This recipe for Fresh Apple Cake is truly like biting into a slice of old school southern baked goodness. The fresh apples keep the cake perfectly moist, and the pound-cake-like crust takes it over the top!
Let’s talk about cake for just a minute, shall we? You can never go wrong with a good old fashioned cake, but when it comes right down to it, I prefer mine without the icing. Sure, the icing on the cake is always the prettiest part, but too much sugar isn’t always a good thing, and I believe a cake being able to stand it’s own without adding all the frills really says a lot about the quality and goodness of the cake itself.
You wouldn’t cover up the golden delicious crust on a pound cake with icing, would you? Of course not! I prefer my cakes to be like that. Give me ALL the golden sugar-y crust and hold the icing, please!
Fresh apple cake has always been a favorite of mine. The fresh apples baked inside keep the cake amazingly moist, but perhaps the best part about this particular recipes is, as I mentioned earlier, the pound cake crust. There’s a special trick to accomplishing that crust, and it all has to do with how you grease your pan.
Sometimes we can be prone to reach for the non-stick cooking spray when a recipe calls for greasing the pan, but your cake will truly be lacking something special if you go that route. As I’ve said in previous posts, I do not cook with Crisco like so many old school southern recipes call for. My ONLY exception to that rule is when I’m baking a cake, especially a pound cake or a fresh apple cake like this one.
When baking a cake, you’ll want to “grease and flour” the pan to prevent your cake from sticking to the sides and falling apart. To grease the pan, you’re going to need to get your hands a little dirty. Technically, I suppose you could find a way around getting your hands dirty, but I prefer to use my hands to really get down into all of the crevices of the pan. You’ll want to take a scoop of Crisco and smear it ALL around the inside of the tube pan, making sure to not leave any area ungreased. Next, you’ll want to “flour” the pan, or in this case, use powdered sugar instead of flour. Trust me on this one.
Dusting the pan with flour or powdered sugar creates a line of defense between the Crisco and the cake batter. It prevents the Crisco from seeping into the batter as the cake bakes, yet still lets the batter rise up the sides of the pan. The Crisco creates a perfectly golden crunchy layer that is one of my favorite parts of this recipe, and you won’t have a difficult time releasing the bread from the pan. Before you pour the batter in the pan, be sure to dump any excess powdered sugar that didn’t stick to the Crisco into the trashcan.
Here’s a free printable copy of the recipe if you’d like to give it a try:
Fresh Apple Cake
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups all purpose flour (Divide flour into 2 3/4 cups + 1/4 cup)
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans optional
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 apples (I use Red Delicious) peeled and chopped
- Crisco and about 1/4 cup powdered sugar for greasing and dusting the pan
- Preheat oven to 300 F
- Using a stand mixer, combine vegetable oil and sugar.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
- In a separate bowl, mix pecans and 1/4 cup flour
- In a separate large bowl, combine 2 3/4 cups flour, baking soda and salt and gradually add into the sugar mixture
- Add floured pecans and vanilla
- Fold in apples
- Thoroughly grease a tube pan with crisco and "flour" the pan with powdered sugar. This creates an AMAZING crust, so don't skip this part!
- Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 1 hr and 20 minutes
- Test for doneness before removing from oven
Here are a few of my favorite must-have’s in the kitchen when baking a fresh apple cake, or any cake for that matter!
If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out these other great recipes found right here on Southern Made Simple!