Friday, March 25, 2011

Apple Cake



I am not usually a baker of cakes. Muffins, bars, cookies, sure. Cakes seems like so much more of an investment. Who's going to eat a whole cake? I mean, I can handle at least a couple of cookies, but a whole cake? That just seems excessive.

Well, my non-baking cake days are apparently at an end. I have a roommate who loves cake. Any kind of cake. "They feel like a celebration!" she says to me as she pores over recipe books devoted to the subject. She herself is queen of what is now infamously known as the Guinness Chocolate Cake. More on that later though.

But my tendencies toward simplicity resulted in this- an apple cake inspired by the good ol' "Joy of Cooking". I'm a fan of apple pie but I wanted something sweeter and...well, softer. I had no idea that apple cake was even an option. And now, because of this, poor apple pie may never again find a place in our household. The absolute simplicity of this cake made the fact that it was so delicious even better. I was put on dessert duty the evening we made this and I had the batter ready for the oven in less than 10 minutes. No eggs, no beaters, just a large bowl and a wooden spoon are all you need. Well, that and the ingredients which are by no means hard to find. I also *highly* recommend the addition of rum to this cake. Talk about improving on a good thing.

Served with ice cream, this cake demands recognition amongst its more famous apple-based dessert brethren. And it deserves it.

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp. rum
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped apples (I recommend tart green apples, with the skin left on)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Method

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Grease and flour an 8 inch square baking pan or line the bottom with wax or parchment paper. (I used a round spring-form pan, but honestly anything will work here.)

Whisk together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.

Add the buttermilk, oil, rum, and vanilla and stir together until smooth.

Stir in the apples and nuts.

Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. This thing goes great by itself or with ice cream (because, why not?)

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