It’s a lazy little Saturday and I was padding around barefoot this morning (because it still feels like summer and it’s warm outside), dying for fall to arrive*, when I found a sweet recipe for a seemingly simple apple cinnamon white cake that seemed perfect for today – a little something to bring on that fall feeling in the absence of actual fall temperatures. Plus, I had apples that I bought for some reason I no longer remember and needed to get rid of them before they went bad**.
*And by “arrive”, I mean for the weather to be cooler than 75 degrees on any given day so I can wear my favorite riding boots without sweating.
**Which is where most of my kitchen inspiration comes from: An attempt to resuscitate almost-expired items in my fridge or cupboard before they move toward the light. I’m like the Dr. Quinn of foodstuffs.
In any case, as you likely know, I’m a bit of an impatient baker* so – surprise, surprise! – I might have combined the first and second steps of the directions (evidence below), which made me burst out laughing, because… well, what else is there to do? I forged ahead anyway.
*Or, I don’t read directions.
Recipe below (modified slightly from Jinglebells’ original recipe):
- 1/3 C brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2/3 C white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 C milk
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
Directions (follow more closely than I)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan (this is where the Crisco comes in handy)
- Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. (Note: important for the remainder of the recipe. Don’t combine this step as I did.)
- Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using until creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time; add vanilla extract.
- Combine flour and baking powder together in a bowl; stir into butter mixture. Mix milk into batter until smooth. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apples and half the brown sugar mixture. Pat apple mixture into batter. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with remaining apples and brown sugar mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon. (I missed the swirling step, too, but the cinnamon mixed through still adds that kicky little sweet spice to the cake.)
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.
Success: Something about the smell of sweet goodness in the oven really does make today feel a little more like fall. And something about enjoying the taste of that goodness with a steaming cup of coffee and a happy little dog chewing his bone in the background makes a house feel like a home.