This not-too-sweet apple cake is easy to make in an iron skillet. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

You might enjoy this simple, easy-to-mix apple cake for dessert after a family supper, embellished with ice cream or whipped cream. Or serve it, unembellished, with a cup of coffee mid-morning, or alongside tea in the afternoon. This works in lunch boxes, too. In fact, my Sewing Circle demolished one in an hour, and lots of people said it was delicious.

You spread the not-too-sweet batter in the pan, then press apple slices into it. During baking, the batter swells up around the apples so each forkful has a juicy bit of apple in it. Whether you peel the apples or not is up to you. As long as the skin looks good, I don’t bother.

If you prefer your cinnamon a bit more subtle, dial the amount back a little to one teaspoon; a grating or two of fresh nutmeg would be a good addition.

Fresh from the oven, the top of the cake is crunchy.

If you don’t use an iron skillet, bear in mind that you may need to adjust the baking time. Look for the center to rise even with the edges because the moisture from the apples slows the baking somewhat, and be sure to insert a tester. If it comes out clean, you are good to go.

The batter is very sticky. If you are still a raw dough eater, you’ll want to lick the mixer beater.

Apple Skillet (or Baking Pan) Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake.

1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 firm apples, cored and sliced
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted

Heat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and lightly grease a 9-inch skillet, or an 8- or 9-inch baking pan.

Measure the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon — and sift or stir together.

Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the vanilla and the egg and beat together.

Spoon in the dry ingredients, alternating with the melted butter, and beat.

Spread the batter in the skillet or baking pan.

Lightly press the apple slices into the top of the batter in any pattern you like.

Bake for 30 minutes, insert a tester to see if it comes out clean, and if necessary bake another five to 10 minutes.

Serve warm after allowing it to cool slightly.

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Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...