Since January my afternoon snack of choice has been a sliced apple smeared with natural peanut butter. I am attempting to eat less of my beloved baked goods other than for dessert. Rather than labeling this a resolution, virtually dooming it from the start, I think of it as a healthy tweak to my diet. Maybe I’ve been inspired by all the recent, unavoidable buzz about “eating clean.”
With a dozen or so apples in the fridge, I decided to bake a slightly indulgent treat for a change of pace to my snack routine. This apple spice cake was not overly sweet. Cinnamon, ginger and cloves added the right amount of zip to match bites of apple chunks and chopped walnuts. Better to consume more raw apples than those baked in a cake, but this slice was definitely worth it.
Apple Spice Cake
Adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang
Makes one 10-inch cake
1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for pan
3/4 cup cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature plus more for pan
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups peeled, cored and chopped Gala apples (2 to 3 apples)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch round cake pan with butter and dust with flour shaking out the excess.
In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients mixing on low speed until just combined.
Fold in the apples and walnuts using a rubber spatula. Spread the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan completely on a wire rack. Remove the cake from the pan and dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving