Cinnamon Apple Sheet Cake
This simple cake is studded with large pieces of fruit, so that each slice has its own piece of tender baked apple. Press the apples gently into the batter and be aware that the pound cake-style batter will rise around them. The cake is sweet enough that it needs no frosting, and is finished simply with a dusting of cinnamon-scented confectioners’ sugar that dissolves onto the surface of the apples, leaving only its sweetness behind. Cut the cake into 12 large squares and serve with ice cream, or cut the squares in half for a sweet snack.
- Serves: 1 person
- Nonstick spray
- 3cups/385 grams all-purpose flour
- 1tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¾teaspoon baking powder
- ¾teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 ½cups/330 grams light or dark brown sugar
- 1cup/200 grams granulated sugar
- 5large eggs, at room temperature
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¼cups/300 milliliters sour cream
- 3medium/540 grams baking apples (such as Honeycrisp, Granny Smith or Pink Lady), peeled, cored and quartered
- ¼cup/30 grams confectioners’ sugar
- ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
Step 1Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray, and line with parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches of excess on each side to eventually help you lift the cooked cake out of the pan.
Step 2In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Step 3In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to heat the butter, stirring occasionally, until the solids begin to brown and the butter smells nutty, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and cool for 20 minutes.
Step 4Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the bowl and whisk to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well to fully incorporate each before adding the next. Add the vanilla and whisk to combine.
Step 5Add about half of the flour mixture and whisk to incorporate. (If necessary, switch to a spatula or wooden spoon at this point.) Add the sour cream and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour and mix to combine.
Step 6Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Press the 12 apple segments partly into the batter, spacing them evenly throughout and keeping in mind that you want each of 12 square slices to have one apple quarter.
Step 7Transfer to the oven and bake for 60 to 70 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean, and you should be able to easily pierce an apple with a small knife. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Step 8Just before serving, use the parchment flaps to lift the cake out of the pan. Combine the confectioners’ sugar with the cinnamon and dust the surface of the cake generously with the cinnamon sugar. Cut into 12 square pieces or 24 triangles.