A seasonal apple cake makes a lovely autumn dessert. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

Cut a piece of this apple cake, pour a cup of tea or coffee and sit a while — preferably next to the fire. Or tuck a slab of this into your lunch bag to follow your soup or sandwich at work. Or leave the loaf on the kitchen counter and watch it disappear gradually, slice by slice.

It won’t take long.

Beth Kidder in Bar Harbor sent this recipe along when she thought of it last summer. She picked it up from a stranger who brought it to a buffet. “I’ve made it many times, and it’s a favorite,” she wrote.

I tucked it away to share with you in apple season, though of course you can make it anytime because there are always apples in the store. I prefer apples in the fall and all winter long because summer is when I eat fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches and plums. There are dozens and dozens of marvelous old apple trees on Islesboro, and many kind friends are happy to share the huge abundance of apples we are enjoying this year. I gather all the winter apples I’ll ever need to put in the cellar. Even then, I barely make a dent in the supply, which the deer clean up after us.

This recipe barely makes a dent in my stored supply, because it needs only one large or two small apples to produce one loaf of cake.

By now, you know that you can make your own cinnamon sugar by stirring together white granulated sugar with cinnamon powder to taste. If you have never made it before, measure out a quarter cup of sugar and add one-half teaspoon of cinnamon, then stir until it is all blended. Sample and add more cinnamon if you want a more pronounced cinnamon flavor. Unless you never keep sugar or cinnamon on hand in your pantry supplies, I can’t think of a single reason not to make your own cinnamon sugar.

You can cut back the sugar in the cake by a quarter cup, and there’s no harm done. You can also add a little cinnamon to the dry ingredients to boost the flavor. Warm and fresh out of the oven, this lovely simple cake has a crunchy top from the cinnamon sugar sprinkled on it and a tender interior.

No wonder Beth likes it.

Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

Apple Loaf Cake
Yields one loaf

one large or two small apples

1½ cups flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

1¼ cup sugar

one-half cup vegetable oil

two eggs

3½ tablespoons or the juice of about half a large orange

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples; set aside.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and/or line it with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and orange juice and add it to the flour mixture.

Combine thoroughly, and spoon half of the batter into a loaf pan.

Spread half the sliced apples on the batter and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar.

Spoon the rest of the batter over the apple layer and top with the rest of the sliced apples and more cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 55 minutes to one hour, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.

Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

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...