Auntie's Apple Cake

Come autumn, Southerners love an apple dessert, no matter which form it takes. You'll see farmers' market apples filling everything from warm and gooey apple cobbler with a scoop of ice cream on top to a towering apple stack cake with sweet, sticky filling. But you really can't beat a classic apple cake—and Auntie's Apple Cake is certainly one for the recipe box. This traditional recipe for easy apple cake has everything you need: fresh apples, a pecan-studded spiced batter, and a heavenly praline-like frosting. Everyone will swoon when served a slice for dessert, but this cake works just as well as a brunch treat (paired with a cup of coffee!) or as a sweet snack with afternoon tea. Like most fresh apple cakes, it actually tastes better after a day or two. For this recipe, any baking apple will do; but we suggest using pink lady, granny smith, or honeycrisp apples. Get a taste of a Southern fall-favorite dessert when serving up Auntie's Apple Cake this season. Ice cream optional!

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
Yield:
1 (10-in.) cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • Cooking spray

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon table salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for pan

  • 3 cups diced peeled apples (from 3 medium apples)

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Frosting

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk

Additional Ingredient

  • Chopped pecans (optional)

Directions

  1. Prepare the Cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with flour. Beat eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla with a hand mixer on medium speed about 1 minute. Stir together baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and 2 1/2 cups of the flour in a separate bowl; gradually add to egg mixture, beating on low speed until blended.

  2. Stir together apples, pecans, and remaining 1/2 cup flour in a bowl; fold mixture into batter. Spoon batter into prepared tube pan. Bake in preheated oven a until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool until just warm, about 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the Frosting: Cook brown sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium, stirring often, until mixture comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches soft-ball stage (240˚F), about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk until slightly thickened, abut 1 minute.

  4. Drizzle Frosting over warm Cake. If desired, garnish with chopped pecans.

    Aunties Apple Cake
    Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke
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