Auntie Rae’s Apple Cake

Picture of dessert in a pan

Picture of cake on a plate

From the cookbook, “Perfect Cakes” by Nick Malgieri, this recipe caught my eye because of its use of pantry ingredients and simple straightforward preparation.  It’s really more of a bar-type dessert than a cake.  It sounded like a great recipe for new fall apples and the first time I tasted it I might have eaten more than one piece…I think you will too!  It would be delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Auntie Rae’s Apple Cake

Yield:  24 servings


4 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar:

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

 Apple Filling:

6 large apples (about 3 lbs.) such as Golden Delicious, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or another baking apple, peeled, grated on a box grater and tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Set rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees (325 convection).

Spray a 9”x13” cake pan with vegetable spray and line the pan with a piece of parchment paper or foil to extend up the long sides of the pan by about 4”.  Spray the parchment paper or foil with vegetable spray and set aside until needed.


Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, mixing well.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to break them up, then whisk in the sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture.

Place half the mixture into the prepared pan.  With the floured palm of one hand, press the dough into an even layer.  Cover the remaining dough mixture and chill until firm.

Cinnamon Sugar & Apples:

Meanwhile, combine the sugar and cinnamon mixing well.  Sprinkle the apples with half the cinnamon sugar and spread them evenly over the dough layer in the pan.  When remaining dough has chilled until firm, grate it through the coarse holes of a box grater over a piece of parchment or waxed paper.  Scatter the crumbly dough over the apples evenly but do not press down.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining cinnamon sugar.

Bake for about an hour, or until the top of the cake is crisp and deep golden and the apples are bubbling.  Cool in the pan on a rack.

To unmold, slide a butter knife or icing spatula along the short ends that aren’t covered by parchment paper or foil.  Lift the cooled cake up by the foil or parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board.  Slide the foil out from under the cake.  Use a long serrated knife to trim the edges if necessary, and cut into 2-inch squares.  Dust lightly with powdered sugar.

Keep the cake covered at room temperature, or double-wrap and freeze for longer storage.  Leftovers are best reheated and cooled before serving.

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