Apple Cakes Plain and Fancy

Baking,Fall,In Season,Recipes
September 19, 2012

For baking, there's an app(le) for that—cooking varieties make the best-tasting cakes.

Apples in baskets
Some lucky apples get are destined to be in one of our yummy apple cakes.

Thank goodness fall is here. Now we can bake apple cakes.

We wait all year for the chance to bring out our favorite apple cake recipes. The warm kitchen, the house filled with the aroma of apples, spice and butter: an apple cake is a little bit of oven-baked autumn love.

It all starts with the apple, but with so many apple varieties on the market, it’s hard to know which type to use.

Here’s a hint: don’t judge by how the apple tastes fresh. The sweetest apples often lose their sweetness when cooked. Instead, use proven cooking varieties. Rome, Jonathan, Granny Smith and York are usually available at the supermarket. Farmers markets, roadside stands and local orchards will have other cooking apples, such as Liberty, Arkansas Black, Gravenstein and PaulaRed.

They don’t have to look perfect for apple cake, so save pretty apples for the fruit bowl. Peel them, cut out any bumps and bruises, then slice.

Then pick the recipe that hits your sweet spot. Philadelphia Apple cake, sometimes called “Jewish Apple Cake,” is dairy-free. Apple-Studded Brown Butter Coffee Cake and Apple-Walnut Coffee Cake with Sugar Drizzle are as good for dessert as for brunch. Easy Apple Dapple Cake has been a home-cooking standard for half a century. Apple Pound Cake matches tart bits of apple with the rich, buttery taste and texture of a good pound cake, plus a cinnamon-sugar swirl. If you’re craving pie instead, try baking our Leatherstocking Cheddar Pie.

Autumn is three months long—that’s plenty of time to bake them all.

By Nicki Pendleton Wood

Check out our stories on the legacy of Johnny Appleseed and apple farmer-blogger Ben Wenk of Aspers, Pa.


Philadelphia-Style Apple Cake

Cinnamon and orange scent an old-fashioned apple cake.


Apple-Walnut Coffee Cake with Sugar Drizzle

A dense, moist coffee cake that’s wonderful for sharing by the slice at home and by the round as a holiday or neighborly gift.


Apple Cake

A sweet cinnamon cake made with freshly sliced tart apples.

Apple Dapple Cake

For a fall variation to this cake, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the brown sugar topping.

Tart Apple Cake

The aromas or apples and cinnamon will fill you kitchen as you bake this easy snacking cake.

Apple-Studded Brown Butter Streusel Coffee Cake

Cooking butter until it turns a rich brown color adds a nutty flavor to this addictive coffee cake.

Apple Pound Cake

A fancy-dress cake, with a swirl and a glaze.


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