Tag Archives: Apple cake

Cider Glazed Apple Bundt Cake

with whole and sliced applesI happen to have a surplus of apples, so we’re baking apple cake around here this week. I have my go-to my favourite apple cake recipe, but I was intrigued by this recipe from the September issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine. In addition to the apples in the batter, they added apple cider to the batter and glaze. A full litre of apple cider is reduced down to one cup to really concentrate the flavour.

The recipe fills a large 12 cup bundt pan, but because I can’t resist anything mini, I used my bundlette pan. I also made a small loaf with the leftover batter. loaf and minissingle miniThe batter comes together quickly. You don’t even have to bust out the mixer.

The baked cake gets brushed with some of that reduced cider and the remaining cider is mixed with icing sugar to create a yummy glaze.drizzling glaze 1

Click here to print the recipe for Cider Glazed Apple Bundt Cake.

with tea

 

Apple Custard Cake

sliced-cakeI have a recipe for an apple caramel cake that is outstanding. But some occasions (maybe breakfast if you’re my husband) call for a simpler cake. This cake is perfect for those times. This is a dense cake. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I mean dense in the best possible sense. This is yellow cake at it’s finest. Owing to butter, eggs, whole milk and sour cream it has a compact velvety texture.

My dad would have described this cake as plain. And he would have meant it as a great compliment. He liked subtle flavours, nothing too sweet, ornate or fancy. The inspiration for this cake comes from Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook. Sarabeth knows good breakfast!

The first tweak I made to the original recipe was to toast the sugar. Stella Parks over at Serious Eats convinced me to give it a try. The bottom line is that toasting sugar in the oven tames sugar’s sweetness and the longer you toast it, the more intense the caramel flavour will be. Check out her article if food science is your jam.

I toasted my sugar for about 2 1/2 hours. The toasted sugar is on the right. I tasted both, side by side and did find that the toasted sugar tasted less sweet. You can toast 4 pounds at one time and it will keep forever, just like white sugar. toasted-sugarStart with a 9 inch tube pan (also called an angel food cake pan). Butter and flour the pan very well.brushing-panI made this cake twice last week. The first time I made it, I found it too plain. (Sorry dad!). On the second go-round I added an additional layer of apples and coated the apple slices in cinnamon-sugar.

Half the batter goes into the pan. Smooth it out.smoothing-batterI used the first Honeycrisp apples of the fall season! Pink Lady or Granny Smith would also be great choices.slicing-applesTop batter with cinnamon apples.arranging-applesRepeat with a second layer of batter and cinnamon apples. Then drizzle with custard mixture.drizzling-custardResist the urge to turn the cake out of the pan until it has completely cooled. Your patience will be handsomely rewarded. 3-slicesThe ribbon of cinnamon coated apples that runs through the center of this cake is quite beautiful.one-slice-1

Click here to print recipe for Apple-Custard-Cake.

sliced-cake-2

Multi-Grain Salted Caramel Apple Cake

slice of multi-grain salted caramel apple cake 2 625 sqIt’s time to stop the pumpkin spice insanity! Is it just me or have have you also noticed the proliferation of pumpkin spiced products at this time of year? People are out of their ever loving gourds with pumpkin excitement. I blame Starbucks. They started the trend in 2008 with their Pumpkin Spiced Latte. Breaking news kids, Starbucks has added real pumpkin to their latte this year. Which begs the question, what exactly was in it before? Tim Hortons jumped on the band wagon with a pumpkin spice bagel and latte to guzzle it down with it.

Pumpkin spice m&m’s (just weird), Pumpkin spice Pringles (just plain wrong – cloves and cinnamon have no business sticking their nose into salty chips!), Pumpkin spice doggie treats (no comment!), and Pumpkin Spice scented motor oil (ok, now I’m just messing with you!).

My blogger friend Wendy, over at The Monday Box, loves all things pumpkin, but I don’t hold that against her. Check out her adorable 3-2-1 Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte Cake. She alerted me to the fact that Trader Joe’s has over 40 pumpkin related items this year. If you happen to be a pumpkin lover, head on over and check them out. spooning on salted caramel sauceLet’s celebrate fall the correct way, with apples. This gorgeous multi-grain apple cake was inspired by whole-grains maven Kim Boyce’s Apple Graham Coffee Cake. With three kinds of flour, the texture of this cake is outstanding. Graham flour adds flavour and a pleasant sandy texture, all-purpose flour helps to lighten the graham flour and whole wheat pastry flour adds a tender crumb and nuttiness. getting ready to bakeKim sautéed sliced apples in butter, sugar and cinnamon and added them as a topping to the cake before baking. I decided to dice the apples and toss them, raw, in sugar-cinnamon and mix them into the batter.dicing applesadding apples to batterI used my fancy Bundt pan, because really, who couldn’t use a bit more fancy in their life?

The final change I made to Kim’s coffee cake recipe was to add salted caramel. Everything is better with salted caramel, right? I made a quick sauce with brown sugar, butter, whipping cream and salt. I drizzled some of the sauce right into the raw cake batter and saved the rest to serve on the side. adding cream to caramel sauce This is a very cozy cake, tailor-made for a cool fall day. The graham and whole-wheat pastry flours add a nutty grain-like flavour. Super moist, thanks to the apples and drizzled caramel sauce, this cake is made for snacking. Take that, Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts!.spooning on salted caramel sauce 3

Click here to print recipe for Multi Grain Salted Caramel Apple Cake.

Caramel Apple Cake

I learned how to make this cake many years ago, at one of my very first professional cooking jobs. I was working in an upscale take-out food shop in Toronto’s Yorkville area called Dinah’s Cupboard. I learned so much from Dinah Koo, the shop’s owner. She demanded perfection and precision and a certain discipline that is lacking in many kitchens. She cooked with big flavours and was a master at presentation. I am forever grateful to her for teaching me so much. It was my job to make 4 of these cakes every day. We baked them in 9 x 13 inch rectangular cake pans and cut the cakes into large squares to sell in the shop.

After I left Dinah’s Cupboard, I didn’t make that cake again, for a very long time. I guess I was sick of it or had just forgotten about it. But then a few years ago I was working on a column for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). It is traditional to have honey cake on Rosh Hashanah, to symbolize a sweet new year, however, I hate honey cake. Luckily, it is also traditional to have apples on Rosh Hashanah, so I decided to feature an apple dessert of some sort. And then, I remembered this apple cake. I decided to bake it in a Bundt pan, to make it look a little fancier. We had several other desserts at our dinner, but this was the first to disappear.

I had forgotten what a great cake it is. It is perfect for entertaining as it can be made a day ahead of time. it is also wonderful for breakfast with a big glass of milk, or at bedtime with a cup of tea. It is a moist, dense, intensely flavourful cake. The outside of the cake gets a bit crispy from the caramel glaze that is poured on top of the cake. The inside is tart from the apples, but also sweet, in that slightly bittersweet way that only dark caramel can be.   This is cake perfection. I am warning you that it is very hard to have just a little bit. Your guests will ask for just a sliver and then they will be back at the cake, hacking away at it for more slivers, until there are only crumbs left. Not that my friends and family are like that, of course!

I decided to make it again this weekend, so I could take pictures and tell you all about it. I went to the basement to find my Bundt pan, and sitting next to it on the shelf were my mini Bundt pans. I decided to make a double recipe and make a big cake as well as some minis. An applepalooza around here! My husband was so happy.

I decided to use a mix of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp apples. You want some tart apples in this dish that will hold their shape when baked.

The apples get peeled and sliced into wedges for a big cake or diced for the mini cakes. Then the apples are then bathed in a sugar cinnamon mixture.

No need to take out your mixer for this cake. Everything gets mixed together in a big bowl. Whisk eggs, vegetable (or coconut) oil, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract together. Lately I have been using vanilla bean paste, instead of vanilla extract. You get those pretty vanilla flecks in the cake.

Then the dry ingredients are added to the wet and the whole batter gets mixed. You will think that there is no way all the dry ingredients will get incorporated, as this is such a heavy dense batter. But persist, use some elbow grease and it will all come together. Just think of all the calories you will be burning in advance of eating this cake!

Then the cake gets assembled. It’s a little like making lasagna. Layer 1/3 of the batter into the pan. Arrange one half of the apples on top, then more batter, a second layer of apples and finally the last third of the batter.

The minis are just so adorable!

Once the second layer of apples are covered with batter, into the oven it goes. While it is baking, you can prepare the caramel glaze. Butter, brown sugar and heavy cream are cooked until hot and bubbly.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, it’s time to add the caramel. Now I’ll share with you the secret to what makes this cake so incredible.

Then you must exercise extreme patience and let the cake cool COMPLETELY, before trying to unmold it. Looking at the sad bottom of this cake, all riddled with holes may have you a little concerned. Then you unmold it and it just looks like a boring Plain Jane Bundt cake. But wait, yee of little faith.  Slice into it and taste. You will be a believer!

Click here to print recipe for Caramel Apple cake.