It’s apple everything season and I am so pumped about this vanilla apple sheet cake with pecan streusel! Maybe it is because I LOVE vanilla sheet cakes, maybe it’s because I love the smell and taste of baked apples… or because it is so dang easy and so cozy? I guess it’s all of the above but I have to admit I am super into one-bowl and quick and easy cakes these days. Having 2 little girls around the house now (one of them turning one year old in just three week – say what??) really makes baking recipes with too many steps or dirty dishes more challenging. Who can relate?
I highly recommend using real vanilla beans here, vanilla extract just doesn’t compare. But if you have to swap, don’t worry. I used golden delicious apples for this just because they are my favorite apple and I like the tart sweetness, not too sweet, not too sour. A note on vanilla cake: this recipe by the Kitchn is my go to recipe when I make vanilla sheet cakes, or just want a quick and easy one-bowl vanilla cake. I usually tweak it a little but, however I see fit and depending on the recipe I am making.
- 3 cups cake or all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 large eggs
- 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 2 apples
- 1 stick butter, soft at room temperature
- 1 cup pecan meal
- ⅕ cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper.
- Chop the apples and set aside.
- Make the streusel by kneading all 3 ingredients together, set aside.
- Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder), then add the remaining ingredients (eggs, butter, milk, vanilla) and mix with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until mostly smooth, about 1 minute.
- Spread the diced apples over the cake, then crumble the pecan streusel on top.
- Bake until lightly browned for about 40 to 50 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.