This insanely comforting apple cake has become one of my favorite dishes. Modified from an original recipe on Food52, you'll find it is sweet but not cloyingly so, with a lovely texture of apples and almonds making for a really superb brunch or after dinner caking experience. A pinch of cayenne adds a little something-something without taking it over the top—guests will wonder, what's your secret? And you can just smile, sigh, and take another bite.
In my version, I wanted to go a little healthier, at least as far as a cake can be called "healthy." I've replaced half the flour with whole-grain spelt flour and significantly reduced the amount of sugar. I also replaced every bit of fat in this dish with sour cream, because I love the luxurious texture and gently tart aroma of anything baked with the stuff. I also opted to use a variety of spices for complexity, and tossed the walnuts for their crispier tree-nut cousin, the sliced almond.
You'll find this cake is sweet but not cloyingly so, with a lovely texture of apples and almonds that makes for a really superb brunch or after dinner cake experience. A pinch of cayenne adds a little something-something without taking it over the top—guests will wonder, what's your secret? And you can just smile, sigh, and take another bite.
- Yield:Serves 8
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 15 minutes
- Butter for greasing pan
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups peeled, cored, and chopped sweet apples
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Powdered sugar for topping
- Crème fraîche for topping
Grease a bundt pan and set aside. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together cake flour, spelt flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne. Stir in salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine sour cream and sugar. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating each until creamy. Add vanilla and beat for anther minute.
Add the flour and spices to the wet ingredients, beating on low speed just until combined. With a rubber spatula, fold in apples and almonds until they are dispersed evenly. Do not mix too vigorously or you will flatten the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and set on a cooling rack on the counter. Allow cake to cool in pan.
Once cake is cool, turn it out onto a serving plate. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar. Slice and serve each piece with a dollop of crème fraîche.