This cake smells like my childhood. My mom used to bake apple cakes that smelled just like this (boxed mix, made by UK company Bird's if my memory is correct...which happened to be the first cake I ever baked too) and my family would have afternoon tea. Thank you Dorie for a trip down memory lane!
Rather than cake with apples, this is more like apples with a bit of cake. It is so incredibly moist, almost custardy! Actually, it is almost like a very tall clafouti. The batter took no time to put together. I worked quickly to ensure all the apple chunks did not go brown. I used 2 cortlands, 1 northern spy, and 1 ambrosia apples. The only tweak I made to the recipe was rubbing the zest of one lemon to the sugar because I happened to have that around. I can see myself making this simple everyday cake very often when apples are in abbundance.
The recipe calls for baking the cake in a springform pan, not exactly my favourite baking pan because it's not leak-proof and the slight recessed bottom makes unmolding the cake to a serving plate rather awkward. Well, I solved this issue once and for all. Instead of trimming a piece of parchment paper to fit nicely inside the pan, I just lay a large square over the bottom round. Then I fasten the ring over the whole thing. The ring holds the parchment paper securely while the overhang makes easy work of lifting the cake from pan to cooling rack to plate when I unmold the cake. What took me so long?!