I’m a little off-season in making this cake, but, a few weeks ago while organizing my baking supplies – I guess I have too much time on my hands – I came across a Bundt pan and remembered that I specifically bought it to make this cake after finding the recipe in a Martha Stewart magazine last fall. Every October I go apple picking and I always like to try a new recipe or two with the apples, but, before I got a chance to make this cake I had used up my apples baking a few Apple-Raspberry Crumb pies and enjoying an apple a day.
I started off by toasting the walnuts and caramelizing the apples. I’ll be honest, when a recipe calls for toasting walnuts, or any nut for that matter, I usually by-pass that step. I did like the flavor of the toasted walnuts, but, I am not sure if it will sway me one way or another to toast them in future recipes. My apples came out a little mushier than I would have liked, but, they tasted great.
While my apples and walnuts were cooling I got to work on making the batter for the cake. I started off by sifting the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt together. The recipe called for freshly grated nutmeg which I didn’t have on hand so I used regular ground nutmeg. Once that was done I got to mixing the brown sugar, butter and eggs in my stand mixer. Once they were blended together well I added the flour mixture, alternating with milk, per the recipe directions.
I folded in the caramelized apples and walnuts by hand so the apples wouldn’t be further broken down by mixing them. I must say, cake batter doesn’t look very appetizing sometimes. I poured the batter into my prepared pan and baked it for about 50 minutes in a 350 degrees oven.
And voila, a not-so-appetizing looking cake batter turned into a delicious spice cake that filled my house with a nice aroma while baking. And while the recipe did call for an apple-cider glaze on top of the cake I opted not to do it because I am not a big fan of how sweet icings can be.
Apple-Walnut Bundt Cake (From Martha Stewart Living Magazine, October 2011)
Prep Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 Minutes
For the Caramelized Apples:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
3 tart green apples, such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
For the Cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
For the Glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons apple cider
Make the caramelized apples: Cook granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, without stirring, until sugar caramelizes, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in apples. Cook, covered, until softened, about 6 minutes. Slightly mash apples with a fork until broken down but still chunky. Continue to cook, uncovered, stirring, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter a 10-inch Bundt pan. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt into a medium bowl.
Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Mix in caramelized apples and the walnuts.
Transfer batter to pan. Bake until cake is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cake cool in pan set on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack, and let cool completely.
Once cake is cool, make the glaze: Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and cider. Drizzle over top of cake, letting it drip down the sides.
Storage: Glazed cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.