Category Archives: Desserts

Just in time for National Coffee Day… I present to you an Amazing and Delicious New York Crumb Cake


Usually I miss a big national food holiday, but not this time! Just in time for National Coffee Day…. I present to you an Amazing and Delicious New York Crumb Cake. Let’s face it, coffee is great on its own, but who can pass up a good piece of coffee cake? Not this Jewish girl from Brooklyn! Plus, all of you will need something to go with the free coffee you’re going to score today – Am I Right?

You all know by now how much I love my iced coffee, but did you also know how much I love my crumb cake – or any coffee cake for that matter? Let’s just say my husband doesn’t call me his little coffee cake for nothing! The love runs deep, both for the husband, and the coffee cake!

A quick coffee cake lesson because you may have noticed I’ve been using the term coffee cake interchangeably with the term crumb cake…

Coffee cake is quite literally cake you have with coffee. Crumb cake falls under that umbrella just like it’s cousins the sour cream walnut cake, streusel squares, or marble cake. Crumb cake is a type coffee cake, and no two coffee cakes are alike – but are similar if that makes sense. Crumb cake implies a crumb or streusel topping. All coffee cakes may or may not have a crumb topping, but all go well with coffee. Most people use the term crumb and streusel interchangeably, however, the sugar/butter/flour ratio is a little different. A real crumb cake will be about a 50/50 crumb to cake ratio. A streusel cake will have less and a lighter sprinkling on top. One more quick note, sometimes you have cake with coffee, but that doesn’t automatically make it a “coffee cake” take for example birthday cake – this is not coffee cake. There you have it, everything you wanted to know about coffee cakes but were afraid to ask! However, if you do have more questions, just ask and I’ll get back to you in-between bites!

So now on to the recipe… I’ve tried my fair share of crumb cake recipes and while I have loved them all, this one is by far the best I have found. I think it’s the crumb to cake ratio which really hits the mark for me. I adapted it from Johnny Iuzzini’s cookbook Sugar Rush. If you have a chance, you have to check it out – it’s just beautiful, informative, and with clear instructions for the home baker to follow. Oddly enough, he got the recipe from a home baker who was one of his interns. I think all home bakers should have a good coffee cake in their repertoire – you’ll be an instant hero to all of your friends! This recipe could not be easier, the cake is moist and tender and the buttery, cinnamon crumb does not disappoint. Coming from this New York Girl, this is quite an endorsement! Of course, I did change a couple of things, but not much. A little extra salt here, a little less fat there and voilà my splash is added. I used low-fat milk and low-fat sour cream but feel free to use whole if you’d like. I made the recipe both ways and didn’t notice that much difference, so I might as well save the calories, and then maybe enjoy a second piece!

Just remember, I said this is a crumb cake (50/50 topping to cake). It will look like you don’t have enough batter, but you will. It is a very thin layer that when baked, puffs up. You will also think you have way too much crumb topping… nonsense! You can never have enough! What happens is the cake rises because of the baking powder/sour cream reaction and the crumb, not so much so even Steven.

One more last thing, before you get started baking, here are a couple of National coffee day links to find free or discounted coffee near you. Enjoy!

http://time.com/money/4961486/free-coffee-deals-national-coffee-day-2017/
https://www.columbusonthecheap.com/free-perks-on-national-coffee-day/

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
5½ tablespoons (1/3 cup) unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup low fat sour cream, at room temperature
⅔ cup 1% milk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature (I used extra-large it’s all I ever bake with)
1 tablespoon good vanilla extract

Crumb Topping:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (I use Vietnamese cinnamon)
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Makes one 9 x 13 inch cake and serves 12 to 16 people. I guess that depends if you are New Yorker or not!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and set your rack in the center of the oven. Spray a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray, dust it lightly with flour and invert it over the kitchen sink to tap out the excess. Set aside.

I like to start with the crumb topping and then set it aside until the batter is done. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined. Add the melted butter and stir until the dry ingredients have absorbed the butter. With your hands, gently mix the crumb mixture and roll it in-between your palms and fingers to create the crumbs. Set aside.

For the cake… In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer set to medium, use the paddle attachment and mix together the butter and sugar until light in color. Add in the egg and sour cream blending until it is mixed well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla. With the mixer on low, alternate the wet and dry ingredients starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Don’t forget to scrape don’t the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix until just combined – do not over mix.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. It’s a thick batter; you can use an offset spatula to spread it as evenly as you can. Using your hands, scatter the topping evenly over the cake batter.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the center of the cake is firm to the touch and springs back lightly. If the cake is not baked through, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking in 5 minute increments until it is set in the center making sure the topping doesn’t get too brown. If this happens, you can lightly cover it with foil.

Let the cake cool completely then dust it with the Confectioners’ sugar. While it’s cooling, go put on a pot of coffee!

Baked Apple Doughnuts with Spicy Cinnamon Sugar

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Baked apple doughnuts with cinnamon sugar is an oldie but a goodie so I’m replaying it! This recipe was originally published in October of 2015. I made them the other day and thought it’s a perfect recipe to replay for apple season and the holidays. Enjoy the rewind!

You guessed it… Another apple recipe! That basket on my kitchen counter is getting smaller by the day! This time it’s baked apple doughnuts with cinnamon sugar. Why baked doughnuts you ask? Because they are delicious – that’s why! When my family was at Lynd Fruit Farm a couple of weeks ago, their snack stand was open where they sell a variety of goodies. They make fresh kettle corn, roasted candied nuts, hot cider, funnel cakes, fresh doughnuts and apple fritters among other things. Usually we will buy one doughnut and one apple fritter and split it among the family, then go back for 2 more!

On this visit, it was Pumpkinpalooza day at the farm and to say it was extremely busy is an understatement! I guess the word palooza should give you an idea to the fun activities they had going on! In the urban dictionary palooza is defined as an all-out crazy party; partying at one place with a ton of people like there’s no tomorrow! It wasn’t quite that crazy, but the line was pretty long and we were tired from the couple of hours we just spent apple picking and shopping in the farm stand, so we went home. However, the sweet smell of the candied nuts, doughnuts and cider never left me and have been on my mind for the past couple of weeks.

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I love doughnuts, but I don’t like eating fried foods. I save that for times I want a really special treat. My search for a healthier doughnut lead me to this baked doughnut. I found it on the King Arthur Flour website and promise you won’t miss the extra calories frying would add! It tastes like an old-fashioned cake doughnut, which was my father’s favorite! This recipe uses 100% whole wheat flour, and apple sauce which makes a very tender and delicious cake style doughnut. I changed it up quite a bit due to the ingredients I had on hand (or didn’t have on hand in this case), and added more spices to it. Their recipe calls for orange juice and apple cider reduction which I didn’t have and they gave substitutions for. I always have small cans of pineapple juice in the house and it’s a wonderful sub for orange juice. I’m anxious to try the cider reduction one day, I think it will add great flavor to this already yummy treat!

I did try the maple glaze and while it was very good, it was too sweet for me. Instead, I went with a dusting of cinnamon sugar and my family agreed it was a winner. It is very close to the cinnamon sugar doughnuts they had at the farm-stand. This is an adapted version of the King Arthur Flour recipe. They came out fantastic, are quick to put together, and are a healthier doughnut, using white whole wheat pastry flour, very little oil and baking instead of frying. The only problem… they don’t last long – I can promise you that! Enjoy!

2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour*
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1  1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1  1/4 cups granulated sugar
1  1/8  cups plus applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons pineapple juice (or orange juice)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon**)

Glaze recipe (if you’re a glaze lover!)
1  1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup***
3/4 teaspoon maple extract
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons milk or heavy cream (enough to make a spreadable glaze)
Mix all the glaze ingredients together until smooth
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray two standard doughnut pans.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and ginger then set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined.

Spoon the batter in the doughnut pans, filling each one a little more than three quarters full. Some people use a pastry bag for this step. I was fine spooning the batter in the wells of the doughnut pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then take them out. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. While still warm, dip each doughnut into the cinnamon sugar to coat on both sides. Set on a wire rack to cool. If you’re glazing, allow the doughnuts to cool completely before spreading on the glaze.

This recipe yields 12 to 18 regular size doughnuts or 48 mini doughnuts

*White whole wheat flour is lighter in color and milder in flavor than 100% whole wheat flour with all of the same benefits. If you want to substitute all-purpose flour use 1  3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons.

**I use Vietnamese Cinnamon in all my baking. It’s strong, rich and has a sweet flavor I really like. It can be found in most groceries or specialty spice shops.SONY DSC

 

Dear Marcy Goldman, Thank you for the most Delicious Majestic and Moist Honey Cake Recipe! xoxo Sherri


Dear Marcy Goldman, Thank you for the most Delicious Moist and Majestic Honey Cake! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us. I have always loved your cookbooks and any recipes I have tried.  xoxo, Sherri

Have you ever had a honey cake that was anything but dry and heavy? They are usually like hockey pucks. Not this one, it’s exactly what the name says it is and more. You’ll have to take my word on this, because I never liked honey cake, hated it actually. Last week I found myself somewhat like Elaine in the Seinfeld episode where she ate the $29,000 piece of cake and was dancing around as she ate it. If there was surveillance video of me in my kitchen last week, it would have showed the same. Of course she was missing her sugar fix in the afternoon, I was tasting a little of it every day, to see how long it could actually stay moist. I figured at some point, it had to get dry and heavy, but it never did. Maybe I’ll have to video tape myself and share that with you. If I get enough people requesting it, I just might! To put a number on it, if 25 people subscribe to my blog and comment on this post, I’ll do it!

So let’s rewind… why did I even make a honey cake when I don’t like it? Short answer, It’s Rosh Hashanah, it’s tradition, you can’t buy them in Columbus, Ohio and my husband loves them!

Long Sherri answer… I love family traditions especially around the holidays. Since moving to Columbus one of my favorite family traditions has been at Rosh Hashanah. I always set the holiday table with my sons’ shofars which they made as young children, beautiful flowers, my mother’s candle sticks, apples and mini honey jars. Even my wine bottle gets a little outfit! The excitement of the holiday prompts me to set the table well in advance just so I could have a few extra days to marvel at the table setting. It always makes me so happy. It’s also the time of year when my in-laws would visit for the holiday and stay for a few days.

My in-laws always arrived the day of Erev Rosh Hashanah right after lunchtime. As my father-in-law walked into the house, he would give me a big bear hug and comment how he could smell my cooking in the street as they pulled up. Year after year it was the same scene in my kitchen. The chicken soup was simmering away on the stove, the counter was filled with challahs fresh out of the oven, apple cake and mandel bread (my mother’s delicious recipe). Everything lined up like little soldiers.

The initial excitement of their arrival is one I looked forward to every year. It was even more special because I was the only one home to receive them and had them all to myself for a couple of hours. They came with suitcases and bags of gifts, but more importantly, the honey cakes! I seem to remember one year when my mother-in-law Joan brought five or six of them! I wish I could remember why she said she brought so many, but assume it was because her son loved them so much. Our first holiday without her, I still expected to see her walk through the door arms filled with honey cakes saying “I brought you some honey cakes, it didn’t come out too dry this year!”

It was something I never made (probably because I don’t like them) but more importantly it was her specialty. I’m a good daughter-in-law and would never have stepped on her toes. Last year, I decided to make my husband a honey cake – he does love them afterall. I didn’t have her recipe so what is a girl to do? Look through every Jewish cookbook and Google until she finds one that looks good. When a recipe has the words moist and majestic in it, especially for a honey cake, you look no further.

So thank you Marcy Goldman for bringing us all this most delicious cake! Just for the record, I made it last year as is but this year tweaked it just a little to accommodate my taste. I can now say I’m a honey cake lover, hence my Elaine dance in the kitchen! Remember, if you want to see my honey cake happy dance, make a comment on this post!

The tradition and excitement of years past fills my heart. My mother’s mandel bread fills my soul, alongside it sits this majestic and moist honey cake which I think my mother-in-law would have just loved. Shana Tova… Enjoy!
Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
adapted from Marcy Goldman’s Treasure of Jewish Holiday Baking. Here is what I changed… I omitted the cloves (I don’t like them), I used pineapple juice instead of orange juice because I always have cans of pineapple juice on hand, and never have orange juice! I cut down the sugar to see if I would miss it – I didn’t! Finally, I don’t care for the taste of whiskey and even in the cake it was a bit strong. My friend Susie and I baked honey cakes together last week and she suggested I try brandy. She uses it in a sweet potato dish she makes and said it adds a nice flavor. She was right; the brandy was a perfect choice, not as strong as the whiskey and when you eat the cake you wonder, what is that. FYI… I think my brandy is a little bit majestic as well. I started with ¼ of a bottle, have made 14 honey cakes this year and haven’t run out of brandy yet!

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup extra light olive oil
1 cup honey
1 granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup warm coffee
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (optional)

Directions
I made mine in a variety of ways. My favorite, was the mini loaf pans (5 ¾ x 3 ¼) which yielded 8 and are great to give as gifts. I have also made this recipe in three 8 x 4 ½” loaf pans. The 9” or 10” angel food pan makes for a very pretty presentation and Marcy Goldman’s favorite choice. Finally you can use a 9×13” sheet pan. This is pretty versatile if you ask me.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray. For tube or angel food pans, line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. In a separate bowl, mix the warm coffee with the brown sugar. This helps the clumps you can sometimes get. Then add all of the wet ingredients plus the sugar and mix together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon the batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with almonds, if using. Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top). Hmmm… I somehow missed this step, but they came out perfectly when I baked them on one cookie sheet, or directly on the oven rack.

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes. The minis only took 30 minutes. If you are using throw away aluminum tins, the bake time will be a little less for all of the above.

Let cake stand fifteen minutes before removing from pan and enjoy!

 

Hamantashen Ice Cream Sandwich… It’s A MATCH!


Hamantashen + Ice Cream = The most delicious Hamantashen Ice Cream Sandwich… IT’S A MATCH! Everyone calm down, I’m not a real matchmaker; I’m more of a food matchmaker. I guess I could start with a corny joke like a hamantashen and a scoop of ice cream walk into a bar, yada – yada – yada… ba dum bump! But I can feel my family start to twinge, so I’ll put my comedic career on hold for a little while.

Yes, you heard me right and oh yes I did put ice cream in the middle of my hamantashen! I hear you all out there judging me, with your “Oh no you didn’t.” But, oh YES I did. I know hamantashen can be a rich cookie with it’s pie filling, and chocolate but when you stop and think about it for a minute, it really sounds good doesn’t it? We put ice cream on pie. Isn’t hamantashen just a triangular little pie? Plus, didn’t 2016 bring us the babka ice cream sandwich from Russ and Daughters? And, what about the black and white cookie ice cream sandwich I recently saw on Instagram? If you ask me, hamantashen was just waiting for its turn to be asked to the dance. Hamantashen and ice cream, let’s tango!

So how did I decide to make an ice cream sandwich using hamantashen? This happy union came about after trying a new hamantashen recipe this year. On Tuesday, the hamantashen softened up a bit because of the cherry pie filling. When I ate one, something just screamed out “HEY, HOW ABOUT A LITTLE ICE CREAM WITH THAT?” See what I did there with the caps? Obviously the trick is to have the right dough and filling for it. If you read yesterday’s post, you know I have tried quite a few different recipes in my time so you can trust me on this. For example, I make a cream cheese dough which tastes similar to rugalach, ice cream would not be a good match for that.

This recipe is adapted from the 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook. It’s a hamantashen that definitely stands alone. When it is first baked, it is crisp on the outside and tender on the inside and is absolutely delicious. On the second day, when it softened a bit, the addition of ice cream put it over the edge. Plus, I don’t know about you  but I absolutely love anything with almonds in it, and this has a double dose. I hope you will try this with your favorite ice cream and let me know what you think!  Happy Purim everyone! Enjoy!
The recipe makes 4 dozen cookies using a 3” round cookie cutter, or 24 ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup finely ground almond flour* (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
3 extra large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 stick softened unsalted butter (or margarine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
sanding sugar
egg wash**
Cherry pie filling (or other pie filling of your choice)

Good quality ice cream
Sliced almonds (I used honey toasted almonds from Trader Joes)
Chocolate or caramel sauce (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

Directions
In a large blow, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add the almond flour and mix well then set aside.

In another large bowl, cream sugar and butter with mixer until blended. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix well. Add the almond and flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides. If the dough is sticky, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it no longer sticks to your fingers. I did not do this step; I found the dough fine and then wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. The original recipe says you can bake it without refrigerating first.

When you are ready to bake, position the racks to the upper and lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Roll the dough to a thickness of about 3/16”. My trick is to use paint sticks you get at the hardware store. I cover them with plastic wrap and use them as guides. I like that better than the rings you can put on your rolling pin. Using a 3” round cookie cutter, cut circles of dough and place them on the cookie sheets.

When all of the dough has been cut place about 1 ½ teaspoon of filling in the center of the circle. Brush the perimeter with the egg wash or a little water. Now you can either use the pinch method as I do and pinch 3 corners together, or use the folding method where you flap one side, then the next two till you form a triangle.

Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash. I sprinkled mine with some sanding sugar for that extra sparkle and crunch. Bake the hamantashen for 18 to 20 minutes (checking after 15) or until the cookies are golden brown. To ensure even browning, rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back. When done, remove from the oven and let them rest for 2 to 3 minutes on the cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack.

Now to make the match… Place one hamantashen bottom side down, add a scoop of ice cream of your choice, top with another hamantashen top side up so you can see the beautiful topping and eat it carefully. Of course you can place it bottom side up as well – make it your own. It’s so yummy it won’t last long! If you want to plate it, dress up the plate with some chocolate sauce, maybe some whipped cream, and almonds. However you choose to eat it, it’s a match made in heaven!

* I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour which I found in my local grocery. King Arthur makes a great one as well which you can purchase online. You can also make almond flour in a food processor, here is a how to link.

**For the egg wash I use the whole egg and put in a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and a splash of water.

Jarred’s Holiday “Layered” Apple Cake… Best wishes for a New Year filled with all of the ingredients for good health, happiness, and peace

SONY DSCThis post was originally titled Jarred’s Holiday “Layered” Apple Cake.

I find the need to repost this recipe every year as is it is a timeless classic. It is exactly similar to so many out there who claim theirs is the best (of course, mine is!). Whether it’s my mom’s apple cake, grandma’s delicious apple cake, a clipping from a magazine or old newspaper, one from your favorite cookbook or blog, or Marcy Goldman’s everybody’s Jewish apple cake, it makes no difference – they are all delicious, and pretty much the same. So whichever recipe you use, I hope the scent of apples fill your home with the sweet aroma of the New Year ahead! Oh, and of course you should use my recipe, it’s the best one! Enjoy!

Now for the repost… In the Fall, I always find myself with a plethora of apples. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve already gone apple picking twice – yielding almost 50 pounds of apples! At this time of year I find myself adding apples to almost everything that I bake. There are apple pancakes, my mother’s applesauce, apple pies, crumbles and crisps, and my baked apple doughnuts, among the top contenders. However, if you’re looking for something very special and easy – it’s apple cake.

“Jarred’s Holiday Apple Cake” has been in my recipe binder for the past 18 years. I know the exact amount of time because it was 18 years ago when I sent out holiday cards to family and friends with a personalized recipe inside the card. It’s not an old family recipe that was handed down to me, it was personalized and printed by the card company and titled “Jarred’s Holiday “Layered Apple Cake” after my then one year old son. Oddly, in all of those 18 years, I never made the cake!

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I figured it was something made up for show by the card company. Last year, my sister-in-law Barbara was telling me about the delicious apple cake she made and how easy it was. I asked her for the recipe and she  laughed and said, it’s Jarred’s apple cake. I was very confused. Had my son become a baker and I didn’t know it?

Apparently, she had been using the recipe from the card for a while and loved it! So I guess it really worked after all! She said it also freezes great if you want to make it ahead of time. I don’t think it would make it to the freezer in my house, but it’s good to know! This year I made it, and she was right; it’s terrific and super easy! So here it is, straight from the card which reads… Best wishes for a New Year filled with all of the ingredients for good health, happiness, and peace. Enjoy!

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For the smaller versions, I used 6 one pound aluminum loaf pans. These are nice to give as gifts, or to freeze for a later date.

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These could not be cuter! When using the smaller loaf pans, I only made one layer of apples in the center.

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar (I cut it down to 1  1/2 cups)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil)
4 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice (or pineapple juice, which I prefer)
2  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Now for the apples:
4 to 6 apples* peeled and sliced (yield about 6 to 7 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 10″ tube pan** and set aside. I sprayed the pan generously with canola oil but you can use butter if you are not keeping it dairy free.

In a small dish, mix 5 teaspoons of sugar with the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon together and set aside. This will be used in the layers over the apples.

Peel and slice the apples, mix with lemon juice to keep the apples white and set aside. I use an apple slicer that cores, peels and spirals the apple into rings then chop it from there. I reserved one apple to decorate the top.

Beat together until smooth the sugar, oil, eggs, orange juice and vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together just until incorporated.

In the tube pan, pour a layer of batter, then place a layer of apples, and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat layering pattern until all of the batter and apples are used. I ended up with 2 layers of apples and 3 layers of batter. Try to keep the apples in the center of the pan, so they don’t stick to the sides. The original recipe says to top with sugar and cinnamon mixture which is what I did for my smaller cakes. The big cake I topped it with rings of apples and sprinkled it with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of plain white sugar. You can do it either way – both delicious and pretty.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hours to 1 1/2 hours or until a cake tester comes out clean.  I like to check it every 30 minutes and turn it 1/2 way through the baking time.

*I used a combination of granny smith, jonathan and golden delicious because that is what I had on hand. Any good baking apple of your choice will work very well in this recipe.

**This recipe will also make 6 miniature loaf pans (1 pound size) or 3 regular size loaf pans (2 pound size). I only made one layer of apples in these versions and they bake in about 40 to 55 minutes.

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