I bought a bag of gala apples at the grocery store weeks ago and didn't realize how many recipes I would need to make to use them up! While I love apple pie and apple crisp (my go-to apple desserts), I wanted to find something new to try. This apple cake sounded delicious and I can't recall ever having apple cake so I gave it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did! It's outstanding! The cake has great apple flavor and is so moist and fluffy. If you have apples hanging around the house and you're looking for a recipe, I highly recommend this one!
from Baking Illustrated, by Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine
For the Cake:
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, softened but still cool, plus 2 tablespoons for greasing the pan
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, plus 6 tablespoons for dusting the pan
2 tablespoons light brown sugar for the pan
3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups plain cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large Granny Smith apples (about 1 pound), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used Gala)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a standard 12-cup Bundt pan with the 2 tablespoons softened butter; dust the sides with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, then evenly distribute the remaining 4 tablespoons granulated sugar in the bottom of the pan. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the granulated sugar, breaking up any large lumps with your fingers.
Whisk the eggs and yolks in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup to combine. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.
In the bowl of a standing mixer set at the lowest speed, combine the flour, the 1 1/4 cups sugar, the baking powder and salt, about 30 seconds. With the mixer still running on the lowest speed, add the butter, 1 piece at a time in 1-second intervals and beat until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
With the mixer still running, add 1/2 cup of the egg mixture; mix at the lowest speed until incorporated, 5 to 10 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. With the mixer still running , add the remaining liquid in a steady stream (this should take about 30 seconds). Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat at medium-high speed to combine, about 30 seconds.
For the apples: Toss the cubed apples with the light brown sugar and distribute in an even layer over the sugar in the pan. Add the batter in 4 portions and gently level with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, springs back when pressed with a finger, and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, place a 12 inch square of foil on a wire rack. Immediately invert the cake onto the foil-covered rack. Cool at least 1 hour, then slide onto a serving plate.