Friday, June 24, 2011

Apple Chunk Cake

It's pretty common for me to bake something because there are fruits that need to be used up (or milk, or eggs, etc...). A lot of the recipes I discover come from a need to use up a specific ingredient. This is what led to me baking this apple cake. Once summer fruit is in season, I don't want to eat apples until every last stone fruit in the markets has been consumed. So having 7 apples hanging out in the fruit bowl day after day only meant one thing: this apple cake needed to be baked.

Although the flavors in this cake make it more of an autumn/winter combination, I still love it year round. The first time I baked this was for Thanksgiving (I don't like pumpkin pie, so I'll make sure there are a few other options on the dessert table), but it's just as good in 80º weather. My only suggestion would be to cut your apples smaller than I did. The cake is very delicate and can fall apart easily with the larger pieces of apples inside of it. My guess is smaller apple chunks might help with that, but apparently I forgot this detail from the last time I baked this. The cake itself is moist and has a subtle cinnamon flavor, and it stays moist even after slicing into it (it's day 3 and I'm still snacking on it).

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

6 apples, peeled and cored
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Great a tube pan or bundt cake form.

Cut the apples into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces. In a bowl, toss the apples with the cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, juice and vanilla. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

If using a tube pan: Pour half the batter into the pan. Layer half the apples over this. Then add the remaining batter to the pan, and top with the other half of the apples (see the Smitten Kitchen link if you want to know what this looks like).

If using a bundt: Pour about 1/4 of the batter into the form. Add half the apples on top of this. Pour half of the remaining batter over the apples. Add the remaining apples to the form and top with the rest of the batter.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until a tester comes out clean and the cake looks golden.

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