I love love love this cake. Oh yes I do I do.
It's an excruciatingly easy, medatative kind of cake to make, because you have to chop lots of apples, preferably in the afternoon with gold sunlight filtering through your kitchen window. The kind of sunlight that turns everything hot and liquid and gold.
This is an autumn cake. I can imagine it as a plum cake, or even a pear cake. But really, it's probably best as an apple cake. The apples on top, from the long baking become almost caramelized and burnt. And the apples in the middle of the cake are wet and moist and sweet. And the cake itself is just right, not too sweet, and perfectly cakey.
Also, this it's extraordinarily beautiful. Especially with all of that sunlight.
This cake is best eaten with milk, or maybe if you're feeling really indulgent, with a spoonful of yogurt or ice cream.
My friend Mikaila was over while I baked this. She wanted something sweet and so did I. What I like about her is that we can be quiet together. We don't have to talk. She let me be absorbed in my cake making and she was her special Mikaila self. It was very pleasant. So I also suggest hanging out with someone very beautiful and contemplative while you make this. It makes this cake even more pleasurable.
credit to Mikaila for taking several of the sun-soaked pictures. they make me happy.
Mom's Apple Cake
Also, this is not my mom's apple cake. It is Deb of SmittenKitchen.com's mother's apple cake. It is very special.
But it is exactly the kind of cake my mom likes. So maybe I should call this The Kind of Apple Cake My Mom Likes. I don't know...
6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
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
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours*, or until a tester comes out clean.
*The only thing difficult about this cake is figuring out when it's done. For some reason, this cake likes to underbake on me, and honestly, I don't like underdone cake, even though my friend Mikaila who was over when I made thought it was like a warm pudding or something. I would add an extra 15 minutes of baking time. But then again, warm pudding has never exactly been my thing.