Fresh Apple Cinnamon Cake
Apples Don’t Fall Far From the Tree —
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away. That’s a phrase the people spouted in a time before we used words like “health food”. Those people weren’t lying because apples are now categorized as one of the healthiest foods on the planet. The new apple crop is here, and I am always amazed by the growing number of new varieties arriving on the scene each season. Last year, my standout favorite was the Opal Apple, a new kid on the block. If I remember correctly, it didn’t appear until late in the season, and it disappeared very quickly, probably because it is so darn good! It’s yellow in color like a golden delicious, but so much better. It is sweet, juicy, crisp, and non-GMO. Best of all, it doesn’t turn brown once it’s cut. Sliced, it makes the perfect addition to a cheese plate. I haven’t spotted any this season but I’m on the look-out, because this is an Apple worth waiting for!
I am my mother’s daughter; my mother never wasted anything. She was one of the most creative people I have ever known. She wouldn’t have said that about herself, because to her it was just what you did. Her intuitive skill not only applied to the kitchen where she had 9 mouths to feed, but also into her ability to transform garments with her sewing. Somehow she was able to see that my sister’s old skirt could be transformed into a new blouse for me. She spent hours painstakingly ripping garments apart, and then re-cutting the fabric into something entirely new. She was amazing and I miss her.
“Taste like an apple pie, only much easier to make!”
So when I opened the crisper drawer of my refrigerator and found a couple of apples past their prime, I thought about my mother. She wouldn’t let those languishing apples go to waste, and neither should I. They became my muses – in other words my inspiration for this Apple Brunch Cake. The recipe that I have tweaked is my riff on an old recipe for apple cupcakes from Cooking Light. It’s a moist, delicious, cinnamon apple splendor, baked into a cake that has become a favorite around my house. It’s easy to make, and it’s a nice addition to a cup of coffee on a lazy weekend morning. It’s also great or as a simple evening dessert or just because it’s Tuesday. The recipe is baked in a single 8 inch round cake pan. Sometimes, I split the batter into two smaller, 4-inch pans (I use Fat Daddio’s). The end result is two cakes – a perfect portion for a household of two. This way, one can be enjoyed immediately, and the other wrapped and frozen for delayed gratification or given as a home-baked gift. Once again, I repeat, “cook once – eat twice,” is my motto!
PREP TIME - Minutes
BAKE TIME - Minutes
- Cake Batter
- 1½ cups Flour
- ½ tsp. Baking powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp. Baking soda
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup (2oz) Reduced fat cream cheese
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter softened
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 large Egg
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ⅓ cup reduced fat milk
- 2 med. apples - peeled and finely chopped
- 3 Tbs. Flour
- 3 Tbs. Brown Sugar
- ¼ tsp. Cinnamon
- 2 Tbs. Butter, chilled
- ¼ cup Pecans, chopped
- 1 cup powder sugar
- 4 tsp milk
- dash of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350
- Prepare one 8in cake pan - grease well and lightly flour.
- * If you have parchment available, cut a circle the size of the bottom and fit inside. This ensures the cake will release easily.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in small bowl, mix to combine.
- Combine, butter, cream cheese and sugar in large bowl; beat with a mixer on high speed until well blended. Add vanilla, cinnamon and egg - beat on medium until well blended.
- Combine yogurt and milk in a small bowl; stir to combine. Toss apples with 1 tbs of flour - this keeps the apple from sinking to the bottom while baking.
- With mixer on low, add ⅓ of the flour mixture, when combined, add ⅓ of the yogurt, then repeat until all ingredient are used. Do not over-beat - this keeps the cake tender.
- Fold the diced Apples into the batter, then spread batter into prepared cake pan(s).
- Make Strussel: Combine Flour, Brown Sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl. Cut 2 Tbs of butter into to the mixture to resemble coarse meal. Add pecans and mix again. Sprinkle streusel evenly over cake - Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a wooden tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pan on rack for 30 minutes. To remove cake from pan place a plate over the top of the cake and invert - lift pan. Use a second plate and invert again. When cake is completely cool - combine powder sugar, cinnamon, and milk stir to combine. Drizzle glaze over cake.
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