It isn’t hard to understand why this recipe is a top-rated reader favorite dessert. This apple cake became an instant hit when the recipe was first published in 2001, and it continues to delight adults and children alike today. A lovely combination of our favorite fall flavors – apples, cinnamon, and nuts – are baked into a moist and delicious sheet cake and slathered with a tangy and fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting. A short prep time means you aren’t in the kitchen long; you don’t even need your mixer for this recipe. Be forewarned however - this is a very thick batter, almost like a cookie dough, and it takes a bit of stirring to incorporate the apples into the batter. But it is well worth the effort, because the end result is a super moist cake worthy of any family reunion or neighborhood potluck.
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
Stir together butter and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl until blended.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in apples and 1 cup pecans. (Batter will be very thick, similar to a cookie dough.) Spread batter into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 45 minutes). Spread your choice of frosting over top of cake; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans.