Alison Roman makes Sticky Apple Cake | Home Movies with Alison Roman
This cake can best be described as a sticky toffee pudding meets vanilla birthday cake meets apple pie meets a pancake with apples on top. It’s a soft cake without much texture (you bake it until the apples fall apart and become jammy), which is usually something I’m against but here, I’m actively seeking that custardy, soaked cake energy.
It’s made in one-bowl, which means you don’t need any special equipment (love that for us!) and even if you’re a nervous baker, you should have a gorgeous success on their hands. Here are some FAQ’s I’ve received for this cake.
What kind of apples are best to use in this cake?
I like to use Honeycrisp or Pink Lady—they are large, juicy, tart and while they definitely soften, they don’t totally turn to mush when baked (like Granny Smith apples tend to do) which is great since I like a bit of texture in the cake. Flavor-wise, they are closest to tasting like my favorite Japanese apple gummy candies, which of course is a compliment.
What kind of cake pan can I bake this in?
I like a standard 9” aluminum cake pan—a springform will also work well. I say you can bake in an 8” cake pan, just know that you might hold back a little bit of the batter or be prepared to bake a bit longer (more cake batter in the pan = more time to bake). 9” glass pie plates and 1.5qt. oval baking dishes also work here! I have also seen this cake baked in an 8x8 square. I do not recommend bundt or loaf pans for this cake.
I don’t eat dairy, what can I substitute the butter and buttermilk here for?
I am not a dairy-free baking expert, but many people have made this cake using butter substitutes (the most popular recommendation has been Miyokos vegan butter)—the buttermilk, however, I’m guessing a nut/oat milk with lemon juice or Kite Hill dairy-free yogurt thinned with a bit of lemon juice.
How do I make this cake gluten-free?
I am not a gluten-free baking expert, but many people have made this cake using their favorite GF flour blend to great success, it seems. If you have experience doing this and have found one type of gluten-free flour works well, plz let me and other readers know in the comments below ????
I don’t have buttermilk, what can I use instead?
In order of preference: yogurt thinned with a little milk or water to the consistency of buttermilk, milk with a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Sour cream almost has *too much* fat here, but I’ll bet in a pinch, thinned out similarly to yogurt, it would work.
My cake isn’t baked through after the time you said/I cut into the cake and it still felt underdone!
Every oven is different! Isn’t that beautiful? Sort of, I guess. If your cake doesn’t feel done by the end of the time range I’ve given, let it bake an additional 5–10 minutes. Your oven could be running low, or maybe you’ve been opening it a lot, or maybe something else is baking at the same time—lots of variables! As always, bake to the indicator (golden brown, springs back, pulling away from the sides of the pan), not the time.
I’m worried about my cake sticking! Should I line with parchment?
I only use non-stick spray, but as you’ll see in the video below, sometimes the apples do stick (which I don’t mind, because they come out easily and nobody will ever know they were stuck to the bottom of the pan). If you’re worried at all, you can absolutely line with parchment paper.
RECIPE & INGREDIENTS:
0:10 Home Movies with Alison Roman intro
0:20 Intro to Sticky Apple Cake
0:35 Ingredients needed for the Sticky Apple Cake
0:47 Assemble the ingredients for the cake
2:08 Brown the butter
2:23 Prep the vanilla bean
3:12 Combine the vanilla bean with the butter
3:39 Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and prepare brown sugar
4:36 Prep the pan and start combining the dry ingredients
5:50 Prep the buttermilk and eggs
6:16 Slice the apples
6:38 Place the apples in the pan
7:20 Whisk the buttermilk egg mixture into the dry ingredients
7:54 Pour the mix into the pan on top of the apples
8:15 Place the pan in the oven
8:25 A brief message on buttermilk
9:56 Remove the pan from the oven
10:38 Flip the pan to plate the cake
11:46 Serve the Sticky Apple Cake
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Director/Editor: Daniel Hurwitz
Director of Photography: Charlie Gruet
Sound: Brian Cushin