This is my favorite apple cake. (Now with updated photos, recipe card and additional written content! 9-20-17)
Somehow I had forgotten that I had a favorite apple cake recipe. I was still researching recipes to try to create my favorite apple cake recipe, when luckily, I unearthed this one.
Forgetting about a favorite recipe isn’t unusual when one is recipe obsessed. I have shelves and shelves of recipe books, magazines and clippings that I’ve gathered over the years.
Add to that a constant flow of new recipes and personal creations. Basically, that makes for a perfect environment for a treasured recipe to hide.
I have a system to capture my favorites now, but this one existed before the system and therefore, slipped past me.
Thankfully, there were some benefits to this temporary misplacement. I came across a lovely Spiced Applesauce Cake that I might not have found had I not gone searching down the rabbit hole once again.
I made lots of other apple cakes that would eventually validate that this one is still my favorite. And finally, I had that wonderful feeling of found treasure once I realized that I had a great recipe all along.
Why is this my favorite? Once reason is that it is chock full of apples! You’ll realize that fact once you start folding the apples into the cake batter. It almost seems that there’s as much batter as there is apples.
Another reason, or really one of the secrets of this cake, is the addition of cream cheese. It adds a creamy richness to this cake that’s out of this world. No one will suspect it’s there, but everyone will appreciate what it does for this cake.
So I baked the cake and everyone loved it as much as I did. There were some adjustments necessary to make the recipe even better. I reduced the sugar a bit.
I thought less sugar would let the apple flavor shine through. And guess what? No one even noticed that I took out a full 1/2 cup of sugar! But they did mention that it tasted more “apple-y.”
I filed this recipe safely with the rest of my favorites, never to be forgotten again.
This will be your favorite apple cake too, if you love a cake that is moist and a bit dense, like a coffee cake, and chock full of apples.
When you bite into this cake, it will be lightly reminiscent of eating apple pie, except the apples won’t be sloshing all over your plate trying to escape from both the crust and your fork while you are trying to eat it.
The apples will be tender and nicely contained in a batter that gets a wonderful richness from cream cheese and a spicy sweetness from a dusting of cinnamon sugar.
The topping is a bit crunchy when it first cools, but melts softly into the cake during storage. In fact, a lot of people comment on how much they like that cinnamon sugar topping.
Cinnamon Apple Cake. If you love apple cake, this recipe is a must try. Just make sure you file it in a place that you won’t forget about it.
Because this cake is anything but forgettable.
Cinnamon Apple Cake
- 1 1/4 cups sugar divided (1 cup for the batter, 1/4 cup for the apples and topping)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces block style cream cheese softened (I used Neufchatel)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 cups peeled chopped apple, (I used Fuji)
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of an 9" springform pan with cooking spray.
- Beat 1 cup of the sugar, butter, vanilla and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well blended, about 4 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
- Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Take 2 rounded Tablespoons of the mixture and combine it evenly with the chopped apples.
- Fold the apple mixture into the batter and pour into prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over top of cake batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes, or until cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
- Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Use a serrated knife to cut.
*Update: 9-20-17: I've updated the recipe to using a 9" springform pan. You can still use an 8", but my baking times are based on a 9". Always check the cake at the shortest period of time and then add time as necessary until it passes the tooth pick test.
*The original recipe called for an hour and 15 minutes of baking time which was far too long for this cake. I used a 9" spring form pan and mine took about 55 minutes, but watch yours carefully. You can also make this in a regular 9" pan.
*Store cake covered at room temperature. It will stay moist and delicious for a few days.
Cake adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, October 1997