Blue-Ribbon Apple Cake
We set out to create a rich cake loaded with apples, without resorting to a dessert equivalent of zucchini bread.
Why This Recipe Works
For our Blue-Ribbon Apple Cake recipe, we sought a simple, easy-to-make cake in which the sweet-tart flavor of the apples was the star of the show. We found that the apples had to be cooked before baking to bring out the best of their flavor and reduce the juices that would otherwise turn our Blue-Ribbon Apple cake mushy. Cooking tart Granny Smith apples in butter and sugar added a deep, caramel flavor to the cake. For the batter, we favor a simple sour cream-style cake. The crumb is tender and the slight tanginess of the sour cream cuts through the cake’s richness. Lots of apple cake recipes use Bundt pans or high-sided cake pans, but we found a low 9-inch cake pan yields the best ratio of cake to apple. For the final touch on our Blue-Ribbon Apple Cake recipe, cooling the cake for five minutes before turning it out of the pan allows the caramel on the bottom of the pan time to harden just enough to stick to the apples, not the pan.