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The Best Apple Cake--Fall Harvest Apple Cake Recipe
Easy Recipe for Apple Cake
Some of my favorite Fall activities are hay rides, collecting leaves and picking apples. A trip to the local orchard is often an all-day affair, where we enjoy picking bushels of shiny apples, guzzling icy apple cider and sampling warm apple cake.
The orchard´s apple cake is one of my favorites. I wait all year for the chance to sink my teeth into a warm slice of heaven. Moist and bursting with chunks of apple, it´s hard to eat just one piece. This is my version of that wonderful cake. It´s a great way to use up all those apples you bring home from the orchard.
You can bake the cake in a bundt pan, although I prefer to use my 9x13 inch glass pan. It´s a great dessert to make for a picnic crowd or a gathering for your children. You can make the cake with or without the streusel topping, although we always enjoy the crunchy, buttery topping.
My favorite apple here in Peru is called the "Israel" apple. It´s a sweet-tart apple perfect for eating or baking. A similar apple in the U.S. would be Jonathan, McIntosh or Fuji. You could also try a tart, firm apple such as Granny Smith.
Serve warm cake with a cold glass of milk or a mug of coffee or hot spiced cider. Enjoy!
- Any variety of apple will work in this recipe, but we prefer sweet-tart varieties such as Jonathan or McIntosh.
- Be sure to use ripe apples. Unripe, hard apples won't tenderize as well in the oven.
- Use real butter, not margarine, for the best flavor.
- For a healthier version of this cake, substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the unbleached flour and raw sugar for the white.
- For a lower sugar cake, omit the streusel topping and reduce sugar to half a cup.
- 3 cups unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 cups apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unbleached flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch rectangular pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on high for 5 minutes. Add butter and blend. Stir ground cinnamon into the chopped apples.
- Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add vanilla and fold apples into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Pour 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon into a small bowl.
- Using a pastry blender, combine the ingredients until they resemble small peas. Sprinkle over batter.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until a tester toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
- Serve warm cake with a tall glass of milk or a mug of spiced cider. Enjoy!
Do research before choosing an apple orchard. The closest orchard isn´t always the best. Find out whether the orchard is organic, conventional or low-spray. You don´t want your family exposed to harmful pesticides.
Call the orchard ahead of time and ask for their apple picking schedule. Different varieties of apples are ready to pick at different times of the Fall season. Also, ask if food is available for purchase. If not, be sure to pack a picnic lunch. Take along a cooler so you can safely transport any perishable items that might be available for sale at the orchard, such as berries.
Whether or not the day is sunny, be sure to pack a hat and sunglasses. After all, picking apples means you´ll need to look up, perhaps toward the sun, in order to find the best apples. It wouldn´t be a bad idea to take along reusable bags to pack the apples. And if you have a baby, bring along the stroller. Carrying a baby and a bag of apples will quickly wear you out!
And remember, if you choose to pick organic apples, they won´t look perfect like the shiny, flavorless apples often sold in supermarkets. Savor the fact that you can bite into an apple right from the tree and enjoy the security of knowing they are free of harmful pesticides that could hurt your family.
If you enjoy baking, be sure to pick enough apples for this delicious apple cake, apple butter, applesauce and apple pancakes. You won´t regret it!