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Marcus Samuelsson's Apple Cake Recipe

"I always joke about how bad my mom's cooking was, but as I've gotten older, I've come to realize that a lot of what I know about cooking came from her. I can't even count how many times she made this honest, simple apple cake — it seems as if we always had one in the refrigerator and another in the freezer, just in case we had unexpected company. Even now, when we are all out of the house, she always has apples on hand, just in case she needs to whip up a quick dessert for visitors."


2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 Granny Smith apples

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan

1 large egg

1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup half-and-half

2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and coat with the bread crumbs.

2. Toss together the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Set aside.

3. Peel and core the apples, then slice one apple into 16 wedges. Combine the cinnamon and 1/3 cup of the sugar mixture in a medium bowl. Add the apple wedges and toss to coat. Roughly dice the remaining apple.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and the remaining sugar mixture on medium speed until light, fluffy, and lemon colored, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the half-and-half, and mix until combined. Fold the diced apple into the batter.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange 14 of the apple wedges fanned along the outer edge of the pan and place the 2 remaining wedges in the center. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center is golden brown.

6. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a small offset spatula around the edges to release the cake from the pan and remove the springform. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, then cut into 12 wedges.

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