Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Fresh Apple Cake--Two Ways
My search to find the perfect recipe for fresh apple cake is underway -- again.
Every year about this time, I try new fresh apple cake recipes to see it I can replicate a memory. I bought a couple of fresh apple cakes from a lady baker in Fayetteville, Georgia, more years ago than I can remember and it was the best cake ever! I have made some good apple cakes but never made a cake that beats the cake from my memory.
Two cakes from this past week, one containing wheat and an easy gluten-free cake from a mix were quite good but not quite like the cake I hold up as "the holy grail of Fresh Apple Cakes! These are better than any I have made to date. They are good enough to share, even if they are not as good as the cake I remember. These are easier tube-pan versions. The cake I remember was a layer cake.
Fresh Apple Nut Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups peeled and finely chopped apples, about 4 medium apples (tart varieties always yield more flavor)
1 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla
Optional: 1 cup of chopped pecans (I rarely add nuts to my cake batter because I have those who don't like nuts in my family. I do add them to the glaze on top.
Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs, sugar and oil until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Add apples, vanilla and optional nuts. Pour batter into a greased tube pan and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until cake is firm and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Immediately pour the brown sugar/nut glaze over the top of the cake and allow to cool for ten minutes. (See recipe below)
Brown Sugar Nut Glaze
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used soy milk and it was great!)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup chopped pecans (You don't have to add the nuts for this to be good!)
Combine all ingredients in a medium to large saucepan. Bring to a full boil for several minutes. Pour over cake right out of the oven. Allow to cool for ten minutes. Turn the cake out onto a plate lined with wax or parchment paper. Invert immediately onto a serving plate. The nuts will be on the top of the cake and the glaze will drizzle down the sides.
This was yummy, but ...
Here is the easy, easy, gluten-free from a mix version:
Gluten-free Fresh Apple Cake
(This will make a smaller cake than the one above because the gluten-free cake mix I used only makes one large layer. Isn't that a bummer? With the addition of the apples, this cake should be almost the size of the non-gluten-free recipe. This could be made with a non-gluten free cake mix.)
3 cups peeled and chopped tart apples
1 cake mix, mixed to package directions (I used the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow cake mix)
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
Optional: 1/2 cups of chopped pecans
Brown Sugar Nut Glaze (See above.)
Peel and chop apples and set aside. Mix cake mix according to package directions. Add cinnamon, vanilla and (optional) nuts.
Pour into a tube pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until cake is firm to the touch. Don't overcook.
Pour the glaze over the top an allow to cool for ten minutes. Turn the cake out onto a plate lined with wax or parchment paper and immediately invert onto a serving plate.
My search continues. If you have a great recipe, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org because I would love to find the perfect fresh apple cake!