Fall is definitely in the air, I can almost smell the apples when I go outside! That means it’s baking season again! I love baking with pumpkin, squash and apples so when I was looking for a sweet treat to make for my family last night, I knew I had to try The Pioneer Woman’s Apple Cake. The recipe has been on the side of my fridge for a few months now just waiting for the apples to ripen!
I have to tell you, this recipe calls for A LOT of butter. Right off the bat, I melt 1 AND 3/4 sticks of butter in my favorite cast iron skillet. Whew! I was a bit skeptical about using that much butter for the topping but went ahead and did as the recipe told me to. I also read the recipe wrong and used brown sugar in this step instead of white… my bad. I think it was a good mistake though. Then I added some gorgeous apples that my daughter picked from the neighbor’s tree. (she took a long time and when she finally came back in, I asked her why. Her reply? “It’s hard to find apples that don’t have holes or white squirmy things in the holes!” Eww!)
Next I’m told to cream another stick of butter with some more sugar (I used white like I was supposed to this time!). Two large eggs and a healthy dose of pure vanilla make it smell so good!
Here’s one more reason why I love having backyard chickens and fresh eggs – look at that color difference! Can you tell which egg is the fresh one? The bright orange yolk on the right is from our free range birds. It’s always shocking to me when I break open a store egg and see how pale it is – I do a double take!
Sour cream makes everything better, and I really heaped it into that half cup measure! After I added the big creamy plop of tangy-ness, in went and the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder mixture. My apples are still simmering on the stove top and starting to turn a gorgeous color! Apple Cake is all about the apples so I do as the recipe says and fold another chopped one into the batter, which by the way tastes amazing already!
The thick batter is supposed to be evenly spooned over the apples now and gently spread. I had a bit of trouble with this and when I make it again I will be sure to spread the batter plops out more evenly. The cake still seemed to bake up nicely despite my mishap and once I turn it out onto the platter, I know no one will care!
This cake might not be the prettiest thing around but it sure smells heavenly! The brown sugar and butter turns into a rich dark caramel that coats the apples. It’s truly delicious. BUT…
… we liked it best while it was still hot, as soon as it started getting cold, the butter flavor was overpowering. I love butter, but this was a bit of overkill. When I make it next time, I will try cutting down to 1/2 stick of butter melted in the pan to see how that tastes. I think it would be fine with less butter in the topping. The cake itself is delicious and has a great flavor with a very tender crumb. I’m tempted to make the batter into cupcakes just to see how they would turn out. Anyway you slice it though, this recipe was a welcome introduction into many more fall baking sessions!