I think I’ve told you before that one of my all-time favorite fall activities is going apple picking. There’s something so satisfying about hopping on a hay rack ride out to an orchard, pushing aside the leafy branches of a tree, then plucking the perfect apple from its perch. It makes sinking your teeth into one of ‘em later on, that much better.
You know, the whole reaping the fruits of your labor thing.
Unfortunately, due to a late frost that killed a TON of central Iowa’s apple buds last spring, there doesn’t seem to be an orchard within a 60 mile radius that’s offering Pick Your Own apples this year. SOB!
The set back won’t set ME back however, culinarily speaking anyways, because I’m still finding ways to enjoy cooking and baking with apples this fall, even if they aren’t hand picked, like in Fresh Apple Cake.
Not only is Fresh Apple Cake one of my favorite apple recipes of all time, but it is also one of my favorite recipes of all time. Spiced with cinnamon and studded with fresh apple pieces, this cake contains a secret ingredient that makes each wonderful slice over-the-top moist and apple-y: applesauce.
I developed the recipe a few months ago for a freelance project, then took the leftovers over to my parent’s house (I can’t be trusted will full-sized cakes in the house) where it was promptly devoured. After said devouring, my Mom and Dad asked if I’d baked another one…they wanted more!
Bake this baby up for a potluck, or to snack on with tea or coffee. It. Is. HEAVENLY!
Start the Fresh Apple Cake with, what else, apples! Crisp and tart, Granny Smiths are my favorite variety to bake and cook with, as they can retain their texture and don’t turn to mush.
Peel then chop 2-3 apples, or until you have 3 cups chopped apples, then set them aside for a bit.
Next bust out a BIG ol’ bowl and beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 2 cups sugar, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Now beat in 1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce, which keeps the cake extremely moist, and adds to the fresh, yummy apple flavor of the cake.
3 eggs get beaten in one at a time next…
Followed by 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
K! Now, in a separate bowl, stir together 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then mix into the wet ingredients in 3 batches.
BEFORE you do that, though, remove 2 Tablespoons of the flour/cinnamon mixture and toss it with the chopped apples.
The flour will coat the apple pieces then suspend them in the batter so they won’t sink to the bottom while the cake bakes!
The last step is to fold the coated apples into the batter.
Spread the batter into a bundt pan that’s been sprayed VERY well with nonstick spray, then pop it into a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
TIP: Check on the cake about 20-30 minutes in. If the top is browning too fast, place a sheet of non-stick sprayed foil on top of the pan. This will allow the insides of the cake to finishing baking without burning the top.
Let the cake rest for 10 minutes right out of the oven, then run a sharp knife around the inner rim of the pan and invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
I cannot describe to you how delicious this cake smells right out of the oven..
Sugar, spice, and everything nice!
Sprinkle the top of the cooled cake with powdered sugar, then slice and serve with tea or coffee for the ultimate, sweet fall treat!
Fresh Apple Cake
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 Granny Smith apples (or other baking apple), cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups total)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a Bundt pan with nonstick spray then set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat butter, vegetable oil, and sugar until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add applesauce then beat to combine. Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined before adding the next egg. Add vanilla then beat to combine.
- In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Remove 2 Tablespoons of flour mixture then toss with cubed apples. Add remaining dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch, then fold in apples.
- Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Check cake at 20 minutes – if top is turning too brown, place a sheet of non-stick sprayed tin foil on top. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then run a knife along the inner rim and invert cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Garnish cooled cake with powdered sugar.
This Fresh Apple Cake is unnnnbelievably soft, moist, and sweet. It is the perfect fall dessert. Might even beat out Starbucks Clone Pumpkin Scones in that department. That’s right…I said it!
Do not wait to make this cake – it will knock your mukluks off!