My boy’s been in Canada for the past week attending a solar physics conference. Although I missed him quite a lot, being home alone definitely had its merits. It was a pleasure listening to Fergie at full volume without any jeers and even better baking peanut buttery desserts without having to consider a certain someone’s negative sentiments. But now that I’ve had my solo fun, it’s time to welcome The Astronomer back home. And what better way to say “Hello, darling!” than with a warm cake fresh out of the oven.
When I stumbled upon this recipe for the “best apple cake of the whole wide world” at The Cookie Shop earlier in the week, I knew it would be perfect. The Astronomer has a weakness for all things cinnamon and a deep affinity for Bundt molds. Down in South Carolina where this recipe originates, the cake is served with a drizzling of caramel sauce. We were very happy Yankees eating the cake in its natural glory.
- Nonstick cooking spray with flour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 to 3 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
- 1 cup chopped assorted nuts, such as pecans and walnuts (optional)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside.
Working over a large sheet of parchment paper, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; gather sifted ingredients into center of sheet; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs; mix on high speed until lemon yellow.
Fold reserved parchment in half lengthwise; with mixer on medium speed, gradually shake in dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Add apples and, if desired, nuts, to batter; mix to combine. Add vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 75 to 90 minutes.
Remove from oven, and cool slightly on a wire rack. Invert cake onto rack; turn cake right-side up to cool completely on rack, and serve drizzled with caramel sauce.
Recipe by Dorothy Mae Brown courtesy of Martha Stewart.