This month's cake is an Apple Cake with Maple Frosting. Making this cake was easy and it was actually therapeutic for me...
I made this cake on a Tuesday night. On a night when I was supposed to attend a graduate school reception at a local university. When I drove to that university after work, it took me over 30 minutes to find a parking spot (I'm not exaggerating) and that spot ended up being where I began my search. Frustrating. I had to walk about 3 miles (now I am exaggerating) to get to the reception. Frustrating. It was almost mid-October and still very hot and humid outside. Frustrating. I needed to go home that evening after the reception and run for 24 minutes. Stressful. I knew the rest of the week was going to be extremely busy. With all this swirling in my head, about halfway through the trek to the reception, I stopped in my tracks, turned around, and walked right back to that parking garage. I was done. I ended up paying $3 for being parked for 13 minutes(!!!!). Frustrating.
As I got in my car to drive I knew what I had to do: no running, no stress, no pressure on myself. Instead: baking, lots of wine, a really hot bath and sleep. So, that's what I did. I got home and made this cake, while drinking lots of red wine. :) It was a perfectly therapeutic, relaxing, and fun experience. Exactly what I needed. Even if running the next day was torture.
For some reason I'm really bad at remembering to take pictures of my cakes. This picture was literally the last piece of cake that I hurriedly threw on a dish that already held these berries and took a picture before loading up a uhaul with all my stuff and moving to a new apartment. Craziness.
Besides being easy to make, this cake tasted good as well. I didn't like the taste of the frosting that much, but the consistency was nice. The cake part was good. I kept this cake in the fridge and it was good for several days. But not as good as the apple cake CSB made last year!
Apple Cake with Maple Frosting
Slightly adapted from Tish Boyle’s The Cake Book
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used regular milk with a teaspoon of white vinegar)
2 cups peeled and chopped apples (small pieces)
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons maple syrup, or 1/8 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (mine wasn't fresh)
Pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (I didn't sift mine)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square or round baking pan. Dust the pan with flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat at medium-high speed until well blended and light, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, then, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk in two additions and mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir in the chopped apples.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, until it is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.
To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the vanilla, spices, and salt. Reduce the speed to low, add the powdered sugar, and beat until well blended. Raise the speed to high and beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Frost the top of the cooled cake with the maple frosting. Cut the cake into squares (or wedges) and serve it directly from the pan. (I put mine on a plate).
Store the cake in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 3 days. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving (I ate it cold and it was good).
Makes one 9-inch square or round cake, serving 12.