Spiced Apple Cake
12-16 generous portions
The Vineyard Kitchen by Maria Helm SinskeyMaria’s instructions call for a 12-cup (3l) bundt pan. Mine is only a 10-cup and when I saw the batter rise to the top as it baked, I panicked a bit, but it didn’t overflow. Still, I do recommend following her advice. If you only have a 10-cup (2.5l) bundt pan, you could also scoop some of the batter into a smaller cake pan and have a little mini cake (which will cook for a shorter amount of time) as a snack or to gift someone.You could also spread the batter in an rectangular cake pan with a 12-cup (3l) capacity, baking it until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.This cake is not very sweet so I dusted the it with powdered sugar. But it would be equally good with a glaze or rich cream cheese frosting, especially for those with a sweet tooth.
2 tablespoons (30g) butter, salted or unsalted, salted or unsalted
4 tart, firm medium-size baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch (2 cm) cubes
2 tablespoons (30g) sugar
12 tablespoons (6 ounces, 170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (350g) sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
optional: 1 cup (110g) pitted, chopped dates
3 cups (420g) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (240g) buttermilk or plain yogurt, regular or low-fat
1. Melt the 2 tablespoons (30 g) of butter in a large skillet and sauté the apples over medium-high heat until the turn golden brown, stirring them as little as possible as they cook.
2. Once cooked through, add the 2 tablespoons (30 g) of sugar and cook until the apples cubes are nicely glazed. (Maria mentioned to cook them until all the liquid had evaporated, but mine had no liquid. So it depends on your apples.) Transfer apples to a plate and cool to room temperature.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and butter and flour a 12-cup (3l) bundt pan, tapping out any excess flour.
4. In a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the 12 tablespoons (170 g) of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, stopping the mixer between additions to scrape the batter down on the sides, as necessary.
5. In a small bowl, toss the dates, if using, with about a tablespoon of the flour to separate them.
6. In a medium bowl, sift together the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
7. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then mix in the buttermilk or yogurt. Then stir in the remaining dry ingredients until just almost mixed in completely, but do not overmix. Visible wisps of flour are normal.
8. Fold in the cooked apples, and dates (if using). Scrape the batter into the prepare bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar, or glaze, if you wish.