Cinnamon Apple Cake

It’s apple season once again, and whether you like to visit an orchard and pick your own or have others do that for you, it’s time to embrace our local and domestic fruit in all its delicious forms. If your house is overflowing with bushels of the apples or you’re just looking for a tasty way to use a couple in a tempting treat besides apple crisp, try this cake on for size.

This recipe by cookbook author Alison Lewis, which appeared in Real Food, calls for Granny Smith or other baking apples. Pretty much any of your favorite local varieties should work, and if you’d like to learn more about apple varieties and their uses, the U.S. Apple Association has this handy chart.

As the all-too-short summer turns to autumn this weekend, enjoying a harvest treat can help ease it in.

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Serves 8 to 12

1¾ c. sugar, divided
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
½ c. butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1½ c. all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 large Granny Smith or other baking apples, peeled and chopped
½ c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using an electric mixer, beat 1½ cups of the sugar with cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract at medium speed until well blended, about 4 minutes in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to sugar mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Stir together remaining ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Toss 2 tablespoons with chopped apple in another small bowl. Stir apple and pecans into batter. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan. Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.

Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.