Super-Moist Apple Cake
2 cups sugar, divided
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour (not self-rising)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-inch round, 2-inch-deep cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl beat 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and the butter for 3 to 5 minutes until light in color. Scrape the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula and continue to beat the mixture until it is very light in texture and color, several minutes more.
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions.
4. Sift together the flours, baking powder, and a pinch of kosher salt. Alternately add the milk and dry ingredients into the butter mixture, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and mix the batter just until smooth; do not overbeat it.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula. Arrange the apple slices overlapping in concentric circles on top of the cake batter to completely cover the top of the cake. Pour the cream evenly over the apples.
6. Stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the cake. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Mine took closer to 55 minutes.) Remove the pan from the oven, transfer it to a rack, and let cool completely.
7. Invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and invert it once more onto a serving platter. (My only complaint: The first flip left rack marks on the top of the otherwise lovely cake!) Serve warm or room temperature with vanilla ice cream. Once cool, the cake can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.