It's officially fall now, and you know what that means? Apples! You know what else I love about fall? Cakes! Fall and winter are prime cake baking time because it's finally cool enough to actually enjoy having the oven on, and the cozy feeling that comes with it. As opposed to summer when, unlike my parents, I will indeed turn my oven on, but when I do, I'm often chased into the basement to get some respite from the heat. To recap, 2 great things about fall: apples and cake. There is an obvious next step staring us in the face here, and it's called apple cake.
As you can see, I used a 9 x 13 pan, but my sister-in-law makes a similar recipe and uses a Bundt pan. I like to make a foil liner for the pan when I make a snack cake like this so I can lift the entire cake out of the pan to cut it. That way I don't scratch up my bakeware with a knife. I used Granny Smiths because their tartness complements the sweetness of the cake nicely, but the choice of apple is obviously up to you. The batter will be very thick; it's almost more like a cookie dough than a cake batter. You will need to smooth it out into an even layer before baking. I served mine for dessert along with coffee or milk, as the diner preferred, but it was great the next morning for breakfast, too. Also works well as just an anytime snack.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups apples, peeled and chopped (if using Granny Smiths, this is about 2 or 3 of the jumbo ones, or 4 to 5 smaller ones)
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan by lining with foil and spraying the foil with vegetable oil cooking spray, or leave out the foil and grease and flour the pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add the chopped apples and nuts, if using, and fold into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, making sure to spread it out into an even layer and into the corners of the pan. Bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees. Allow to cool before slicing.