Remove chocolate from a basic brownie recipe, and you get a blondie. But what happens when you take the caramel, or the brown sugar, out of a blondie recipe?
This apple cinnamon snacking cake was inspired by yet another winning Dorie Greenspan recipe, this time from Baking: From My Home to Yours. Her books are full of jumping off points, and we love her for that. The ratio of ingredients and the method are what makes this cake unique, as they result in an ultra dense and moist vanilla cake with a thin crackly top reminiscent of a tray of brownies.
Always a sucker for baked apple treats, we chose to adapt the original recipe to create a no-fuss cake filled with the flavours of honey, cinnamon, and one tart Ida Red. Simple, comforting, and so quick to put together that you can pull dessert from the oven just as your friends arrive, this cake makes it easy to impress.
Tips for Success:
• Wait until the last minute to shred the apple, as it will quickly turn brown in the open air.
• Take the time to drain any excess water out of the shredded apple to avoid a soggy cake.
• Keep in mind that just like brownies, the center of the cake may appear slightly under baked when you remove it from the oven.
Sparkling Apple Cake
Yield: 9 inch round cake
Prep: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 25 minutes
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (175g)
2 tablespoons liquid honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (125g)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 oz unsalted butter
1 medium tart apple
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9 inch springform pan.
Melt the butter and let it cool.
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder.
Put the sugar in a medium bowl and whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Whisk in the honey, salt and vanilla extract.
Peel and shred the apple, and use your hands or a fine mesh strainer to gently squeeze out the excess water. Set aside briefly.
With a rubber spatula, stir the flour into the egg/sugar mixture until there are no longer any streaks remaining in the batter. Gently fold in the melted butter until smooth, then fold in the shredded apple, making sure it is evenly dispersed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. Make the topping by combining the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it evenly over top of the cake.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 28 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the middle has a crackly, paper thin crust.
The cake may be served slightly warm, but it will also keep very well for several days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Inspired by: Dorie Greenspan’s “Swedish Visiting Cake”, from Baking: From my Home to Yours