Sunday, October 18, 2009
Apple Spice Cake
It's not unusual for October to be rainy here in Boston, and the forecast called for it, so when I left the house in the morning, I was wearing rain boots, a rain coat, and carrying an umbrella... but then I noticed the drops weren't drops. They were FLAKES. And then today it snowed again, but this time the flakes were the big downy chunks of snow that make me think of instant mashed potatoes. Nature is so cruel!
The only solace I am taking in the fact that we're getting SNOW in OCTOBER is that I have an excuse to bake cake. Well, the snow, and the seven apples, leftover from a picking trip weeks ago, taunting me from the fruit bowl. And the buttermilk going bad in the fridge.* Ok, three excuses to bake.
Apple Spice Cake
I adapted this from a recipe on The Perfect Pantry, based on the spices I like with apples and what I had in the house. It is excellent with ice cream for dessert, but I find it most suited for breakfast, toasted, with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of pecans. I doubled this because I had so many apples and so much buttermilk to use; I brought the extra loaf to work and it was gone in minutes!
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup tart apples, grated (3-4 large apples- I used a mix of Gala, Braeburn, and Macoun, but you can use whatever you have.)
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a loaf pan with butter or baking spray.
Combine flours and spices in a medium bowl, whisk to combine (I like to whisk in the bowl rather than sift, but I guess that might be cheating, so if you want, you can sift them together instead).
In another bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs to the sugar and shortening, and stir to combine well.
Add 1/3 the flour dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, stir to combine. Then add 1/2 the buttermilk and half the apples, stir to combine. Then add another third of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the buttermilk and apples, then the dry ingredients, stirring to combine after each addition.
Scoop the batter into the greased loaf pan, smooth the top a little, and bake for an hour, rotating once. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
*Do you always have leftover buttermilk from pancakes or ranch dressing (or apple spice cake)? Sarah at the Pink of Perfection has created THE ULTIMATE BUTTERMILK RECIPE REPOSITORY and I am so excited about it that I have to use capital letters. Go check it out.