The little apple tree in our backyard produced some tasty fruit this autumn, despite the attack made by the pesky hornets that invaded our garden this summer. More on that story to come, but this post is about the delicious treat I made with our small harvest.
Back in our graduate school days in Chicago, we’d go apple picking with good friends and come home with more apples than we knew how to handle. I came up with this recipe for apple spice cake that was perfect with a dollop of whipped cream and a cup of spice tea.
This year, I thought I’d mix it up a bit. A recipe on Pinterest caught my eye and I wanted to give it a try. How can you resist a good caramel topping? Since I didn’t have all of the ingredients listed, I decided to make my old stand-by cake and add the caramel sauce like the blogger suggested, although that, too, I adapted to what I had on hand.
I don’t know if my substitutions made a huge difference but after I pulled the cake from the oven and poured the hot caramel sauce on the top (which would later become the bottom) of the cake, it seemed to seep in a little too much.
When I served it to our anxious children, I found it a little too soggy. But the kids loved it and gobbled it down. It did taste good, I’ll give you that, but maybe a bit longer to boil in the pot would do the sauce some good. Anyway, give it a go and tell me what you think.
Jeannie’s Apple Spice Cake
2 cups flour (I replaced one cup with whole wheat flour this time)
½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbs. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup butter
1 cup apple cider
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tart apples, cored, peeled, and sliced into small chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan (I used a Bavaria style bundt).
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
Cream together in a larger bowl or mixer, the brown sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs. Add the sifted dry ingredients until well combined.
Add the apple cider and buttermilk and mix thoroughly. Add the apples and fold into the batter.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes*, or until toothpick comes out clean. (*Note: different types of cake pans can vary the baking times, so start out checking earlier and adding more baking time as necessary.)
Serve with fresh whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup or with the following caramel sauce recipe (see below).
Caramel Sauce recipe (Adapted from the “Fresh Apple Cake” on Deliciously Organic)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar (because I personally think caramel tastes much better when you use brown sugar)
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp. baking soda
Put butter, brown sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda in a medium pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute*. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour butter mixture over hot cake. Let the cake stand for 1 hour and then turn it out onto a cake stand. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Cook’s note: I think you could boil a bit longer. Maybe a rolling boil for 2 or 3 minutes would do the trick.