Hello friends! Well, we are finally here in Wisconsin and UNPACKING in our new house. I can hardly believe it. All of our boxes were delivered yesterday so it’s going to be a fun few weeks unpacking and settling in.
I am starting to get excited about the house, the move and meeting our neighbors and making new friends . . but I miss Washington and my friends there. Before we left Washington, we literally packed in almost everything we could before we left. We went to Vancouver for a quick weekend trip, we went to the beloved Pike Place Market, ate at some great restaurants, took photos of some of my favorite things around my house and went apple picking at The Farm where we picked Jonagold and Honeycrisp apples.
The plan was to celebrate FALL and bake a delicious apple pie with these babies but I ran out of time and me and the kids just ate these straight up. BUT thanks to my blogging friends, we can celebrate apples today with Nancy’s Apple Spice Cake!
Nancy blogs at Gotta Get Baked and she is a dear friend who I finally got to meet at IFBC. Nancy is a fabulous baker and has guest posted for me 3 times! You must check out some of her recent baked delights: Olive Oil Pumpkin Loaf, Peach Blueberry Pie and this beauty: Chocolate Pumpkin Layer Cake.
Nancy baked me (and her husband, Tony) this delicious Apple Spice Cake so read on and enjoy! Thank you, Nancy!!!
Howdy readers of Hip Foodie Mom. Are you sick of me yet?
This is my third time blogging for my dear friend Alice and every time she asks me for a guest post, I’m beyond honoured. I love and respect Alice so much as a blogger but even more as a person. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Alice in real life (we were roomies during IFBC last month) and I met up with her very briefly when she was visiting Vancouver a few weeks ago. Sadly for me, Alice is moving away from the Pacific Northwest and will be settling in Wisconsin with her lovely family. So, at the time you’re reading my words, Alice will be deeply immersed in the grueling, hellish experience that is moving. I hope it’s going well, girl!
Ugh. Even the THOUGHT of packing up my entire life and moving it across a country is exhausting. I’ve only had to move once so far in my life, at the age of 28 when I went from my parent’s home to the apartment I share with the Husband. I know, I know, that’s pretty old to be leaving the nest but it’s totally the norm for Asian households, especially for single college kids. It was a dream being able to live at home during university, saving money that I didn’t need to spend on rent, and having a hot meal waiting for me every night (thanks Mom!).
This cake. It’s an apple spice cake filled with layers of maple cream cheese and apple pie filling. It’s the tastiest cake I’ve made in a while but OY. It’s an epic fail aesthetically, which I’ll explain below.
I made it for the Husband’s birthday last month because he lurvs apple desserts. It was delicious but I wasn’t 100% satisfied with how it turned out: there wasn’t enough frosting or apple pie filling. I decided to make it again for my friend’s 2nd annual Cakefest and to present to Alice for her guest post. I wanted to make it bigger and better but good intentions don’t make a good cake. Look what happened when I was transporting my baby to Cakefest:
It looked like an earthquake measuring 9 points on the Richter scale ravaged it.
Couple of problems: this is a very delicate cake and it wasn’t sturdy enough to hold up all the heavy fixin’s. Next time: I need to make my cake earlier and put it in the fridge to make it sturdier. I totally overloaded the cake layers. There’s a TON of cream cheese frosting and apple pie filling in between every thin layer. Finally, I transported it without giving it adequate time in the fridge to firm up. Sigh. Amateur mistakes. When’d I turn into such a rookie?
Regardless of how it looks, it tastes fantastic so I figured it’s still worthy of sending to Alice. If any of you try this at home and the same calamity befalls you, tip it into a trifle bowl and serve it that way. I was literally scooping this cake out to serve at Cakefest. Problems solved! This cake is a delicious labour of love and even though mine looked a hot mess, I still love it.
I know that Alice will appreciate the humour of what befell the poor thing. I’m thinking of you girl! I hope the move went flawlessly and painlessly.
Apple Spice Cake
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 lb about 4 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces (I used a mix of gala and golden delicious apples)
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup whole milk at room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 4 large eggs at room temp
For the cream cheese filling:
- 2 blocks of cream cheese room temp
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup powdered sugar
For the apple pie filling:
- 4 apples I used a mix of gala, honeycrisp and golden delicious, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-1 inch pieces
- Juice of half a lemon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp nutmeg
For the cake:
- Place your diced apples in a large saucepan with the lemon juice and brown sugar. Cook the apples over medium heat until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans, then place a round of parchment in the bottom of each and spray the round. I used 9-inch cake pans.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk and vanilla together in a small measuring cup. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, 3/4 cups granulated sugar and the maple syrup on medium speed (stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice) until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after eat addition.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then with the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients in three additions, and the milk mixture in two, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beating just until combined. Mix in the cooked and cooled apples.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pans on wire racks for about 20 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the racks to complete cooling.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter on medium high speed for at least three minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and maple syrup. Mix until fully combined.
For the apple pie filling:
- Place the diced apples into a large saucepan over medium heat with the lemon juice. Cook until it begins to soften, then add the sugar and spices. Mix to combine. Cook until the apples are completely softened.
- I cut my two cakes into four layers. Place one layer of the cake on a cake plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting, then top with apple pie filling. Place the next layer of cake over top and keep building until you get to the last layer of cake. Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake with the remaining frosting. Chill the cake for at least 1 hour before serving (I CANNOT stress this enough!). Don’t transport this if you can – the cake is HEAVY. You can garnish the sides with chopped walnuts as I did – it provides a lovely contrast in texture (I love the oily, nutty crunch against the smooth frosting and the spicy apple cake).
Adapted from Baked by Rachel.
NOTES FROM NANCY:
Cream Cheese Frosting: I made a ton of frosting to make sure there was enough for the cake. I doubled the ABOVE recipe but you can make it as written if you make a smaller cake.
Apple Pie Filling: I made a ton of apple pie filling because I love to eat it. I doubled the recipe but you can make it as written for a smaller cake. If you double it and there’s extra, you can eat it with oatmeal, pancakes, or spoon it into your mouth like decadent apple sauce.