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 the ways to bake apples, 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, 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. (Breaking news, folks.) All that ooey gooey warm flavor, nothing tastes as cozy and instantly celebrates the season as a warm, baked all the way through apple. This was my dilemma a few weeks ago when I bought ten tooo many apples at the market. There was also a moment of weakness with some cider donuts but, half a dozen for $3?! Cheap! Seasonal! Sale! Surprise, I have no will power when it comes to discounted fruit and seasonal baked goods.
In an effort to validate my laziness and make sure that aforementioned apples didn't go rotting away on the counter, I decided to revisit an apple cake recipe I shared last year. I was planning Rosh Hashanah dinner and figured this was the perfect time to test what I had claimed to be “easy”. As with all my recipes the goal is to spend less than 30 min. doing prep work and no more than an hour actually cooking. Minimal effort, maximum flavor. I set a timer and went to work.
After adjusting a few ingredients and cutting down on steps, the result was fast and flavorful. 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 working this into a menu for a dinner 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 changed the baby and set the table. By the time my guests arrived the apartment smelled amazing and the cake had time to cool during the main meal.
easiest apple cake
4-5 apples, peeled + chopped into approximately 1 inch pieces. (I used Granny Smith but whatever you have on hand will work. I sliced some of the apples horizontally for decoration.)
3 large eggs
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.)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. clove
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
pinch turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Peel and cut apples into 1 inch pieces, place into a bowl.
Pour bourbon over the apples and let soak while you assemble the other ingredients or if you’re like me, take a shower.
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.
In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.
Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix well.
Drain the bourbon from the apples, reserving 1/4 cup.
Pour bourbon into the batter give it a good stir.
Fold apples into the batter.
I split the batter between two 8 inch round pans - plenty for 2 small cakes. Alternately, you could make one large cake in a 10 x 3 inch pan.
Sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar and a drizzle of honey.
Decorate with apple slices.
Bake cake for 35-40min or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.