. We used unsweetened store-bought, but you can certainly use homemade it you wish. And topped with thinly sliced apples, it looks a little fancy, but is pretty darned easy to make. The apple slices serve two purposes. They dress up the top, but also help keep the cake moist, so it's worth the effort.
TIP: We used a ceramic pan for prettier video photos, but we recommend using a metal pan for this cake. Metal conducts heat better, and will allow the center to heat more quickly and evenly. With ceramic or glass, you're more likely to overbake the edges in order to get the center properly baked.
This recipe serves 10-12, and is great the next day for breakfast, with coffee or as an after-school snack. It should keep tightly covered for a couple of days on your counter; it will last a little longer in the fridge. We don't recommend freezing this cake. We adapted this recipe from several sources, include the book Snacking Cakes, a Good Housekeeping recipe and the KickAss Baker blog.
Ingredients & Equipment
- 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup (8Tbps, 113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) dark brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1-¼ cups (300ml) applesauce, store-bought or homemade, smooth or chunky
- 2 small or 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/8-inch (3.25mm) thick slices
- 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar for drizzling over the unbaked cake
- powdered sugar for dusting baked cake
- 9x9-inch metal baking pan (metal is highly recommended). Can also use an 8x8 or 8- or 9-inch round pan.
Heat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Grease and flour or spray a 9 inch by 9 inch metal baking pan or use a parchment sling and spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Peel, core and slice apples into 1/8-inch thick slices and set aside.
In your stand mixer fitted with SideSwipe or your flat beater, beat butter and both sugars on medium to medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in half the applesauce. It may look a little curdled, which is fine.
- Add one-half the flour mixture and mix on low until partly combined. Some streaks of flour should be visible.
Mix in the remaining applesauce on low.
Mix in the remaining flour on low until just combined.
Scoop batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
- Top with 3 or 4 rows of overlapping apple slices. The number of rows will depend on the size of your pan and your apples. If you use a round pan, layer the apples in a circle.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. If you use an 8-inch pan, you may need to bake a few minutes longer.
Cool completely on wire rack.
For prettiest results, dust with powdered sugar just before serving.