Every fall I get massively overwhelmed by the amount of apple recipes thrown at me from all corners of the food blogging world. Not sure what's wrong with me but all apple cake recipes, no matter how elaborate, read to me as "spend 2 hours making apple pie". Despite the popular expression, nothing about apple pie is what I would qualify as easy. When I hear the words "apple pie" I immediately think about crust and filling and blah- I don't feel like spending 2 hours in the kitchen rolling and kneading and stirring... Basically anything apple related is an immediate turn off. That being said, apples do taste insanely delicious when baked. Few kinds of fruit have the ability to so deeply shift flavors when heated. All that ooey gooey warm flavor, nothing tastes as cozy and instantly celebrates the season as a warm, baked all the way through apple. So that was my dilemma last week when I got sucked into buying 9 apples from the street vendor outside my subway station because 3 for $1! Cheap! Seasonal! Sale! Surprise, I have no will power when it comes to discounted fruit.
In an effort to validate my laziness and make sure that aforementioned apples didn't go rotting away on the counter (nothing annoys a new fiancee more than purchased and unused fruit) I decided to make an apple cake recipe that works for me. As with all my recipes the goal is to spend less than 30 min. doing prep work and no more than 2 hours actually cooking. Minimal effort, maximum flavor.
If you're like me and are terrified of baking a cake that involves apples because it all seems as labor intensive as apple pie- this is the cake for you. I highly suggest making it as you get ready for a party- I soaked peeled, cut apples in bourbon while I showered, made the batter while my hair dried, and stuck it in the oven while I rimmed my eyes and threw on my dress.
Easiest Apple Cake
- 3-4 apples, peeled + chopped into approximately 1 inch pieces. (I used Granny Smith but whatever you have on hand will work. I slice some of the apples horizontally for decoration.)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup orange juice or lemon juice
- 2 cups bourbon (This is optional, the bourbon gives the apples so much flavor but if you don't have any, don't let it stop you from making this. Just mix 1/4 cup sugar with the apples and let them sit to really bring out flavor + juices.)
- 3 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- almonds for decorating
- drizzle of honey
For spice mixture:
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. clove
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375F. Peel and cut apples into 1 inch pieces, place into a bowl.
- Pour bourbon over the apples and let soak about 30 min.
- Make the spice mix: combine cloves, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg in a cup. Give it a stir.
- Thoroughly whisk all the wet ingredients in a bowl (eggs,vegetable oil, orange juice, vanilla).
- In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar).
- Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix well.
- Drain the bourbon from the apples, reserving 1 tbsp.
- Pour bourbon into the batter give it a good stir.
- Spread 1/2 of batter into a cake/pie dish, place apples on top, sprinkle with spice mixture, cover with the remaining batter.
- Decorate with apple slices, almonds, drizzle of honey.
- Bake cake for 1-1.5 hrs or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.