This may well become your favorite cake! It’s totally easy to put together with ingredients that are usually on hand; yet the delicious cake that results from the minimal labor belies its simple and humble origin. The secret of course, is the butter. This is a French recipe, after all.

6 – 8 T butter, plus extra for greasing pan
3/4 c all purpose flour, white or whole grain or a combination
3/4 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon; or a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg (1 t total)
pinch of salt
3 – 4 largish apples
2 large eggs
2/3 c sugar
3 T dark rum or brandy; or 3 T apple juice or cider; or 2 T molasses and 1 T water
1 t vanilla extract
extra cinnamon for serving, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter an 8″ springform pan or cake pan or a 9″ pie plate. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.

2. Melt butter and allow to cool.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Peel apples, halve, core, and chop into 1″ to 2″ pieces. Set aside.

5. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until foamy. Add sugar and whisk until blended and mostly dissolved. Whisk in the rum and vanilla extract. Add half the flour mixture, whisking until combined. Follow this with half the melted butter, then repeat with the remaining flour and butter. The batter should be thick and smooth. Fold in the apples until the pieces are well coated with the batter. Scrape into the prepared baking vessel and smooth the top.

6. Put the pan (still on the baking sheet) in the oven and bake for 50 minutes or so, until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes.

7. If using a springform pan, run a knife around the edges of the cake and remove the ring. Allow to cook until just warm or room temperature. Serve, of course, with ice cream, dusted with some ground cinnamon, if you like.