We slightly adapted this recipe by Once Upon a Chef. It's a super simple single layer cake that's perfect for the fall, when apples are at their most delicious. Apples are the star of this cake, so choose wisely. We've used Honeycrisp and Braeburn apples, but you can use Granny Smith or any other tart-sweet apple that stays firm when you bake. You don't want the apples to disappear, as they add a lovely texture. The original recipe calls for dark rum, and you get a little zing from its addition to the cake. But you can replace it with juice, water or the apple cider we specify. We're thinking if you're a bourbon fan, that might be nice, too.
We have baked this cake in both an 8 x 8-inch pan and a 9-inch springform pan. Check the cake 5-10 minutes before the finish time. Our baked faster than the original recipe. The cake is done when the top is golden and light finger pressure bounces back.
This cake serves 6-8. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and/or whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. It also makes a great breakfast dish! Theoretically, the cake will keep for several days at room temperature. We found it didn't last that long at our house!
- 1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with knife
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick, 114g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (133g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons apple cider (can use juice, water or rum)
- 2 sweet firm apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (such as Honeycrisp, Fuji, Granny Smith or golden delicious)
- 1-2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling over cake
- Confectioners' sugar (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray an 8x8 -inch square pan, 8- or 9-inch springform or 8- or 9-inch regular cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line standard pan with parchment sling if desired (spray the paper also)
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
- Using a stand mixer with SideSwipe or your paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffly. (2-3 minutes)
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in vanilla and juice/rum. Don't worry if the batter looks grainy.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on your lowest speed until just barely combined. It's fine if you see a few streaks of flour.
- Fold in chopped apples using SideSwipe on your mixer or a rubber spatula.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar.
- Bake cake for 25-35 minutes, or until cake is lightly golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you use the touch method, gently press your finger onto the top of the cake. It should not leave an indentation, but you may crush the sugar crust a little.
- Allow cake to cool until just warm. If you are using a sling, lift out using the paper's overhanging edges and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Otherwise, run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove to rack.
- After the cake is cool, dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Cake can be served room temperature, with or without lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.