A few weekends ago, it was 68° in Austin and I was missing the cool, crisp Midwest fall days. When we lived in Chicago (and we actually had fall!), Good Lawyer and I used to take an annual trip to the apple orchard. While I haven't found an orchard for us to visit in Austin, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make Smitten Kitchen's Apple Cake when I saw all of the fall apples at HEB.
I'm not a good cook by any means, but I do love to bake. So when I have the chance to bake in the kitchen for a few hours on a rainy fall Saturday, I'll jump at it. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
- 6 apples - I used a mixture of 3 granny smith and 3 pink ladies
- 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons of graulated sugar (for the apples)
- 2 cups of granulated sugar (for the cake)
- 2 3/4 cups of flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking power
- 1 teaspoon of table salt
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup of orange juice (I prefer Dole Pineapple Orange Juice)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (I prefer Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste)
- 4 large eggs
Heat the oven to 350° and grease a tube pan (typically used for angel food cake). While your oven is heating up, you'll want to start peeling and coring the apples. Once you have them all ready, chop the apples into 1-inch pieces.
Take the apple pieces and place them in a bowl with the cinnamon and 5 tablespoons of sugar. Stir the ingredients together to coat the apples and create a grainy cinnamon mixture.
Grab your mixing bowl and put the flour, baking power, and salt together. Use your whisk attachment and stir the dry ingredients together on a low setting.
Using a separate bowl, mix together the oil, orange juice, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Once these are properly blended, add then to your dry ingredients to create the batter. Put your mixer on level 2 to properly mix the dry and wet ingredients together.
Start pouring your batter into the tube pan and use about half of the batter for the bottom layer. Add half of the apples on top of the batter, then add the rest of the batter, then another layer of apples on top. So you should have batter, apple, batter, apple.
Pop the pan in the over for about 1 1/2 hours. Use a cake tester to check to see if it is done and make sure to poke through the cake portion instead of an apple heavy area to get a good read.