Apple Cake: Humble in appearance but stunning in flavor.
Updated: Nov 2
Everyone has their version of apple cake and this is mine. It’s taken years to perfect and lots of taste testing and I think I’ve finally nailed it. It’s perfectly crunchy on top and soft in the middle and the apples are so tender and juicy. If you love an old fashioned molasses cookie then you will love this cake. It’s not overly sweet and has a healthy dose of cinnamon. It’s really moist and flavorful and can be enjoyed for breakfast, tea, snack, or dessert. The key is to bake the apples in advance for about 15 minutes so they start to soften up and release their juices. I add 2 tbsp of molasses to the batter for a little extra moisture and flavor and it gives the cake its beautiful dark color. I think shortening keeps the cake fluffy but adding the butter streusel topping permeates throughout so you get multiple textures and flavors. This is an old fashioned cake that is never going out of style.
What you need:
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
½ cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbsp molasses
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup evaporated milk
2 cups apple - peeled, cored, and chopped (2-3 apples)
Streusel Topping: 1/4 cup cold salted butter , 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon (blend together with a fork or pastry cutter until forms small pebbles...like nerds candy).
To begin, heat oven to 350 and place apple pieces on a sheet pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until they are beginning to soften. While they are baking mix together all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream together shortening and sugar. Next add in your eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla extract and molasses. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the shortening mixture and scrape down the sides. Blend in the evaporated milk. Remove the apples from the oven and place on bottom of greased baking pan (I like to use the paper from the shortening and use any leftovers to grease the pan). Let those cool slightly while making your streusel.
When the streusel is ready pour your batter over the top of the apples and sprinkle streusel evenly on the top. Bake at 350 for about 35-45 minutes, cooking time is depending on what type of dish you use. It is finished when a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean. I’d start checking around 35 minutes because you don’t want to over cook it.
*** I have started making this cake in a pan lined with parchment paper so that I can remove it for easier slicing. The apples can be baked in the same dish as long as you cool them for a few minutes before adding the batter. Saves a ton of time on cleanup.