So… my first fall recipe! A super easy but very delicious Caramel Apple Cake. I thought it was appropriate, having missed Halloween and all. Really, this one post a week thing is not really working out for me. There are so many delicious recipes I want to share with you, but I just don’t have the time! I mean, this is my first fall recipe. And it’s already November!
Oh wait, I forgot about the Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips… Never mind…
Anyway, when will I have time to make all those other fall recipes I’ve been wanting to post about – like pumpkin cake with walnuts and Dutch apple pie and the Rocking Rebel’s amazing cinnamon pancakes – before Christmas? Oh, and those of you still waiting for that new recipe for Spiced Pear Soufflés I promised, I’m working on it! It’s just that my life is a little crazy right now. But a good kind of crazy. In fact, I’ve got some super exciting news I’ve been dying to tell you!
I’ve been offered a writing job! Yay me! And not just any writing job, a culinary writing job! How awesome is that? I’m so super stoked about it! I’m starting my new job in December, so it’s done wonders for my thesis, too. It’s super motivating! I have to turn my thesis in on the 30th of November, remember? (hey, I rhymed!) Well, I just wrote another 546 words! On collective memory and Maurice Halbwachs! Which is pretty amazing for someone who couldn’t write 50 words a few months ago.
Apparently, I perform well under pressure!
But let’s talk a little about today’s recipe: it’s probably the weirdest cake I’ve ever made! It’s super easy and really delicious, but very, very weird.
That’s why I like it so much! Weirdness should be celebrated, right? Well, as long as it’s a good kind of weird… Like cake weird!
See that photo up there? No, I didn’t forget to add the eggs. This cake is weird, remember? As you probably know – being the fabulous home baker that you are – most cakes are made by creaming butter and sugar together, adding a few eggs and vanilla, then mixing in the dry ingredients. That’s how cakes are made, right?
Not this cake!
To make this cake, you need to rub butter into a mixture of sugar, self-raising flour, salt and cinnamon. Yes, with your fingers. You then add a ton of apple pieces and stir it all together. And then you add the eggs. Two of them. Weird, right? I got this recipe from an old cookbook one of my mom’s friends gave me a few months ago. It’s called ‘Country Harvest’ and it’s by Linda Burgess and Rosamond Richardson. I love it when nice people give me old cookbooks. Especially when they’re full of notes. This one wasn’t, but I really like it anyway!
In the book, this recipe is called ‘Windfall Cake’, because you make it with windfall apples. Now, don’t laugh, but I didn’t even know what windfall apples are when I first read through the recipe. Sure, my first guess was that it probably had something to do with apples falling from trees, but still! Windfall could have been a brand name, right? What do I know? I don’t know that much about apple varieties… So yeah, I looked it up. And yes, I’m an idiot. Well, for another few weeks, at least. After that, I’m officially smart!
Anyway, I didn’t use windfall apples. Balconies and apple trees don’t go well together, so I used storebought Granny Smiths. I think they’re perfect for this cake! They’re not too sweet and they don’t become mushy in the oven. And as this cake gets its structure mostly form the apples – really the batter is just there to hold the apples together! – it’s a match made in apple cake heaven!
Instead of the sultanas, I added caramel. Remember that delicious Salted Caramel Sauce I posted about a few weeks ago. I made some more! That’s right, we’d already finished the first jar. We just ate it by the spoonful. Straight from the fridge. And it was gooood! So good that I wanted more. And because caramel and apples are just made for each other! Same reason why I added cinnamon. Apples just neeeed cinnamon! Badly! So I added some. To make the apples happy. My personal happiness had nothing to do with it, I promise. Right? Wait, I do get a little weak in the knees whenever I smell that gorgeous apple-cinnamon combo… Okay, so I did it for me. Cause hey, if writing a 25.000 word essay – because let’s face it: a thesis is basically a very long, boring essay – isn’t a good excuse to take a little better care of myself (by baking myself apple-cinnamon things, I mean), than what is??
Anyway, the caramel sauce kind of melts into the cake, making the edges of the cake gorgeously sticky and caramely. Perfect, if you ask me!
Oh, and see that piece of cake there? This is not the kind of cake you eat with a fork. This is cake you eat with your hands. In the car. On your way to work or school. This is the kind of cake you gobble down right after you’ve come home and crashed onto the couch, watching reruns of Scrubs or Friends. This is not a fancy cake. This is an imma-stuff-my-face-with-this-and-then-do-it-again kind of cake. It’s packed with apples! Don’t feel guilty…
Just take the dog out for a run again… That’s what I do.
And enjoy this Caramel Apple Cake!
- 250g (or 2 cups) self-raising flour
- 100g (or ½ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 175g (or ¾ cup + 1 teaspoon) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature and cubed
- 430g (or about 15 ounces) peeled, cored and cubed Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium apples)
- 2 large eggs
- 145g (or ½ cup) homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting). Line the bottom of a 20-cm/7-inch spring-form pan with baking parchment and butter the sides of the pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together the self-raising flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the cubed butter and rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers. At some point, the mixture will start to come together.
- Add the apple pieces and stir to combine. Add the eggs one at a time and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated. The mixture will now look like thick batter.
- Press one third of the mixture into the cake pan with a metal spoon. Because there are so much apple pieces in the batter, it may need a little encouragement. Drizzle half the caramel over the batter in the pan, then gently press another third of the batter on top of the caramel. Add the remaining caramel, then add the remaining batter.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar on top of the cake and place the cake bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. After 10 minutes, use a thin knife to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Remove the spring-form collar. Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack or serve warm.
- Stored in an airtight container, the cake will keep for up to five days.