This apple sheet cake is the ultimate low-effort way to feed a small army a delicious cake. It is so easy it almost feels as if you were cheating. The crust is a delicious, lightly sweetened yeasted dough that can be used in millions of ways and the filling is whatever kind of apple sauce you can find in your pantry. With a quick and easy lattice on top and a sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top you will be the star of any social gathering that needs a cake.
When I asked my mother what kind of cake she wanted for Mother’s Day the only answer she would give me was a shrug. Is this something you are familiar with? The shrug says that they say don’t care but in the end they really wanted something specific. Why not just tell me what you wanted to begin with. Then I could have posted this recipe last week when it was Mother’s Day when it was relevant and I wouldn’t have to make it at the very last second. Anyway, I should have known that this would be something she would like. When my mother came to Germany as a young girl from Spain she fell in love with all the different kinds of bread and the cakes that were also kind of bready called Hefeteilchen at the local bakeries. Some people love cupcakes or chocolate cake, but she loves her baked goods with a yeasted dough and fruity topping. Growing up this would be one of the few cakes she would actually bake herself. At a bakery just a small piece of this cake would cost between 1 and 2 Euros, which is almost the price for a whole sheet of cake. I don’t know whether this is nifty, greedy or both, but you cannot argue with that logic. To be fair the cake keeps very well in an airtight container, due to the apple filling it does not dry out, so making too much cake isn’t that bad. It also freezes well.
Some people might argue that this cake is not easy because it is a yeasted dough, but it is super easy once you get the hang of it. With this dough you can make dozens of things from coffeecake to cinnamon rolls. It is great recipe to be creative with. This very cake you could also make with cherries or apricots, just spread jam on top of it. Or you could top it with pudding and cherries. The possibilities are endless. The lattice crust on top is not a proper lattice where you have to cut strips with a ruler and put them down and fold them back, obviously you could do that. The easiest way is to put all the strips of dough down length-wise and do the ones across afterwards. It is a rather rustic looking cake, which is what I call it when my mother helped with the lattice crust by putting as much dough on top without covering the whole cake. Wider spacing would have probably looked better. Once cut into pieces it looks a lot less crooked anyway or you cover it up with whipped cream. This method will however prevent you from having to wipe apple sauce off the lattice crust and your person whilst hating your life. I aim to please, especially with cake. I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a great weekend.
Apple Sheet Cake
• 500 gr all-purpose flour
• 1 packet dry-active yeast
• 100 gr sugar
• 1 dash salt
• 100 gr butter or margarine
• 200 ml luke-warm milk
• 1 egg
• Apple sauce
• Cinnamon sugar
1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, make a well and add the wet ingredients, hold back some of the milk. Knead all the ingredients into a smooth dough with the dough hooks on your handmixer for at least 10 minutes. You can also do it by hand. Should it be too dry add more milk.
2. Leave the dough prove until it has doubled in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 180 °C top and bottom heating.
4. Punch the air out of the dough and knead it. Halve the dough and roll it into one big square on a piece of parchment paper to cover a baking sheet.
5. Transfer the dough onto a baking sheet and spread the apple sauce on top (as thick as you want).
6. Roll out the other half of the dough into an equally big square, cut it into 1 cm wide strip length-wise. Start making the lattice by putting down strips of dough length-wise in equal distance. Then do the strips of dough across also in equal distance. Make sure the strips cover outer edge without hanging over, in case of shrinkage while baking.
6. Sprinkle the cake with cinnamon sugar.
7. Bake the cake for about 25-30 minutes until golden. Leave it to cool completely on the baking sheet before cutting it into pieces.
Baking tip: Any leftover dough can be turned into cinnamon rolls by rolling it out into a square, spreading a little butter on it and sprinkling it with cinnamon sugar. Roll it up and cut it into 1,5 cm thick pieces. Put those pieces into cupcake moulds and leave it to rise before baking them for 12-15 minutes at 180 °C.