In a large bowl, cream shortening and 1 cup sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla until fluffy. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the sifted ingredients. Spread the batter into a greased 7 x 11 inch baking pan.
Place apple pieces in rows on the batter with the sharp edges pressed in slightly. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon on top.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the cake tests done.