Spiced Apple Cake

You know when you have those last two or three apples remaining but don’t feel like eating them, because there are other, fresher fruits in your pantry? What do you do with them? My usual go-to is to chop them up and make an apple stew or occasionally an apple chutney. Or a small portion of an apple crumble, but almost never, a pie since I’ve still not nailed the pie-dough and pie-crust. I now have a new go-to recipe for leftover apples: spiced apple cake.

I started off by entering the kitchen to make dinner, but it was too hot to cook, so I tossed together a simple salad, and decided to bake a cake instead. As I was pulling out the ingredients for an orange cake, I spotted two forlorn apples in one corner of my fruit basket. I’d made a batch of apple muffins several years ago, so I started by looking for that recipe. I didn’t find it, but I did find this recipe for an apple-orange coffee cake and this one for an apple-orange spice cake. I looked at pantry, and sat down to modify the recipe to suit me.

3 large eggs (or 4 medium-small eggs)
¾ cup sugar
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat flour for a dense texture)
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup oil (I used sunflower oil)
⅓ cup liqueur (Brandy, Cointreau or any other fruit liqueur)

2 apples
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

Slice the apples and toss them with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar till fluffy. Gradually fold in the flour, baking powder and oil. The batter should be quite thick at this point. Slowly add the liqueur. If you think that the batter is becoming too thin, don’t use all the liqueur, but only ¼ cup.

Pour into a tin lined with parchment paper. Arrange the sliced apples on top, starting from the center and moving outwards. Spoon any remaining sugar syrup and spices over the apples.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180º for 60 minutes. Check if the cake is done at 45 minutes by poking a knife in the center. If it comes out sticky, then continue for the remaining 15 minutes.

The perfect coffee time treat, you can also serve this cake as a warm dessert with ice-cream on the side.

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