Seasonal Recipe: Apple Cake

This time of year always brings back memories of apple picking with my family. It was a great time to escape the city streets, enjoy the fall weather, meet up with cousins who lived upstate and — of course — picking far more apples than an average family would ever need.

Back then, the orchards would allow you to drive your car into the fields. We would fill up all of the apple bags and even stash some apples in the trunk of my father’s station wagon. (We were from Brooklyn. I thought this was normal.) 

Photo Credit: Renée S. Suen
Photo Credit: Renée S. Suen

After every trip we would distribute bags of apples to our friends and neighbors, keeping plenty for our own baking projects. One of the first things that my mother and grandmother would bake is this old-fashioned apple cake. I loved it and it always worked with any of the sweet apples we brought home.


Apple Cake


  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 15 ounces sugar
  • 14 ounces all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 5 whole eggs (large)
  • 3 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 lbs apples (peel, core removed and cut into 8ths)
  • cinnamon sugar to taste (10 parts sugar, 1 part cinnamon)


  1. With a paddle, cream butter and sugar making sure there are no lumps of butter.
  2. Add the dry ingredients (mixed together) and the liquid ingredients on top of the dry.
  3. Mix all ingredients until just combined making sure to scrape well from the bottom.
  4. Butter the bottom and sides of (2) 10” round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  5. Place ½ the batter on the bottom of the 2 pans and spread evenly.
  6. On top of the batter, spread the apples, very liberally tossed with the cinnamon sugar.
  7. Place the other ½ of the batter on top of the apples and spread to cover. (It will barely cover the apples)
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until somewhat firm to the touch in the center of the cake.

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