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Super Moist Apple Cake

This super moist apple cake is made with different baking apples–Granny Smith, Macintosh, and Cortland. Plenty of cream, vanilla, and butter make it into one of autumn’s best desserts ever.

Super moist apple cake on a jadeite cake stand.

This apple cake defies description in a lot of ways, blurring the line between traditional cake that’s quite nice with a scoop of ice cream and coffee cake served straight up. It takes its insane moistness from a swirl of cream poured over the top. And if you’d also care to experience a little textural and taste contrast within the same obscenely moist apple cake, see the note below about selecting apples.–Angie Zoobkoff

What are the best apples for baking?

Wanna experience varying textures within the same obscenely moist apple cake? Try a combination of different types of apples. The authors suggest an array including “Granny Smith (which is quite tart), Macintosh (which is firm), and Cortland (which gets very soft with cooking).” You heard them, folks.

Super Moist Apple Cake

Super moist apple cake on a jadeite cake stand.

This super moist apple cake is made with different baking apples–Granny Smith, Macintosh, and Cortland. Plenty of cream, vanilla, and butter make for one of autumn’s best desserts ever.

Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier

Prep 30 mins

Cook 1 hr

Total 1 hr 30 mins

Dessert

American

4.67 / 3 votes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch round, 2-inch-deep springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with several layers of aluminum foil to prevent leaks. Also line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • In a large bowl with a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar and the butter until very light in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula and continue to beat until the mixture becomes very light in texture, 3 to 4 minutes more.

  • Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping the bowl between additions.

  • Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Alternately add the milk and dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and mix the batter just until smooth. Do not overbeat the batter.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula. Place the apple slices on the batter, overlapping one another in concentric circles and completely covering the surface of the cake. Repeat layering the apples in concentric circles until all of them are used or you reach almost the top of the pan, whichever happens first. Pour the cream evenly over the apples. Stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the cake.

  • Place the pan on the prepared baking sheet and bake for anywhere from 55 to 75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer it to a wire rack, and let the cake cool at least 15 minutes. Gently remove the sides of the pan and let the cake continue to cool to room temperature.

  • Invert the cake onto the rack and remove the pan and the parchment paper. Then invert it once more onto a serving platter. Serve the apple cake warm or room temperature. (The cooled apple cake can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.) Originally published September 23, 2003.

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 487kcal (24%)Carbohydrates: 67g (22%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 23g (35%)Saturated Fat: 14g (88%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 118mg (39%)Sodium: 40mg (2%)Potassium: 215mg (6%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 45g (50%)Vitamin A: 815IU (16%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 89mg (9%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

David Says

David Leite caricature

This apple cake recipe comes from the wonderful team of Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, life partners and owners of the now-closed Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine. Barbara Fairchild, my mentor and the former editor in chief of Bon Appétit, told The One and me about Clark and Mark and the restaurant when we were casting about for a great place to go on our eleventh anniversary back in 2004. “It’s terrific,” she told us. “You won’t be sorry.”

Mark had shown us around the restaurant and taken us out to the garden in the back. It was the first time I’d ever seen a restaurant harvest its own vegetables, greens, and herbs. “And in the winter when we’re closed,” said Mark, pointing to the rafters, “we hang hams that we cure ourselves.”

After all this time, I don’t remember what we ate, but I do remember walking away impressed—and with a signed cookbook under my arm. This apple cake was the first recipe I made from the book—and yes, it really is super moist. The cake quickly became an autumn staple for The One and me. And as I was casting about for a dessert to make for this year’s anniversary—21 years, which is something like 53 in straight-couple years—I remembered this recipe. The One had said he intends to make a tarte Tatin, but I’m making a last-minute substitution. There’s a certain symmetry in having this apple cake a decade after we were introduced to it. And I’m sure it’ll be every bit as saucy, tart, and tender as it—and we—were a decade ago.

Super Moist Apple Cake Recipe Super Moist Apple Cake Recipe

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published September 23, 2003

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Recipe © 2003 Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier. Photo © 2018 David Leite. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.

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