Old-Fashioned Apple Cake

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Old-Fashioned Apple Cake (6)

I was waffling a bit in trying to decide the theme I wanted to use for April this year, because Easter was so early and is already past and gone. We have been hovering on the cusp of spring for ever so long, but it flirts with us, teasing us with a glimpse of sun and daffodils, then slips away behind a dark snow cloud again. Soon we shall have rhubarb, asparagus, wild leeks, and fiddleheads, but for now, we still have apples!

Every now and then I get a craving for this solid, moist pound-style cake. It needs no frosting, just a light dusting of icing sugar, and is ideal for breakfast or dessert. It has been in my recipe file for many years, and is perfect to serve on heirloom dishes, like the plate I have pictured above. That plate is part of a setting from my grandmother’s Royal Winton Sunday set and I treasure it. I use it occasionally and think of her tuneless under-her-breath whistle while she ironed; the way she always had time to read to us and take us for walks through the woods behind us; sitting at the table in her green visor bent over the newspaper while she ticked off the crossword puzzle in that day’s issue.

I wasn’t in photo mode when I was preparing the cake, so I don’t have pictures of the prep steps, but they are quite basic: prepare batter, peel and thinly slice apples; toss apples in cinnamon-sugar, and layer the batter and apples in a large bundt or tube pan. Because I’m obsessive about foods looking pretty, I saved a dozen apple slices and laid them in a circle on top of the cake. Then you bake it for a long time, over an hour.

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake

I served it to our Bible study group that night, but my daughter and grandson came earlier that day and we had to test it to see if it was like it should be. Yup, it was.

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake (3)

This post is sponsored by Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. They have a beautiful new website now and my blog is a part of it! Yay! Check it out in the News section. As always, the stories and views on this site are my own. 

I used a Honeycrisp apple for this recipe. I love its full flavour and juiciness in baking, while holding its shape nicely. 

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake

Ingredients

CAKE:Old-Fashioned Apple Cake (6)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large or extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup canola, olive or your favourite oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (freshly squeezed or Tropicana)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)

FILLING:

  • 4 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (4 cups sliced)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • icing sugar for dusting

CAKE: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour a large (10″ or 4 L) tube or bundt cake pan. Combine the first four dry ingredients. Beat eggs, oil, juice, vanilla, and zest if using, in a large mixer bowl. Add dry ingredients in two additions, beating just until smooth (the batter will be quite thick). 

FILLING: Toss the peeled and sliced apples with second amount of sugar and cinnamon. Set aside 12 slices for the top.

ASSEMBLY: Spread one third of the batter thinly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with half of the apples and spread them as evenly as you can. Repeat layers, ending with batter. Lay set-aside slices in a spoke fashion around the top of the cake. 

BAKE in centre of the oven for 70 -75 minutes, or until your toothpick comes out clean. Cool upright in pan for 20 minutes, then remove by running a knife around the outside edge, placing a plate over the top of the pan and tipping it upside down. Place rack on the turned up bottom and tip it again right side up. It will make sense when you do it, trust me. Let cool another 10 minutes before dusting with icing sugar and serving.  To dust evenly with icing sugar, place a little of the sugar in a small fine-mesh sieve and shake it gently over the cake. Eat it and think of your grandma with fondness. 

 

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