We are in the heart of foliage season in New Hampshire – I’m plan to brave the tourists this weekend to go leaf peeping and apple picking; hopefully I come out of it unscathed. This time of year is perfect for cozying up under a blanket, hiking outside through the crunching leaves, and of course, baking up all sorts of apple treats.
I set out to make a staple of mine – an easy to make, yet always impressive apple cake. This time though, I wanted to amp up the fall flavors with the addition of maple sryup from The Maple Guys (we carry this awesome New Hampshire made product in our breakfast gift baskets) and apple cider.
What’s great about this cake is that you can use any type of apple you like. I chose a mixture of granny smith and red delicious from our fruit gift baskets and mixed in a couple McIntosh as well. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand, I promise it will be delicious no matter what you choose.
Fall Apple Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
• 5-6 good size apples
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour, sifted
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon maple salt (or regular)
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• ¼ cup apple cider
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
• ¼ cup pure maple syrup
• 4 eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a tube pan with butter and set aside.
2. Peel, core and roughly chop the apples into chunks. You want to end up with about 6 ½ cups apples – for me, this was the equivalent of 5 rather large apples but it will depend on the ones you use.
3. In a large bowl, toss the apple chunks with cinnamon and sugar and set to the side.
4. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and maple salt.
5. In a medium size bowl, whisk the oil, apple cider, sugar, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, and maple syrup.
6. Add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and then add in the eggs, one at a time, until everything is incorporated.
7. Pour half of the batter into the tube pan; spread half the apple mixture over the batter. Then pour the rest of the batter on top, and arrange the rest of the apples on top of the cake.
8. Bake until a tester comes out clean – for me, this took an hour and 45 minutes. Check yours starting at 1 ½ hours. This is a very dense cake which is why it takes so long in the oven, but the time spent is worth it I can promise you that!
9. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, including the inner tube. Let cool for a while in the pan and then lift it out. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or by itself – it’s that good on its own.