Applecake scaled

Welcome Autumn with All Things Apple

Apples season has begun.

Recipes | By Margaret M. Johnson

Autumn officially arrived Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., the beginning of a season that’s generally synonymous with apples — apple picking, apple cider, apple pies and, my favorite, apple cakes. From a culinary standpoint, apple cakes are among the easiest autumn dishes to make, and other than the name “apple,” not all cakes are created equal. In these two recipes, the first has a second short baking when a sweet topping sinks into the cake, and the second a delicious variation of sour cream coffee cake.

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For the cake

3 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 cup flour

2/3 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 cup milk

For the topping

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

4 tablespoons melted butter

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Make cake. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking oil spray. In a large bowl, toss apple with lemon juice; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in eggs, oil and milk until smooth; transfer to prepared pan. Arrange apples on top of cake and press into batter.

3. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out almost clean.

4. Make topping. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and egg; whisk in butter and lemon zest. Pour topping over cake and bake for another 15 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around side of pan to loosen and then remove side. Serve warm or at room temperature. Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar before cutting into slices.



For the streusel

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup (packed) light brown sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon

For the cake

2 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 3/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

1. Make streusel. In a small bowl, combine walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon.

2. Make cake. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a nonstick Bundt pan with cooking oil spray. Evenly sprinkle half of streusel mix into pan. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with sour cream, in three additions.

4. Transfer half of batter to prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining streusel mix and apples; top with remaining batter.

5. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Let cake cool on wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert cake onto serving plate and dust with confectioners’ sugar (if using) before cutting into slices.

Margaret Johnson’s “Recipes” page also includes “Ireland Hopping: Adventures in Food, Drink, and Travel.” For further details on her work, or to order a signed copy of her new cookbook “Teatime in Ireland” (Buy One Get One Free SEPTEMBER SPECIAL), visit