Baking cakes is tough work. Bake them for too long, and they turn out dry. Too little time in the oven? The center is dense and mushy, two words you never want associated with your baked creation. That’s what makes this cake stand out from the rest of the pack – with all of the moisture from the apples, it’s practically impossible to overbake. The finished product has a reliably perfect crumb, one that is light, moist, and flavorful with every bite.
To get started, pick your apples. I like to use a couple of varieties to create a unique flavor and texture – pick apples like Empire, which have a soft, pudding-like effect in the cake. Add a few apples that keep their structure – Braeburns, for example, to create tender apple chunks throughout the batter. Mix the chopped apples with something sweet and flavorful, like sugar and cinnamon, and you have a delicious filling.
For the cake batter itself, feel free to play around with the proportion of white to whole wheat flour. The whole wheat makes the overall flavor more complex, and your apples mean that there is no need to worry about a dry or dense cake. Assemble the cake by alternating batter and apples, and you can pretty much guarantee that the fruit will settle evenly into every slice.
Can’t finish the cake in one night? Rest assured. Unlike most cakes, it only gets better the next day.
Apple Cake Recipe (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1.25 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 cups + 5 tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into chunks (I used a mixture of Empire, Braeburn, and Macoun)
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10 cup bundt pan (or a tube pan is preferable, if you have one).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and salt.
- Prepare the apples. In a medium bowl, combined the apple chunks with the cinnamon and 5 tbsp of sugar. Stir to coat the all apples in the sugary mixture.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil and 2 cups of the sugar. Once the mixture is smooth, add the orange juice, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk for a minute or so, until the wet ingredients are one uniform color.
- Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to combine, being careful not to over stir.
- Assemble the cake. Start by pouring 1/3 of the cake batter into the bottom of the bundt pan – this will ensure that your cake lifts out easily and does not stick. Then, add half the apple mixture. Top with another 1/3 of the batter, smoothing out as much as possible, and the remaining apples. Add the final layer of batter and place the cake in the oven. Let bake for 90 minutes or so – this is a very moist batter, so slight overbaking will rarely result in too dry a cake. Stick a toothpick into the center of the cake to check for doneness.
- Cool completely; invert the bundt pan to unmold the cake, and serve.