Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Applesuace Spice Cake

It is that time of the month!  Time for the Cake Slice Bakers to reveal the cake baked for November!  This is our first cake from our new cookbook ~ Great Cakes by Carole Walter.  We will be voting on and baking a cake each month - revealed on the 20th - for a year.  This book is filled with wonderful sounding cakes, so I am looking forward to the months ahead.

The cake for November is the Applesauce Spice Cake.  It has a double dose of apple-i-ness calling for applesauce and chopped apple.  The recipe is pretty straight forward... nothing happens during the process of putting it together so I thought I would try to give you some tips this month instead of step by step instructions.

This recipe calls for a fluted pan.  I have two bundt pans that don't see much use anymore for a couple of reasons... I dislike using Pam spray so I would have to hand grease all those nooks and crannies and because I equally dislike having to wash out all those nooks and crannies.  Instead I use a simple tube pan.

While you get all your ingredients ready before you throw your cake together (because I know y'all are good mise-en-placers!) think about how many dishes you can save yourself from washing if you plan out your tools.  Generally I like to use a large chef's knife for chopping nuts.  But I also need to chop an apple and the large knife is a little much so I compromise and use a smaller knife for the nuts and it will work just fine for the apple too.  Same for the cutting board.  Who cares if there are nut bits on the chopped apple - it's all going in the same cake.  ;)

When you peel your apple, or anything else, peel it onto a paper towel.  Paper towels are excepted in most city green bins and in compost piles.  When you are done just wad it up, peel, core and towel and throw the whole thing into your green bin and go.  

Don't bother with an apple corer.  Let's weigh the corer frustration versus the tiny bit you will leave behind if you just cut the sides off....  Seriously!  That bit of apple left behind on the core is so not worth my time or yours.  Cut off the sides nice and close to the core and move on with a happier, less frustrated day.
*Now if we are talking the apple peeler-corer-slicer... oh yeah that thing rocks!  Use it and love it but not for doing just this one apple.

I have a confession ~ I don't own a sifter.  Hey now don't go giving me that stink eye!  I hear ya mumbling over there about a baker that doesn't own a sifter... yea yea yea.  I just use my fine strainer when I need to sift something.  Let some of your tools be multi-taskers (ode to Mr. AB)... they like it, I promise!

Also don't dirty another utensil for stirring the flour/dry ingredients through the strainer, let your measuring spoon get a little more action time.  Yeah they like it too.

When you turn out your cake... your golden brown, still warm, luscious smelling cake... ok I am back.  Oh yeah when you turn out your cake and want a nice smooth top have a second rack handy so that you don't end up with funny lines all over your cake because you took too long to find your other rack that was in the dish washer.

If you just happen to end up with silly rack lines all over your beautiful cake top don't sweat it!  Those little indentations will just be perfect for holding the tasty glaze on top of your cake.

Yes.... Brown.  Sugar.  Glaze.  

You start with brown sugar and butter melting together.  Add in your cream and then whisk in powdered sugar.  This is one place I really do recommend you "sift" your powdered sugar otherwise you will end up having to whisk out a bunch of lumpies and you really just want to get this dang glaze done so you can pour it all over that cake and cover those unsightly lines on the top... 

... and watch it puddle on the edge.  Then tell your people that it is horrible and hide it so that you have it all to yourself later after everyone has gone to bed... Wait did I say that out loud. Ha!  I would never do that!  Always share your wonderful creations!!

This cake is so darned homey and tasty and warm wonderful!  We all loved it... soft and appley inside with that golden crust that is covered in yummy glaze.  
This recipe is going in the keep pile.

A few notes on this recipe...
I did not include he called for allspice.
I chopped my apple fine and used a bit more than called for.
I used walnuts instead of pecans.
Watch your timing on this cake - it baked quicker than the book called for.

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  1. Great post, Holly! I feel hope...a professional baker that keeps her utensils and dishes to a minimum. Great tip (amongst many others) on using the angel food pan for the cake, too =) Your cake - of course - looks perfect!

  2. Love your post! Your cake turned out great in that tube pan! Delish!

  3. Oh great cake, Holly! It really turned out so well! And really awesome tips, too! No stink eye from this girl! (cuz I don't own a sifter either!).

  4. I like big bundts and I cannot lie! LOL! Your cake looks great and good call on omitting the allspice. I've heard it was overpowering.

  5. Holly, your glaze turned out perfect! Love the golden color! I'm wishing I had a slice right now, it would warm me up!

  6. Love that tube shape, holds more glaze!

  7. Love the post and the tips. I only use what I have to - there is no reason to dirty things you don't need. I am in total agreement with the sifter and the corer too.

  8. I love the color of your glaze, mine, for some reason turned out so pale.

  9. I love that you included all of these tips - thanks. Funny about your sifter, because I own one and I hate cleaning it about as much as you hate buttering and cleaning a bundt pan :) . I don;t even use the strainer, I whisk (gasp!) to combine the flour etc, unless it is something delicate like a sponge. Your cake looks amazing, and I am admiring the creaminess of your glaze (and I did break down and get out the sieve for that).

  10. Now Holly your cake look suuu-per! Yummy! I think I may have to give this glaze a go! Hazel x

  11. Holly, indeed you have nailed it on the washing of too many dishes or things. I totally and absolutely detest that such that I even try to plan in my head which things I can use for different ingredients so I don't have to wash too many ;) Trust me, with a cake like yours, no one will fault you on not having a sifter ;P Your cake just looks delectable!!


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