The  Gravenstein apples  are dropping off the trees quicker than you can say apple pie. And behind them, there’s a whole slew of heirloom apples ready for slicing, dicing and baking through October.

Here’s a recipe from Josh Silvers of Syrah Bistro in Santa Rosa for a yummy apple cake that’s a favorite with my family.  We like to top it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  The recipe is easy nearly foolproof, and lots easier than baking a pie.


Buttery Gravenstein Apple Cake

Makes 1 cake

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 Gravenstein apples, peeled cored and cut into slices ¼ inch thick

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 whole eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon each grated lemon and orange zest

Confectioners sugar, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides. In a large frying pan over low heat, melt the butter. Pour 6 tablespoons of it into a small bowl or cup and set aside. Add the apple slices to the butter remaining in the frying pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat  the whole eggs and egg yolk until blended. Add the 6 tablespoons melted butter, the vanilla, the granulated sugar and the lemon and orange zest. Stir in the flour mixture and the apples. Spoon into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake until the cake is browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert the cake onto a plate and lift off the pan, then invert the cake again onto the rack and let cool completely. Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioner’s sugar.apples