There are a lot of apple cake recipes out there, and pretty much everyone you ask says their recipe is the best. I found this recipe in a cooking forum where people were just falling all over themselves saying how good this is. And they were right -- it really is that good. I added a few more spices to the cake, but all the flavors really shine together. This cake is full of apples, but you taste the butter, pecans, and spices, too.
(based on the recipe in Ronald Johnson's An American Table)
4 c apples peeled and cut into a small dice
1 c chopped pecans
1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon (I used 1 tsp cinnamon, heaping 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice, big pinch of cloves, and 1-2 tsp chopped crystallized ginger)
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the vanilla and then the spices. Add the eggs one at a time.
Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Then add the dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the chopped apples and pecans. The batter will be very stiff.
Spoon into a thoroughly buttered Bundt pan (I used two mini Bundts and the six-inch heart above), and bake at 350 degrees for about one hour (til golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean ... smaller cakes will take less time.)
Cool briefly in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
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