Easy Peasy Apple Cake

Easy Peasy Apple Cake
…….

It feels like my whole little world is ripe right now, as the blackberry season ends, the tomatoes grow fat, and the apples start to drop. We’re full swing into our back-to-school madness, and this mama and her kids want to drop, too, heavy with soaking up all of September’s changes and willing to lay on the hard earth and rot for a bit if it means we can rest.

The weekend is almost upon us, and I’m greeting it with both relief and a driving need to bake. Or can. Or freeze. Or cure meat. Anything to stock the pantry and the root cellar for the hard freeze of winter. Nevermind that I don’t have a root cellar and that our part of Oregon rarely freezes hard at all. Apparently, this is the time of year Mama Me must hunker down and gather my chickies into my nest despite the fact they’ll immediately try to peck each other’s eyes out; honest to God, as long as I can bake something with cinnamon or nutmeg or pumpkin spice, I do not care.

I’m sitting right now at my dusty patio table watching the rusty shovels lie impotently against the fence, which we didn’t stain for the tenth year in a row. The lawn mower sits half on and half off the grass, and two chairs are upended, catawampus, the last remnants of summer forts. The first leaves are starting to change even though it still smells like summer, and the fall breeze rustling in trees is making me nervous because it sounds just like a twenty-pound bag of rice spilling on the kitchen floor.

These are the sights and sounds and feelings at the beginning of fall, and so I must bake. I don’t know why or how that makes sense, only that it does.

This weekend, I’m baking apple cake. My kind of apple cake. The kind that’s easy peasy. The kind that’s possible with five kids underfoot. The kind that’s pretty. And rustic. And works for breakfast or dessert. Or lunch or coffee. Or second breakfast or afternoon snack. With apples and cinnamon delivering an awesome performance on center stage. There’s really nothing more I can ask of a cake. Unless it can bring me a beer.

And so, without further ado, I present to you…

Easy Peasy Apple Cake
…….

First, cream together 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of soft butter.

I highly recommend hiring a five-year-old boy for this step. They’re vigorous mixers and they’ll work for licking the bowl. If you don’t have a five-year-old boy of your own, I’ll bet you can find a mama who’ll loan you hers for cheap. Perhaps for the low, low price of keeping him overnight.

Next, add two eggs.

Then, add 1 T. vanilla, 1/2 t. salt, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. baking powder, and 1 c. flour.

And by 1 T. vanilla, I mean a giant splash or one glug. I’ve never measured vanilla in my life. Also, don’t forget to leave out the salt. I do that every time, and it doesn’t seem to matter. This is art, not science. Well, technically it’s chemistry but it tastes like home and hearth and happiness so I’m sticking with art.

Gently, barely mix it all together and pour the batter into a greased pan. I use a cast iron skillet ’cause it’s somehow perfect for fall, but you can use a 9×9 glass casserole dish or a pie pan… knock yourself out.

Cut and layer apples for the top. You can go for pretty or just pile fruit on that thing. The batter’s gonna grow over it, anyway, so it won’t matter in the end. There’s just something about fall that rewires my brain and make me fan my fruit like this:

I can’t help it.

Then sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar.

And throw on some pats of butter.

Just for giggles, you know.

And pop that pan of Ah, it’s fall! in the 350′ oven for 30 minutes. Or longer. Up to 40 minutes, perhaps. You pick. I slightly underbake mine (and broil the top for 2-3 minutes to crisp it up) because I leave it in the skillet — less to wash when the baking pan’s the serving pan — so my lower baking time allows it to keep cooking for a while after I pull it from the oven.

Serve warm. Or cold. Or lukewarm. With whipped cream. Or ice cream. Or all by itself.

And then pass out for a while.

Enjoy!

…….

Easy apple garnish, anyone?

If you cut an apple in the middle, instead of top-down,

…there’s a star inside. It’s fun. It’s easy. It’s more likely kids’ll eat their apples. Win/win/win.

…….

And, hey! This recipe is also good for other fall fruit. Like plums.

Mmmmm…

…….

So.

Easy Peasy Apple Cake:
the short, boring directions 

Cream together:
1 c.sugar
1/2 c. soft butter

Gently mix in:
2 eggs
1 T. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. flour

Pour batter into an greased pan.

Top with:
2 c. sliced fruit
2 T. cinnamon sugar

Bake: 350′ for 30 minutes

…….

What’s your favorite, easy way to use fall fruit? Do tell! Add links if you’ve got ’em. I’m always on the lookout for new, simple, delicious recipes.

…….

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
32 comments
  1. Way too much work for me. If I have to do much more than cut fruit, it ain’t happening. I like just slicing apples, throw it in a cup with some sugar and cinnamon, putting it in the microwave, and it is done! Fall makes me want to make chicken and dumplings, chili, vegetable soup, taco soup….you get my drift. Never was and never will be a baker but if you need grub that sticks to your belly, then I’m your girl.

  2. Hey I can make this!

  3. My go-to is a crisp/crumble. No real recipe though.

    I use whatever fruit I have on hand. Sometimes I peel it, sometimes I don’t. Ripe pears that no one is eating? Crisp. Not very many? Add a couple handfuls of craisins. Got apples? The same. Plums, berries, rhubarb, whatevs. I add a a tablespoon or two (or a little more depending on how juicy the fruit is) of cornstarch or flour and some sugar depending on taste. Sometimes I add cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe some fresh ginger if I have it. You get the idea.

    Then I make the crumble (often in the same bowl I mixed the fruit in before putting it into a greased pan of appropriate size). A few handfuls of rolled oats, or rolled five grain cereal, or quick oats (again, whatever you have). Add brown sugar, flour of some sort, a punch of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. then I mix it around and add melted butter or coconut oil until it’s all wet and a bit clumpy.

    Then I put the crumble bits over the fruit and bake it (maybe 350?) until the fruit is tender and it’s brown on top. The crumble mix freezes beautifully so you can make extra and next time only have to do up the fruit. Eat it warm or cold, with ice cream or whip cream or plain. Eat it for dessert or breakfast ( it is after all fruit and oatmeal).

    Seriously easy!!

  4. I have serving dishes,using them though?No,i serve right out of the pot because 3 boys are a lot of kids.And I display my dishes in the china cabinet cause what else is gonna catch all the dust??lol 😀 Oh,also one can make Dump Cake with canned fruit instead of pie filling,made it last week when i had a killer sweet tooth late at night & had almost nothing to make something out of.I used a can of mandarin oranges I crushed,a big can of crushed pineapple,4 chopped maraschino cherries(all i had on hand)a box of yellow cake mix sprinkled on top,a stick of melted butter drizzled all over,a handful of coconut & a handful of walnuts,bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.Delicious as is,or on ice cream it tastes like a Hawaiian Blizzard from Dairy Queen.My kids loved it & ate 2 pans of it in 2 days!!

  5. […] that’s where homemade bread comes in. The perfect solution! Fall is in the air. Baking must be done. OK, so maybe we can’t actually walk in our house without tripping, but it finally smells […]

  6. Baking this Apple cake right now…my kids are Impatiently sitting at the table. Except the kid who refuses to eat his dinner. Too bad for him!!! LOL.

    1. Hey – thanks for telling me! I hope you loved it!

  7. Just made this today; it’s already mostly gone. soo delish. and so easy. i want to try it w/ pears, plums, peaches. I’ll probably make another one tomorrow.

    1. Hooray! So glad it worked well for you. I’m making more this weekend. Pears and peaches would be delicious, too.

  8. I like a recipe where you don’t even have to stir:

    “DUMP CAKE” COBBLER
    2 cans of pie filling (apple, blueberry, rhubarb, gooseberry, etc.)
    1 box yellow cake mix
    1 stick butter, melted
    1/2-3/4 c. brown sugar

    1. Grease casserole (or dutch oven)
    2. Dump in both cans of pie filling
    3. Dump yellow cake mix on top of that.
    4. Pour melted butter on top of that.
    5. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
    6. DON’T STIR!!!
    7. Cover and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes OR cook in campfire with 9 grey charcoal briquettes on the bottom and 18 grey charcoal briquettes on top for 30-45 minutes.
    8. Eat.

    1. That sounds pretty exciting.

    2. I can personally attest to the deliciousness of this recipe. Webb makes a mean dump cake.

  9. What a timely post. I used serving dishes last night, but it is a rarity, and I did regret it a little at dishwashing time. Also last night I cooked my own easy-peasy go-to dessert: Chocolate pudding cake. The ingredients are all pantry staples, also no eggs. Of course, it CLAIMS to make 8 servings, but I’m pretty sure that is a typo.

    The word of the day: catawampus

    1. Mmm… chocolate pudding cake. Sounds DELICIOUS and like another recipe I need.

      Also, catawampus? Yes. Used in a sentence: This catawampus life sends me out of balance, but that’s the only way I’d want to live it. 😉

  10. Serving dishes?? I do actually own some, but I keep them on the highest shelf and use them so infrequently that I have to rinse the accumulated DUST off before setting them out! For me, one of the selling points on my set of pots was that the manufacturer claimed they were attractive enough to go from stove to table, doubling as serving dishes. (I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, but it works for me. And it’s a great excuse.)

    My go-to, crazy easy-peasy autumn dessert is called Quick Fruit Cobbler. It doesn’t even contain butter or eggs, so you don’t have to bother with creaming one or beating the other. But it makes a delicious, moist dessert that is great at any time of day, just like your apple cake recipe. And you can literally use any sort of fruit with it. I like to use a combo of fresh apples and frozen cranberries. But no matter which fruits I use, I always get compliments when I serve it to guests. (And then, lest they get the wrong idea about me, I have to admit that it took virtually no time at all to throw together.)

    Quick Fruit Cobbler
    Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
    Mix in a bowl:
    2 cups sugar
    2 cups flour
    2 cups milk
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    Pour into a greased 9×13″ casserole dish or other similar sized baking pan.
    Top with:
    2 cups of fruit (fresh, frozen, or canned)
    Bake for 40 minutes.

    Hope you enjoy it! It’s great, and even looks elegant with a dollop of whipped cream.

    ~Sharon

    1. Oops! Typo detected. It needs to be baked for about 90 minutes, not 40!

    2. YUM! I’m making this tonight!

  11. Hmmmmm, I wonder if it would work with almond flour or coconut flour or quinoa? Stupid allergies.

    Must try this with plums.

    Serving dishes, ha ha ha ha ha

    1. Aw, man! Allergies suck. My sis-in-law dealing with them All. The. Time. If you try with an alternative flour, let me know how it goes. I’d love to know.

      Also, on serving dishes? Clearly you, Meghan, Carlie and I can get together anytime.

  12. Just what I needed to see at midnight with a mean sugar craving. It’s taking a lot of effort to not start preheating the oven.

    1. Abby’s my teen. She stays up late. She bakes. Having a baking teenager is like 1am TORTURE.

  13. Thank you! Anything that says, “Easy Peasy” in the title is good with me!

    1. I am not sure if this was me or not, but i just made this for the first time tonight and A M A Z I N G! Thank you again, Beth!

  14. I’ve got a great recipe for a ‘texas sheetcake’ that you bake on a cookie sheet and frost while it’s still warm……….makes a huge pan of chocolate cake……..everyone is always impressed. Lemme know if you are interested. It’s simple, fast, and good. ummmmm

      1. And post for all to see.

        1. Yes, pretty please..

  15. Whaaat? You mean there are people who don’t use the baking pan as the serving pan?? *mind boggled*

    1. My MIL cooks everything and then puts it all into serving dishes, regardless of who is there. I’ve come over shortly after she had dinner by herself and there are serving dishes!!! I, on the other hand, serve spaghetti out of the pot the noodles are boiled in, regardless of who is over!

      1. Aw! Your mom-in-law and mine would enjoy a LOVELY lunch together.

        p.s. I don’t own a pickle relish bowl. Just wanted someone to know.

        1. Of course, I’d love to meet Meghan’s MIL! But just because I use serving dishes doesn’t mean I’m above eating something delicious right out of the baking pan–and this looks like a good one to start with!

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