Need a little nibble during the gift-opening festivities on Christmas morning? Sometimes a big breakfast or brunch is just too much to manage, especially if the kids are up super-early after visions of sugarplums have been dancing in their heads. Set the coffeemaker timer and make this cake a day or two in advance – store it on a pretty cake stand with a domed lid* – don’t you just LOVE those? Set out mugs and napkins and the serrated knife and you can kick off Christmas day without lifting a finger.
*I wouldn’t cut this in advance no matter how cute that little stack of pieces looks in this post! Just keep the cake intact and cut it when you’re ready to serve it. It will stay moister that way.
adapted from Cooking Light
makes 12 servings
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided use
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups chopped peeled Rome apples (about 2 large)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Using a mixer at medium speed, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese until well blended, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
4. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Place apples in a bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Stir to combine. Stir apples into batter. Pour into prepared springform pan. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.
Note: You can also use a 9-inch square cake pan or springform pan; just reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes.