The Best Apple Cake
The Best Apple Cake has the texture of moist pound cake, a crunchy crust, plus the ribbons of gooey cinnamon sugar you'd find in coffee cake. Parve
- 3 Fuji apples (peeled, cored & sliced 1/4-inch thick)
- 1 heaping teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup olive oil (not extra-virgin)
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into crescent moon shapes that are 1/4-inch thick. (If using an apple peeler-corer-slicer, make sure to remove any stray peel or parts of the core remaining on the slices.) In a medium bowl, gently toss the apples with the heaping teaspoon of flour to absorb any moisture and prevent sogginess.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Use baking spray to grease a 10-inch tube pan (that ideally has a removable bottom), making sure to grease the tube as well. In a small bowl, prepare the cinnamon sugar by tossing together the 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- In a large mixing bowl, place all of the batter ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, olive oil, eggs, vanilla and orange juice). Beat until smooth. (If using a stand mixer, you will need to stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl halfway during the process to make sure everything gets mixed in.)
- To assemble the cake, pour half of the batter into the greased pan. Use a spoon to divide the cinnamon sugar into four equal quadrants in your bowl. Sprinkle a fourth of the cinnamon sugar evenly onto the batter, making sure to reach all the way to the edges of the pan.
- Arrange half of the apple slices in a circular pattern on the batter, overlapping as needed. Sprinkle another fourth of the cinnamon sugar evenly onto the apples. Pour the rest of the batter on top.
- Sprinkle on another fourth of the cinnamon sugar, again making sure to reach the edges of the pan. Arrange most of the remaining apples (pick the best slices) in a circular pattern on top of the batter. You also can arrange a few of the broken slices around the hole in the center. Sprinkle on the remaining cinnamon sugar evenly.
- Bake at 300 degrees F for 90 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. (Check after 90 minutes for doneness by inserting a cake tester or toothpick into the cake to see if it comes out clean. If not, continue baking until it is done.)
- Let the cake rest for 20 minutes on a stove rack or wire rack before trying to remove it from the pan (or else it will stick and crack). Then, place a dinner plate face down on top of the cake. Wearing oven mitts, carefully invert the cake onto the plate (using one hand to firmly hold the plate in place and the other hand to flip the pan over, onto the plate). If the pan has a removable bottom, carefully remove it.
- The cake will be upside down at this point. Place a wire cooling rack on the cake surface and invert it again, so that the cake is right-side up and can finish cooling on the rack. When the cake reaches room temperature, transfer it to a serving platter or cake stand by inverting it onto a plate and then inverting it again onto your serving platter or cake stand.
- Store the apple cake at room temperature, covered with foil (plastic will create too much moisture.) The cake should keep well for up to four days.