Usually I try to get in a few nutrition points when I bake, like switching out the white flour with wheat, sneaking in some wheat germ, or replacing oil with applesauce. Not this time, sorry. Unless you count the apples as healthy...but I don't think you can when they are drenched in butter and brown sugar. Oh, how you will love this recipe anyway. When I made my apple cider donuts I declared them the best thing I have ever baked. I take it back. I now think this cake is the best thing I have ever baked. (The kids cast their vote for the donuts, which is good because I used whole wheat in that recipe.) Please make this immediately and do NOT think about the extra minutes on the treadmill the next morning. Just relax and rejoice in the decadent deliciousness of this cake.
You will need:
2T plus 2 tsp butter (don't worry, it all works out without measuring)
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1 medium apple
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar (or white)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup cider
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.
Cut the stick of butter so that you have 1/3 cup. That will leave you with 2T plus 2 tsp. See, no measuring!
Melt 2T plus 2 tsp butter in a 9-inch cake pan. I just did it in the microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power.
Now sprinkle the 1/2 cup of brown sugar over the top of the butter.
Peel and slice the apple. I did thin, but not too thin slices. I wanted them to cook through, but not disintegrate. (About apple choice: I used Fuji. Granny Smith would be too juicy for this recipe and you may end up with a cake that won't bake. Gala would be another good choice.) Then layer the slices on top of the sugar/butter. I barely overlapped the apples.
Set aside. In a large mixer bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Mix together and then add the butter, cider, vanilla, and egg.
Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Pour over the top of the apples/sugar/butter in the cake pan. No need to grease the sides at all.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. My cake needed the full 40, but I checked it after 35. Make sure a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let it cool for no more than 5 minutes and then invert the cake onto a serving plate or platter. Run a knife along the edges of the cake to loosen them. I put the plate on top of the cake pan and then flipped the whole thing over. (I was careful to use oven mitts on my hands so no caramelized sugar could drip out and burn me. Good thing I did because one of my oven mitts is covered in sugar.) It should pop out with ease.
Then dive in! This cake is best when still warm. We ate it without letting it cool at all.
The cake part is seriously good enough to eat alone with no apple/sugar/butter topping. The cinnamon couples with the apple cider flavor to knock you out of your socks!
Very moist, not at all heavy. Perfection.
(*note: don't forget to soak your pan after the cake is gone (and it will go FAST). The sugar and butter makes a caramel and you don't want that drying on your cake pan.)
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