Even though we made a Fresh Apple Cake not too long ago, here came this recipe and I just had to give it a try to see if it too was any good. If I have to be honest – and hello, I do – I would say this wasn’t my favorite recipe of the two, but it wouldn’t need too many changes next time to be better for me personally. You? You might like this one as-is. Let’s see, shall we?
When you consider this all goes towards making a small loaf-pan-size cake, it’s like, hello, ingredient explosion! Then again, I only needed to buy three items in this group, so, hello, money saver!
Three apples isn’t a lot of work to peel and chop up either (and I can say this when we’ve peeled and chopped three times that or more for other recipes), and it cooks down fairly quickly to the consistency you see here.
And then you cool it a little and chuck it into your food processor and – hey! We just made apple sauce! So this begs the question, could you just use apple sauce? Well, sure, but don’t ask us how much because we didn’t measure this stuff out as the recipe says to use all of it. Too, these freshly cooked apples had a ton more apple flavor and zing to them, whereas you don’t tend to taste apple sauce used in cake recipes. So…you decide that one.
And now – holy apple avalanche! Yup, just add it all in to the well-mixed dry ingredients.
The ever-essential egg. Ker-plop!
This stuff looks…odd going into the pan (I think it was the pale color), but whatevs! At this point I panicked a little cuz it looked like a ton of cake batter for one loaf pan. And it filled our pan to the very brim. Which made me make Sis Blogging Partner scoop a little out till we were more like an inch from the top and…I tend to overreact I think.
Because this thing don’t be risin’ much! Hmmm.
Whatevs! On with the frosting!
It just so happened our Infrequent Miniature Cooking Assistant deigned to help us out by spreading on the frosting. Thanks, my wittle kiddo!
The texture of the cake itself is a little hard to describe. It’s not like birthday cake. It’s not like a quick bread or banana bread type thing. It’s kind of a cross between them. For one thing, there’s not a whole lot of flour, while there’s a ton of those moist, flavorful apples, so this probably accounts for it being so moist, but it’s also pretty dense. It does have a great apple flavor, and the golden raisins accentuate and complement that (whereas regular raisins might stand too much on their own). The frosting has a some lime juice in it to marry it up with the same flavor in the cake, and it’s got a nice zip at first, but I would probably leave it out next time. Overall, this is not a bad little cake and it’s great for smaller parties or family meals and even those having a smaller Thanksgiving feast.
Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
from Anne Burrell via FoodNework.com
For the cake:
Special equipment: Standard loaf pan
- 1/2 stick butter, plus extra for loaf pan
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored, cut into 1/2-inch dice and tossed with a little lemon juice
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for loaf pan
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 or 4 grates fresh nutmeg (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
For the cream cheese icing:
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Toss in the apples and stir to coat them with the butter. Add the lemon juice and the apple cider. Cook until the apples have softened and the cider has reduced by half. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse into a coarse paste. Reserve.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, both of the sugars and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the pureed apples, the egg and vanilla. Stir to combine. Toss in the walnuts and raisins.
Butter and flour a loaf pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and put it in the preheated oven. Bake until a toothpick, inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.
To make the icing:
Beat together all of the ingredients in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
Cut the cake in half equally and spread half of the icing on the bottom layer. Replace the top half and ice the top of the cake, leave the sides bare. Slice and serve.
You could also just frost the cake as we did, on top, due to the fact that we were getting pretty durn tired that afternoon and I was coming down with the beginnings of a cold. Slap on goes the frosting – done!
If you don’t have a food processor, first, see if some kindly Christmas elf could bring you one some day (they’re dam bomb – the elves and the processor), and second, use a potato masher. The apples should be very soft after cooking and will do fine hand mashed. They will be coarse after using a processor anyway, so I say a hand masher can work, too. A processor will just save you some time and you can put the parts used in your dishwasher later.
Personally, I think this cake tasted better the day we made it, but I also stored my share in the fridge due to already being frosted with the cream cheese icing. I don’t think the cake tasted as good after being refrigerated. If you want to make this a day ahead, make up your cake and frosting, but store the cake in an airtight container on the counter top and the frosting in the fridge, also well covered. The next day, let the frosting come close to room temperature or just enough to be spreadable again and frost your cake. Enjoy!