My grandma turned 91 this year, and she still walks, cooks, and researches our family tree. She recently decided she wants to start taking piano lessons! Amazing. This is her recipe for apple cake—I’ve been making it since I was a teenager and have made a few changes to the recipe over the years (reducing the sugar a tiny bit, swapping in lemon juice and water for orange juice because when do I ever have orange juice around, etc.) but the cake still tastes the same as what I grew up eating. Peeling the apples is a bit of a chore, but other than that, making this cake is incredibly easy. And a confession: rather than mix the dry ingredients separately, I usually dump all of the flour on top of the wet ingredients, then lightly mix the baking powder, soda, and salt into the top part of the flour before stirring everything together. If you choose this route, make extra sure to break up any clumps. No one wants a bite full of baking powder!
I recently served this cake at a party, cut into bite-sized chunks and piled high on a platter. It’s also delicious for breakfast—plain, or toasted and slathered with salted butter. Or for dessert, with or without vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream. Hope you enjoy!
Grandma’s Apple Cake
- 5 to 6 tart apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 scant cup sugar
- 1 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil (I used avocado oil)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
- Grease a tube pan, then preheat oven to 325º. In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped apples, 4 tablespoons sugar, and the cinnamon. Let rest for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, the oil, and the vanilla, and stir. Add eggs one by one, stirring, then stir in lemon juice and water.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, breaking up any baking powder and baking soda clumps. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Pour into tube pan, smooth top, and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out dry. Let cool for a bit before removing from pan and slicing.