Italian Apple Cake

Need a last-minute dessert idea for Thanksgiving?  How about a company-worthy cake that is easy to make, yet looks like you snuck a pastry chef into your kitchen.  A cake that's dairy free and egg-free, yet still tastes buttery-tasting rich.  AND ... you don't have to haul out the electric mixer!  How in the world is that even possible?

To be honest, it's more of an apple tart but without the pastry crust, so don't worry if it doesn't rise very much.  Or at all.  But one look at it and no one will correct the name.  Except maybe that know-it-all relative.  But everyone will be too busy swooning over the taste explosion to listen to him/her.

For successful release from the cake pan, it is very important to line it with parchment.  TIP ALERT!  I lay down a sheet of parchment, then place the pan on top.  A quick run around with a ball-point pen or sharpie, then cut around INSIDE of the circle.  A very quick spritz in the center with cooking spray and the parchment will stay in place.  Voila! 

Italian Apple Cake

From: Chef Chloe
Yield: one 9-inch cake,  8-10 servings

 cooking spray
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup vegetable (not olive) oil
1/4 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbl. white (or apple) cider vinegar
3 Macintosh (or other sweet) apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spritz the center of a 9-inch round straight-sided cake pan.  Line with parchment paper. Lightly spritz the entire parchment.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.

Or use a heavy-duty spatula.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour wet ingredients onto the dry, and mix with a large wooden spoon just until just combined.  Batter will be doughy thick. 

Starting from the center, arrange some of the apples in a circular pattern in the prepared cake pan as shown.  Chop the remaining apples a couple times, then gently fold into the batter, making sure some batter clings to every piece of apple.

There appears to be more apple than batter, but the
batter will expand and the apples will reduce as it bakes.

Spoon the mixture carefully into the pan so as not to disturb the bottom layer of apples. Use a spatula in an attempt to spread the batter mixture out evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until center is set and the cake is lightly browned. 


Cool cake in pan on cooling rack.  Run a table knife around the edge, then gently unmold onto cake plate or stand.  Peel off parchment paper.

Serve as is so everyone can see how fancy-shmancy the cake looks, otherwise just before serving, sift powdered sugar evenly over top.


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