the way i like my apples

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the two oft-used fruits on this site are apples and bananas. As much as I would love to say that it’s akin to the lines of the pre-school phonics song that goes, ‘I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas’, unfortunately my like for apples does not translate into eat, as much as it does for bananas. My mother may have succeeded making spinach one of the handful of vegetables I actually ate (and still eat) as a child, with the help of skinny-turned-muscular Popeye, but no amount of ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ repetition could make me love the fruit.

Don’t get me wrong now, it’s not that I don’t eat apples, or abhor them the way the mister gets repelled by the stench of durians;– I just find apples better alongside other ingredients. Like if they were encased in a fried crust. Or soaked in their own syrup, and beautifully fanned out. Or paired with their best friends, cinnamon and nutmeg, aptly for a friendship tribute. Or in this case, holding hands with some of the easiest no-fuss ingredients (yes, I’m looking at you, you’d-think-it’d-soften-faster-in-this-horrid-humidity butter), donning a pretty albeit crumbly hat, for the perfect quick afternoon snack.

I received Flo Braker’s Baking For All Occasions for my birthday last month (thanks much, mister!), and this was one of the many recipes that caught my attention, particularly due to its versatility. Perfect for days you’re expecting guests for tea, or just an excuse for a little nibble when you’re craving for cake;– this light and surprisingly fluffy snack cake is not only easy to whip up, but welcomes your own interpretation, following your preferred choice of add-ins for the day (mine was diced apples, obviously). I have to admit however that being a self-declared crumb connoisseur, what really intrigued me with this recipe is the fact that the crumb topping here used oil instead of butter. Interesting and possibly a tad healthier, yes, but I also found the texture to be loose and lacking in bite, and since I love my crumbs with a crunch, I’ll stick to my crumb topping recipe, thank you very much.

Any Day All-Occasion Apple Snack Cake
(adapted from Flo Braker’s Baking For All Occasions)

2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3⁄4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup diced apples
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
  2. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon into a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the brown sugar with a whisk just until the ingredients are blended.
  4. Stir in the oil, mixing it well.
  5. To make the crumb topping: Remove enough of the flour mixture to measure 3⁄4 cup loosely packed. Add the remaining 1 tsp cinnamon and blend well with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  6. To finish the cake batter, stir in the baking powder and baking soda. Add the buttermilk and egg and stir until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Stir in the diced apples.
  8. Pour the batter into a lightly greased 13×9 inch pan, then sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the batter.
  9. Bake for about 35mins.

Recipe Note:
1. The recipe works great halved, and baked in an 8-inch square pan.

2. Feel free to add in nuts, dried carrots, blueberries in place of diced apples.

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25 thoughts on “the way i like my apples

  1. the mister

    I didn’t know that apples and cinnamon were BFFs…

    Still, Popeye receives credit for getting kiddos the world over to eat spinach.

    Now, let’s find something for hati and limpa, ya? :D

    Reply
  2. Wei-Wei

    At first I was like, “Where’s the butter? WHERE’S THE BUTTER?!?!??!” But then I realised it was vegetable oil. But eh, I might substitute it for butter anyway if I was making it ;)

    Wei-Wei

    PS: I love apples. In all forms.

    Reply
  3. ilyana

    Oh yummmm! I’m not a fan of bananas (unless they’re deep fried aka goreng pisang) but I will support your love for apples! That looks so good!

    Reply
  4. ovenhaven Post author

    Wei-Wei: Haha, guess I’m too lazy to bother about butter! :P But I’ll definitely give the crumb topping a go with butter the next time round.

    Avanika:*hi-fives* I love apples in desserts as well :)

    ilyana: Goreng pisang! Somehow I still can’t replicate the goreng pisang we have outside, with all the nice kerak2. yuMMy!

    Reply
  5. ovenhaven Post author

    I’m really enjoying the book :) If you’re looking for a book with pictures though, this is not the one;– it only has a centerfold of about 10 photos. But one would reckon that with a layout as such, the focus would be on the recipes, right? And true enough, thus far the recipes I’ve tried from the book have yet to disappoint me! However, I prefer Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours (you should get it, if you haven’t already!) in terms of its categorisation according to bakes, which makes searching for recipes easier.

    Reply
  6. thecookiecutter

    My mum used to do the Popeye eats spinach so you should too, in order to be strong. I had no defense since I was a sickly kid. I’m not crazy about apples nor dislike them. Neutral, I guess?

    Reply
  7. ovenhaven Post author

    I think Popeye must’ve been one of the greatest unsung heroes of our times :P I guess your take on apples is similar to that of mine on peanut butter. I don’t hate them, nor do I love them. My mother, though, really can’t stand eating apples on their own, but I’m glad I could win her over with apple desserts :P

    Reply
  8. grace

    i don’t often find myself tempted to sink my teeth into an apple, but if there’s an apple dessert to be eaten, i’m all over it. yes, i like the way you like your apples. :)

    Reply
  9. krista

    just made this with blueberries (no apples on hand!) and it is yummy! my kids are loving it!!! it seems like a very versatile cake that would work with almost any fruit! i’m thinking cherry or peach will be my next try!
    thanks for a good one!

    Reply
  10. Julia @ Mélanger

    I really do love apple in any dessert. It’s such an exceptional versatile fruit. This looks like a great one bowl dish. I don’t have Flo’s books. Maybe I need to invest ….

    Reply
  11. ovenhaven Post author

    I’ve yet to peruse her other books, but I’m really loving this one thus far! And yes, apples are so versatile. I can never turn down an apple dessert!

    Reply
  12. Shaheen

    AWWW the friendship tribute post! Man it’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? I think of you everytime I go through the pasta book or look at that cute hot pink oven mitt! =)

    Reply
  13. Sarah@buttered-up

    I, too, have the same problem with apples. I like them accompanied or merged beautifully into something. But apples alone? I buy them all the time and end up baking with them because I never actually get around to eating them when they’re still fresh. Nice to know I’ve got a kindred spirit. :)

    Reply

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