After almost a month of seeing the farmer’s market slowly turn over from blackberries and peaches to butternut squash, I gave in and purchased the first apples of the season. It was the second week of September, so I guess it wasn’t too crazy of a move.
To celebrate, I used 3 of them in an apple cake for a barbecue last weekend at my in-laws, which I’m calling Southern Apple Cake. Why? Well first, according to the blog I got the recipe from, it was adapted from a cookbook called Southern Cakes. And second, I don’t want to confuse you with the apple cake I’ll be making a couple of weeks from now, titled Jewish Apple Cake, which being rather labor intensive (I slice the apples by hand, not sure why), I only make once a year for Rosh Hashana. So anyway, back to this cake. It seemed like a nice way to welcome in the cooler, fall like weather we’ve been having.
Its bursting with apples – I went with a full 2 cups instead of the original 1.5 cups. I also added spices – cinnamon as initially called for plus ginger, nutmeg and allspice. I figured if I’m baking with apples, I might as well go all out. The cake batter was on the very thick and dry side, so I increased the amount of oil by an additional ¼ cup (reflected in my recipe below, so don’t go adding any more or you may end up with an oil slick instead of a cake). It definitely made the batter less dry but just so ya know, its still very thick. Almost more like a cookie dough, so if you find yourself needing to spread the batter into all the corners of your pan, that’s okay because that’s how it should be.
The cake bakes up super moist, and while its still hot, you pour a brown sugar caramel sauce over the top. Because I was making this cake parve, I swapped the heavy cream for soy milk instead. I think because of this, the glaze was a bit thinner on top than it should be. As a result, it had more of a crunchy, crackly texture than a soft, caramel-like one. But no matter. It was delicious. And it actually worked really nicely against the moist cake.
This cake will probably last several days at room temperature. In fact, the blog I got the recipe from stated that the flavor kept getting even better over the course of a few days. I can’t confirm that though, because this cake was gone within 24 hours. Good thing too, because the very next day it was back to 90 degrees.
Southern Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
(adapted from Lick the Bowl Good)
yield: 16 servings
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon allspice
¾ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups finely chopped apples (2-3 apples, mixed variety – I used one granny smith and 2 others I’m not sure of)
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional, but definitely recommended unless you’re allergic)
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons parve butter (I use Earth Balance)
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon plan soy milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch square pan with foil so you have some overhang on each side, then coat with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices, whisk together to combine.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a hand mixer on high until light yellow and foamy (about 5 minutes). Beat in oil and vanilla.
4. Stir in flour mixture with a wooden spoon and continue stiring until flour is incorporated. Batter will be very thick. Stir in apples and walnuts.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread with a spatula so it is even across the pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place cake (still in pan) on a rack and immediately start making the glaze.
6. Combine sugar, parve butter, vanilla and soy milk in a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Let boil for about 3-4 minutes, sauce will start to thicken up and bubble quite a bit. While this is happening, use a fork to make small holes over the top of the cake (just through the surface, not all the way through) - this way, some of glaze will soak further into the cake.
7. When glaze is ready, immediately pour over top of the cake. Use a knife or offset spatula to spread glaze, if necessary. Let cool completely, then use a sharp knife to cut into 16 2×2-inch squares.