Move over Pumpkin Spice, this cake takes the cake for best autumn recipe. I have been making this cake for around seven years now, and it has never failed to impress absolutely everyone (including myself). It is a fluffy spiced vanilla cake with layers of gooey warm apples through the center, all topped off with a fragrant vanilla bean glaze, what's not to love?
Step 1: Let's Talk Apples.
At the end of the day this cake is not fussy. Absolutely any apples you have on hand or want to use will work excellently. However, this being said, the cake will turn out differently based on which apples you use. So let's talk apples:
Red or Green Apples: Red apples are a lot sweeter and less firm than green ones or cooking apples. They are light enough to rest right on top of the batter and will end up on top of the cake after baking (almost like a fruit tart). This is aesthetically, a very lovely sight. Green apples will have the same effect on the cake, but are more sour than the red ones, which in my opinion, complements the sweetness of the cake nicely.
Cooking Apples: Cooking apples are heavy and will sink inside the cake during baking. While they might not have the breath-taking aesthetic of non-cooking apples, I think they yield a gooier more delicious apple filling that resembles one of an apple pie after baking.
Step 2: Spiced Apple Cake
2 Apples of choice
3/4 Cup butter (softened to room temperature) (170g)
1 1/2 Cups Sugar (300g)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 Cup milk (177ml)
1 3/4 Cup + 1.5 Tbsp plain flour (225g)
2 Tsp baking powder
2 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 Tsp ground cloves
1 good pinch of salt
1.Preheat oven to 175 degrees centigrade (350F)
2. In a large mixing bowl combine butter, vanilla and sugar. Cream on medium-high with an electric mixer until light and fluffy ~2 minutes.*See notes below*
3. Add eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, mixing only until combined after each one.
4. Alternate adding the remaining dry ingredients and the milk. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mixing only to incorporate each time.
5. Grease cake pans of choice and fill 2/3 the way with your delicious spiced vanilla batter.
6. Slice apples into pieces ~2-3cm thick. (Optionally you can peel the apples beforehand but I am a strong advocate for leaving the skin on)
7. Arrange apple slices on top of the batter, trying to fit as many as possible without overlapping too much. (Studies have shown a perfect positive correlation between the amount of apples on the cake and the deliciousness of the cake.)
8. Place in the oven and bake for ~20-25 minutes. (This, however, will vary based on the shape of the pan) or until apples look caramelized and a knife comes out clean when inserted in the cake. Leave to cool slightly before removing from pan. (Note that you can reheat it to serve warm once out of the pan)
*As a university student I don't always have access to an electric mixer and unfortunately have found that this recipe has an entirely different texture (for the worst) when attempted by hand. Rather than light and fluffy it deteriorates to a crumbly, dry, almost cornbread-like texture, rendering it not worth making without an electric mixer.*
Step 3: Vanilla Bean Glaze
2 Tsp milk
1/2 Cup powder Sugar (62.5g)
1 Vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
1. In a small mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, salt, and milk. Whisk together until smooth and glossy.
2. Using a paring knife slice the vanilla bean open lengthwise. Run the blade along the inside of the bean to scrape out the 'caviar'. Add to the glaze, sparing nothing. (Alternatively you can use a vanilla bean grinder if you have one)*see notes*
3. Mix together until smooth.
*Alternatively the vanilla bean can be replaced with a splash of vanilla extract.
Step 4: Serve
1. Using a spoon (or a piping bag for more accuracy) drizzle your glaze generously and decoratively over the cake.
2. Slice up and optionally microwave each slice for around 3 seconds to warm.
3. Serve and prepare to impress any guests, family, friends or school bakesale!
(This cake also makes an excellent gift, it is stunning, easy to transport and looks so cute with a little bow tied around it!)
I hope you enjoy!
For more of my recipes and food photography, feel free to have a look at my Instagram page: @madebyizie (https://www.instagram.com/madebyizie/?hl=en) and food blog: www.crackingyolk.com