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Easy Ruby Apple Almond Skillet Cake

Ruby Apple Almond Skillet Cake is a delicious almond skillet cake topped with gorgeous hibiscus tea tinted apple slices. An easy-to-whip-up afternoon fall coffee cake!
Course:Dessert
Cuisine:American
Keywords:almond skillet cake, apple skillet cake, coffee cake recipes, dessert recipes, skillet cake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories620 kcal
Cost $ 1.00 per slice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup dried hibiscus flower (or 2 TBSP Jamaica Agua Fresca powder)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 Pink Lady apple (or any other baking apples), cored, peeled and cut into 9-10 slices
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (plus 2-3 TBSP for glaze)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract, divided
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  • Start by coloring the apple slices. Whisk water with 1/2 cup sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Then, add hibiscus flower and let mixture come to a boil. When liquid turns deep red, remove the spent hibiscus flowers using a slotted spoon or spider strainer and stir in lemon juice.
  • Place the peeled apple slices into the pot and let cool to room temperature. Transfer everything to a pitcher or clean airtight container, cover, and refrigerate overnight (or at least for 1-2 hours). The longer the apples steep, the redder the color! 
  • Alternatively, you can use jamaica agua fresca powder to color the apples instead of the hibiscus flower. For this, whisk water with jamaica agua fresca powder (skip sugar and lemon) in a small pot over medium-high heat (about 1 minute) and let mixture come to a boil. Remove pot from heat and add apple slices, letting sit until liquid cools to room temperature. 
  • Then, transfer everything to a pitcher or clean airtight container, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Again, the longer it steeps, the redder the color!
  • Right before preparing the cake batter, pour all the contents of the pitcher into a colander and let apples drain free of the liquid for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with baking spray with flour, or alternatively grease with unsalted butter and flour the skillet. Set aside!
  • Prepare the cake batter. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened unsalted butter and remaining  1 1/2 cups sugar at medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until fluffy. You may have to stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt. 
  • Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with 1/3 cup milk; begin and end with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Then, mix 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract and spoon batter into reserved skillet.
  • Place colored apple sliced cut side down in a pinwheel fashion over batter. Bake on middle rack for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Sprinkle with sliced almonds, and bake on lower rack (to prevent burning the nuts) for an additional 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer skillet to a rack and let cake cool for about 10 minutes.
  • WHILE cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. Whisk together 2-3 tablespoons milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and confectioners’ sugar until mixture is smooth and pourable (without lumps).
  • Drizzle over cake and let set. Serve cake warm with a good cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • If you are wondering whether you can bake a cake in a cast iron skillet pan in the oven without problems, no worries. The answer is yes, you can. Just make sure your cast iron skillet is seasoned first. 
  • TIP: To prevent apples from looking dry, microwave 2-3 tablespoons of apple jelly for about 30 seconds and brush the apples slices that are visible through the top of the cake before drizzling cake with glaze.
  • QUICK ALTERNATIVES: For making this Ruby Apple Almond Skillet Cake in a jiffy, you can use regular (uncolored) apple slices for topping the cake, if desired. You can also dust confectioner's sugar on top of the baked cake instead of drizzling almond glaze. 
  • Storage: cake leftovers should be transferred to a serving plate and kept well covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
  • Love apple treats? Try our Ruby Apple Pie.   
 

Nutrition

Calories: 620kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 885IU | Vitamin C: 8.3mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3.7mg
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