2 October 2013

One Bowl Easy Apple Cake with Cinnamon Apple Chips

Everyone needs a one bowl cake mix up their sleeve that is no fuss and tastes amazing. This is it, you don't even need to peel the apples. I don't know where the original recipe comes from, it's one of those ones from my childhood which is written on a recipe index card in my mum's scrawling hand with Terry Bac inked in the upper right corner, Terry gave this recipe to my mum many many years ago and it is still the apple cake we go back to time and time again. Thank you Terry! The apple pieces melt into little pockets of apple mush and the cake goes a dark moist caramel studded with toasty walnuts. Autumn on a plate... in Southern Spring. 

This cake is as everyday or fancy as you care to make it, growing up we always had it straight out of the square tin (it never had time to get on a plate) but it also works really well cooked in a round tin and on a cake stand for something a little fancier (without actually putting in a lot of effort). It doesn't need any icing or embellishments but I've been meaning to try apple chips for a long time and had excessive amounts of lovely granny smith apples - hence the apple cake and the apple chips. Plus, you can never go wrong with cinnamon and apple.

1 egg
2 cups cubed apples, cored, not peeled (approx 1 cm cubes)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup extra light olive oil or light vegetable oil
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 180 C

Beat egg with a fork then add to cubed apples in a large mixing bowl, stir well. Add all other ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until completely combined (you can't over mix it and you really don't want a bite where all the salt ended up).

Line a 20-23 cm square or round cake tin with baking paper (I used a 23 cm round spring form tin for this cake). Spoon batter into the tin and use the back of the wooden spoon to spread more or less evenly throughout the tin, it is chunky so won't look completely flat but will melt into shape as it cooks. Sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon and sugar before baking. 

Bake for 45 minutes or until the center of the cake feels springy and a wooden skewer comes out clean. The cake will go quite dark caramel in colour. Cool in tin. The cake is very moist and crumbly so the first piece out is never pretty but tastes delicious!

Best eaten within a couple of days. Do not store in an airtight container as it will sweat a little, keep any left overs under a clean tea towel overnight.

Apple Chips:

2 apples (very firm, I use granny smith - no need to remove the peel)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons caster sugar
Preheat oven to 130 C. 

Use a mandolin slicer to slice your apples on the thinnest setting. I left the peel on and core in but it's up to you. The slices must be super thin or they will not get crisp. Spread in a single layer on a baking paper covered baking tray (you will need two large baking trays). Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar. 

Bake for 1 hour then using a fork carefully turn the slices over, put back in the oven for a further 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until crisp. Turn off the oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container immediately after cooling, once they are cool they will start to absorb any moisture in the air and loose their crunch. 

If using on top of a cake, pile on top right before serving as they will start to soften quickly with the moisture in the cake.

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