Saturday, October 13, 2012

Apple Cake

As summer (finally) quickly and quietly slips into winter (we don't really have autumn in Islamabad), the variety of fruit available to bake with becomes very limited.

You always have apples though.

I can't explain it but I don't like big chunks of apple in cake or muffins. I don't have a problem with baked or cooked apples in general, I love apple pie and crisp and all that. This particular quirk is just limited to apples in cake. Some recipes call for cooking the apples first and then adding them, but that takes away significantly from the flavour. In my opinion the best thing to do it is to grate them.

This is the simplest apple cake recipe with warm, smoky hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. It's a great way to use up apples and the cake is such perfect comfort food. We've been eating it with vanilla custard. Delicious!

4 oz (½ cup) butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
½ cup wholewheat flour
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon all spice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup milk
2 cups grated apple

  1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (350⁰F).
  2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and allspice and set aside.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugars at high speed until the mixture is light and creamy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture, one tablespoon at a time, with your mixer/beater on slow speed. Add the milk alternately with the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until it's all used. 
  6. Finally stir in the vanilla, apples and nutmeg (nutmeg is a strong flavouring and a tiny bit will go a long way so don't be tempted to add too much). Don't over-mix, just stir to combine all the ingredients. (You can add some finely chopped walnuts too at this point, I don't know why it didn't occur to me until after the cake was in the oven.)
  7. Grease and flour your cake tin. I used a 10-inch bundt tin, but you can use any tin you like. However, you will have to adjust the baking time with a different cake pan.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt tin and place in the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  10. Then remove the cake from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool. 
  11. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

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