American Apple Cake

This recipe was passed on to my mother by an American family when we lived in Frankfurt/Main, Germany in the 1960s, and has become one of our family favorite cake recipes. The cake is easy to make, is not too sweet, looks nice and is large enough to last for several days.

For this recipe, 1 cup = 270 ml (approximately one standard size 9 oz. coffee mug).

Prepare the batter:


  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of juice from a can of diced pineapple (no sugar added)
  • 3 leveled teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs

Mix well and put aside.

Preheat oven to 175 ºC (350 ºF).

Using margarine, grease fluted cake pan (26 cm or 10¼ inch diameter, 6.6 cm or 2⅝ inch height) and flour with breadcrumbs or flaxseed meal.

Mix some sugar and cinnamon in a separate container.

Peel and dice 4 large apples (Jonah Gold are best) and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mix to taste. The sugar will draw the juice out of the apples, so do not let them sit for long.

Add about ⅓ of the batter to the cake pan, then layer the apples, and add the remaining batter.

Put the cake pan into the preheated oven (move rack to the upper half of the oven). Bake for 65 minutes. Test that the cake is fully baked by poking it with a knife. Little or no batter should stick to it when pulled back out of the cake. Add 5 minutes baking time if needed.

Let the cake cool until it is lukewarm. Turn upside down and remove from cake pan.

When the cake has completely cooled, use a small sieve to powder the top with confectioner’s sugar.

Enjoy with or without whipped cream.