My Husband told me, “this is the fluffiest cake you have ever made.” Coming from a guy who does not really care for cake and would choose just about any other dessert before cake it is quite the feat.
When we were invited to a recent game night and asked to bring dessert I was excited. Better yet, when I asked the host what flavor profile she would like – chocolate, fruit, or caramel, etc., she choose fruit. I decided to go with apple, as I have had a moist apple cake in mind for a while. I attempted an apple Bundt cake last week that ended up being a goopy, inedible mess, so I was cautious this time. I stumbled upon this recipe at Taste of Home and decided to use it as my jumping off point along with maple syrup and pecans or for additional flavor and texture.
I admit I wrote this recipe with extra elements in addition to the cake, so that if the cake did not turn out, I could always go buy some vanilla ice cream and additional extra apples and just serve warm cinnamon apples over the ice cream with the salted maple-butterscotch sauce, maple-glazed pecans, and whipped cream and no one would need to know I had originally planned on cake. Thankfully, I did not need to go to my backup. This cake turned out moist, tender, and fluffy. It has just the right amount of sweetness and warm spices to balance the tart apples.
Oh, and the apples. This cake is full of them. There is just as much apple, maybe more, than there is cake. When I was mixing the apples into the batter I thought there is no way this is going to work, there is way too much apple for this cake, as the batter did not cover and coat the apples. Don’t worry, just stir until the batter is evenly distributed among the apples, press/spread the batter into the pan, and bake it. Trust me, it all works out. However, I will say, that with all the large pieces of apple, this cake is impossible to slice cleanly. Not that a slightly ragged piece of cake will stop me from making this again.
As for the other elements, the cake can certainly stand on its own. In fact, my Husband enjoyed a leftover piece for breakfast and I think it would be great in the afternoon with tea. But if you are looking for a dressed up, dinner party, type of dessert than I recommend making the sauce and pecans. The maple-butterscotch sauce has just enough salt to prevent it from being cloying sweet and let other flavors in the sauce shine, while the pecans provide a great crunch and textural contrast to the fluffy cake and soft apples.
Chunky Apple Cake with Salted Maple-Butterscotch Sauce and Spiced, Maple Glazed Pecans
~ Makes 12 Servingss~
- 8 ounces (2 cups) almond-coconut flour
- 2 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) butter, unsalted
- 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 medium tart apples, peeled and chopped, (21 ounces, about 6 cups)
Salted Maple-Butterscotch Sauce:
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) butter
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Spiced, Maple Glazed Pecans:
- 7 ounces (2 cup) pecans
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
For the nuts, in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, add the pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, orange peel and cayenne pepper. Cook stirring frequently until syrup is caramelized and nuts are toasted, 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan. Let cool completely and coarsely chop.
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond-coconut flour, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and baking powder and soda. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually, add dry ingredients and mix well (batter will be stiff). Stir in the apples.
Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until top is deeply golden brown and springs bake when lightly touched. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Cake can be served warm or at room temperature.
For the sauce, melt butter, maple syrup, sugar, and molasses in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. Add salt and heavy cream, simmer an additional 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Serve warm. Sauce can be made ahead of time and rewarmed in the microwave.
To serve, plate cake and top with warm butterscotch sauce. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired, top with chopped pecans.
Adapted from Taste of Home.