A real conversation between Q and me last night at 10:30PM:
Q: I’m so hungry!!
Q: Lunch isn’t for another 45 minutes.
Me: I’m so hungry!
Me: And breakfast isn’t for another 12
I went to bed starving last night. The hunger didn’t hit me until 9:30 and at that point my thought process was: “Just go to bed. Do not get a snack. Just go to sleep. You can eat a big breakfast in the morning. Seriously. A huge breakfast. Cake. Yes, cake for breakfast. A big piece.” And so I convinced myself to just go to bed knowing a piece of this deliciousness was waiting for me.
This Whole-Wheat Apple Butter Cake is a perfect, not-too-sweet treat. We served it for dessert on Monday night with a big scoop of vanilla praline ice cream (which was a perfect pairing) and it also works well on it’s own for a little breakfast or midday treat.
The baking process is interesting because you actually caramelize the apples before adding them to the batter. This recipe also calls for a few different types of flour which makes for a really great and flavorful batter. We used freshly ground almond flour from the Farmers’ Market (we were lucky and a stand was selling it), but you can find almond meal from the supermarket (I know Whole Foods has it). We used green Granny Smith apples since I think green apples are the best to bake with, but any not too sweet apple will work.
Whole-Wheat Apple Butter Cake
Serves 16 to 20
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 pounds apples (about 3 large), peeled and cut into large chunks (about 4 cups)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the apples, then the sugar and salt, tossing to coat.
- Cook, stirring often, until the apples are just softened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and spread the apples on a rimmed baking sheet to stop the cooking process. Set aside to cool.
- 2 lightly packed cups (7 ounces) almond meal
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces) whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (2.5 ounces) cornmeal
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound butter
- 2 1/4 cups (1 pound) sugar
- 8 eggs
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons finishing sugar (you can use regular if you don’t have it)
- Cooked apples
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-by-3 inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together the almond meal, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened. With the mixer going, beat in 1 pound sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then beat in the vanilla.
- Beat in the dry ingredients, a spoonful at a time, just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
- Fold in the cooked apples by hand. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and sprinkle over the finishing sugar.
- Bake the cake in the center of the oven until the cake is risen and a rich golden brown on top, springs back when touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Check the cake after 1 hour, if it browns too quickly, loosely tent the top with a piece of foil.
- Remove the pan to a rack. Cook for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.