Easy-as-Pie Apple Cake

November  2, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Adapted from the recipe for Mrs. Fisher’s Apple Torte at this cake couldn’t be any easier and is super delicious. Jacqueline tweeted me her link recently after I mentioned the bushel of apples I had acquired from apple picking this year. I've adjusted the leavening, added salt, creamed the butter and sugar with the vanilla and spices to really get the flavors to meld, and baked it in a fluted tart pan. I've made this 5 or 6 times, and each time I think "wow! this is really yummy!" It's a great breakfast cake, too, in case there are any leftovers. —mrslarkin

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups diced apples
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9” fluted tart pan with removable bottom, or a 9” cake pan with 1” sides that you've lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the egg and mix until smooth.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Don’t fret – it is a thick batter!
  5. Add the apples and nuts and mix until incorporated. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until skewer comes out clean and top is a nice golden color.
  6. If using the tart pan, nudge the cake out carefully, while cake is still a tiny bit warm. If using a cake pan, let cool slightly, run a thin knife around edge of pan and turn out onto a dish and invert onto a cake plate so the crispy top of the cake is up.
  7. Serve with a spoonful of whipped cream, a dollop of crème fraiche or a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.
  8. Cook’s tip #1: Here’s how I dice my apples. Quarter, core and peel some apples. Place each piece flat-side-down and make a few long cuts down, but not all the way through one end of the apple quarter. It’s similar to the method of dicing onions, keeping the onion intact at the root end. Turn your apple quarter to the other flat side and make a few long cuts again. Now rotate your apple piece sideways and dice. For me, this is much easier and quicker than stacking unwieldy slices. But you dice or chop your apple any way you like; it’s your apple, and it'll taste great any which way.
  9. Cook’s tip #2: Sometimes, when I'm lazy, which is most of the time, I’ve used my handheld hinged citrus juicer as a nut chopper/crusher. It works pretty darn well.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • drbabs
  • JadeTree
  • Waverly
  • AntoniaJames
  • hardlikearmour

20 Reviews

SPark0101 September 19, 2020
I made this today and it is delicious, my family loved it. The cake has a nice chewy texture and because I cut a large dice, some apples still had a little resistance when you bit into them. I cut the sugar to a half cup, added a little more apple than called for--as much as the batter could hold--as well as a little lemon zest. This recipe has lots of possibilities for variation!
drbabs March 13, 2016
Liz, I just made this cake! What an ingenious recipe! The batter comes together like cookie dough, and the liquid the apples give off is enough to turn it into a cake. I rediscovered the recipe in the Food52 Baking cookbook and in so glad I did. It will be my go to apple cake from now on.
mrslarkin March 21, 2016
I'm so glad you tried it, Barbara! It's one of my favorites.
JadeTree December 4, 2011
Made this today for an impromptu brunch we suddenly decided to host. I desperately Foodpickled looking for something to do with then co-op apples I'm drowning in and mrslarkin herself Pickled it for me and it turned out perfectly. Made me look like a serene, baking genius since I was able to throw it together at the last minute before the guests arrived and slip it fragrantly from the oven just as the bacon was dwindling on the plates. This is a great way to goose up very basic brunch menu! Next time I hope I will have pecans on hand - I have eaten every nut in the house - and I will be more generous with the apples. The two scant cups I frantically peeled and diced were great but next time I want a thicker paving of apples in the chewy dough. Thanks, mrslarkin!
mrslarkin December 4, 2011
Thanks for letting me know, JadeTree!! That is so great to hear. And I like that you (and I) still call it the "foodpickle." Don't think I'll ever stop. :)
JadeTree December 4, 2011
Ha! Yes, Hotline is more dignified. But I came in with the playful Foodpickle - it shall ever be thus.
T.Mercado November 29, 2011
Thank you for this tasty treat my family will love it yummy. sounds so good I doubled the recipe can't wait to have the first slice.
mrslarkin December 3, 2011
You're welcome, T.Mercado! Do let me know how it turned out! I double the recipe frequently!
KFS November 27, 2011
This looks delicious...I was wondering how it would keep? could I make it today to serve tomorrow?
mrslarkin November 27, 2011
Hi KFS! Definitely, make today to serve tomorrow. I do that a lot. The cake keeps well a couple days, too.
Waverly November 18, 2011
Yum! Everyone in my house loves a good apple cake
mrslarkin November 19, 2011
Thanks, Waverly. Us, too!
drbabs November 4, 2011
Another Genius recipe, mrslarkin!
mrslarkin November 4, 2011
aw, shucks, thanks drbabs.
AntoniaJames November 4, 2011
Sounds so delicious!! This is definitely on the "must-make-for-breakfast" list over the Thanksgiving weekend. I might even make it for T-Day breakfast, itself. (We'll need fuel for running up Mt. Tamalpais that morning!!) Thank you so much for posting it. ;o)
mrslarkin November 4, 2011
Thank you, AJ! Wow, your T-Day sounds like fun!! Do let me know if you try this.
hardlikearmour November 3, 2011
This is wonderful, mrslarkin! It would be a great holiday breakfast cake.
mrslarkin November 4, 2011
Thanks, hla! That is a great idea!
arielleclementine November 3, 2011
Yahoo! This is exactly what I was looking for (I owe a friend a belated birthday dinner an wanted an easy apple cake!) Love the tart pan idea too. Coincidentally, I just made your Pumpkin Christmas Bread again tonight- so delicious!
mrslarkin November 3, 2011
yay! I'm eating a piece of apple cake right now. Om nom. Let me know if you try it! Oh, i lurv that Pumpkin Christmas Bread so much - never lasts very long around here. Glad you like it!