I have been on a bit of a Fall baking kick lately (maple cookies, maple scones, pumpkin cookies, sweet potato cake) which is really strange considering that Spring is just around the corner. Although, now that I think about it, maybe that's exactly why I'm cooking all the Fall flavors -- got to get the recipes made before all the Spring recipes take over. That and Spring just isn't quite here yet either. Every week I dutifully put rhubarb on the list so that I can make the Rhubarb Crumb Cake that I saw on Smitten Kitchen a few weeks ago, and every week the grocery store disappoints me. And of course the weather has still been cold and gloomy which puts me in the mood for warm and comforting.
I stumbled on this recipe a few weeks back when I was trolling through the food blogs looking for recipes. Instead of just looking at recipes and thinking "wow, I'd like to make that some day" I was actually copying recipes and putting them into my google documents folder for future use. Granted, the folder is very full and I don't remember to check it that often when I'm looking for a recipe -- but the fates conspired to make this cake happen today. First, I had 5 apples to use up -- they were starting to look a little sad and there was no way I was going to eat all of them. Second, the other cake I wanted to make with the apples called for lemon zest and I didn't have lemons. This cake used all of my apples and didn't call for a single thing I didn't have. And third, at some point in the last couple of weeks I printed this recipe and had it sitting on my desk so every day I came to my computer I was reminded that I wanted to make it soon.
The next trick was remembering where I found the recipe since I don't want to steal another bloggers recipe without giving them due credit. When I pasted the recipe into my google document, I completely forgot to grab the link that went with it. Luckily, I googled the title of recipe in quote and immediately found the source: Melissa Makes Bread. If you go to her blog you'll note that this is her mom's recipe and it's full of great fall flavors (so it's the end of March... I'm a rebel... what can I say? besides... it still tastes great whether made in March or October...)
I'm actually tempted to call this a pudding cake since I had trouble telling if the cake was super moist, or just not quite done all the way. It tastes great, and the outside is nice and golden brown and crispy, but the inside is so incredibly moist that it definitely reminds me of the bread pudding I made with caramelized apples. There are a ton of apples in this cake -- I mean seriously! look at all the apples in this cake:
plus raisins and walnuts -- lots of texture and flavor going on. In fact, there was so much texture going on with the cake batter that I was joking with Chris that we might want a little cake to go with our apples and raisins.
As usual, I was too impatient to get the pictures (and tastes!) done before the sun went down, so we had our taste while it was still warm from the oven. *swoon* I don't care that it's March and I should start thinking about lemon recipes and strawberries... this cake is incredibly good and comforting.
5 large apples, approximately 1 lb 12 ounces
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 cups granulated sugar
12 ounces unsalted butter (3 sticks), melted and cooled
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts
1 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F. Once the oven has come up to temperature, place the walnuts on a baking sheet, and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes, until they are nicely browned. Once they are taken out of the oven, let them cool down, and then chop them coarsely.
Butter a 12-cup capacity Bundt pan (you can substitute a 9x13-inch baking pan, but the baking time will vary). Set aside.
Peel, core and cube the apples into ¼-inch to ½-inch thick dice. If the apples are turning brown, toss them with a little lemon juice to prevent further browning.
Make the cake batter. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl, and set aside. Place the sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed with a paddle attachment until the mixture is light and a little fluffy. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is combined, before adding the next egg. Continue mixing on medium until the mixture is homogenous and fluffy. Then mix in the vanilla extract. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir in the dry ingredients by hand, mixing until there are no pockets of dry ingredients. Then add the apples, chopped walnuts and raisins and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan.
Place the cake in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.