I made this cake for a class dinner at the end of last semester to rave reviews.
Measuring flour is a science. Technically, the most precise method is to use a scale and measure it in terms of ounces. Kitchen scales and weighing ingredients are coming back, so feel free to join the movement!
This cake freezes well, so if you have leftovers, you can certainly wrap them up and stick them in the freezer for another time.
APPLE CINNAMON CAKE
1 3/4 cups of sugar, divided (into 1 1/2
cups and 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) of block-style reduced-
fat (or regular) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of unsalted
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 large eggs (for baking, you want large
NOT extra large eggs)
1 1/2 cups (about 6 and 3/4 ounces) of
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
2 large apples, chopped (I like Granny
Smith because their crispy texture holds up
after baking, and I like their tartness along
with the sweetness of the cake)
8 or 9-inch metal or glass cake pan
1. Before doing anything, you want to be sure to take the butter and cream cheese out of the refrigerator so that they come to room temperature and soften.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°.
3. In a medium bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups of sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla with a mixer on a medium speed until well blended (about 4 minutes). (You can get a hand mixer pretty easily and cheaply, and it will make baking much easier than trying to do everything by hand.)
4. Add the eggs one at a time. Be sure to beat well after adding each egg until it is combined with the mixture. Then set this mixture (the “wet” ingredients) aside.
5. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
6. With the mixer on a low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients into the medium bowl with the wet ingredients. It is a good idea to stop periodically to scrape down the bowl to make sure that you don’t lose any of the batter. Continue to beat until the two mixtures have been blended together. Don’t worry if the batter is thicker than you expect a cake batter to be.
7. Combine the remaining sugar (1/4 cup) and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of this cinnamon sugar into the batter.
8. Stir the chopped apples into the batter until they are more or less evenly distributed. You do not want to use the mixer for this part or else you will smush (that’s the technical term) all of the apple pieces.
9. Lightly spray your cake pan with cooking spray to prevent the cake from sticking. Pour the batter into the pan.
10. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar on top of the cake. You want to create an even layer on the entire cake. You will more than likely have extra cinnamon-sugar, so don’t feel compelled to use it all on the cake. The extra cinnamon-sugar would be great for a batch of French toast or to flavor some oatmeal.
11. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes (the time it takes will depend on what type of cake pan you use.) The cake will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top will have darkened.
12. Let the cake cool before trying to get it out of the pan. The cake will be moist from the cream cheese, so you may want to use a serrated knife to cut it. It goes great with vanilla ice cream or some fresh whipped cream.