Awesome apple cake

After a month-long hiatus due to an incredibly busy schedule, I'm finally back to updating this blog! With the arrival of spring - though it doesn't feel like so in Chicago - comes a bout of cold for me. And with cold seems to come the craving for soup and desserts.

So when I saw this cake recipe on Smitten Kitchen (which is, by the way, a great website - as demonstrated by this cake) I knew immediately that I had to try it - I love crumbly, moist, not too sweet cakes, flavored by ripe fruits. I followed the original recipe pretty closely with a few exceptions: I left the apples unpeeled, reduce the sugar slightly as I always do, I used olive oil, and instead of walnuts I used pecans. Because I didn't have a bundt or tube pan, or a pan large enough to hold all the batter, I used a loaf pan and a pie pan to see how it would turn out. As you see, the two pans produce slightly different, but equally yummy, desserts.

The following is after my minor modification:

5 large apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil ( I use olive oil)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup pecans, chopped (I coated the pecans in the cinnamon-sugar-apple juice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the pan(s). 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.

The apples and batter were divided between a 9'x5' metal loaf pan and a 12" glass pie pan. For the loaf pan, I followed the original instructions: half of the batter on the bottom, half of the apples, another half of the batter, and then topped with remaining apples and pecans. Because the pie pan was so shallow, I directly laid the apples on the bottom of the pan, pour the rest of the batter over the apples, and then top the batter with the remaining apples and pecans. The cakes were baked for 1 hour 15 minutes.

First, I tried the pie pan. It was delicious, and I liked the apples on the bottom of the pan. Then I tried the loaf pan. It was awesome! Super moist and so tender that the slices barely able to stand once they are cut. The metal bakeware produced a different crust than the glass, slightly thicker and crunchier. The cake is moistened by the oil and apple juice with no distinct note of olive oil. The apple skin gave pleasant contrast in texture without being hard or chewy, and pecans paired perfectly providing a nutty crunch.
right out of the oven

a slice of loaf cake

I put the remainder of the cake in the pie pan in the fridge, and next day, I had the cake again, both cold and warm (yes, I've very thorough when it comes to cake tasting!). The shallow cake actually tasted really good the next day cold, even better than previous day, with the slightly condensed cake almost tasting like crumble with apple-pecan strudel topping.

next morning

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