This simple yet impressive cake comes together quickly and without the need for an electric mixer. Just mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another, combine, and stir in the apples and pecans. Dump the batter into a tube pan and bake. While the cake cools, make the brown-sugar glaze, then drizzle it over the warm cake and let it sit until the cake soaks it all up.
Special equipment: You’ll need a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom to make this cake.
- Yield: 10 to 12 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr 40 mins, plus 2 hrs cooling time
For the cake:
- Butter, for coating the pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups canola or vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups peeled, cored, and medium-dice Granny Smith apples (from about 3 medium apples)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans (about 8 ounces)
For the glaze:
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into large chunks
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
For the cake:
- Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Generously coat a 10-inch tube pan with butter (the pan should have a removable bottom), and set aside.
- Place the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine and aerate; set aside.
- Place the sugar and oil in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the reserved flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir until just evenly incorporated, being careful not to overmix. Stir in the apples and nuts until evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake until the surface of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60 to 65 minutes. Place on a wire rack while you make the glaze.
For the glaze:
- Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often until the sugar has completely dissolved. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes more.
- While the cake is still warm and in the tube pan, pour all of the glaze over it. Let sit until completely cooled, at least 2 hours.
- To remove the cake from the pan, run a knife between the cake and both the perimeter of the pan and the tube. Arrange a sheet of aluminum foil so that it’s directly touching the surface of the cake, making a hole in the foil to expose the tube.
- Flip the pan over and push the removable bottom and cake down onto the foil. Remove the sides of the pan and the removable bottom. (If the cake sticks to the bottom, run a knife between it and the bottom).
- Invert a cake or serving platter over the cake. Flip the cake and platter over and remove the foil. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.