Thursday, April 9, 2015

Apple Fritter Cake

Apple Fritter Cake - made March 29, 2015 from Nerdy Baker
I meant to make this cake awhile ago but it had a varied enough list of ingredients that it took awhile for me to have all the perishables together at the right time without one of them expiring before I could bake this. Meaning the sour cream and the milk of course. Not being much of a doughnut-type person, I don’t eat apple fritters that often but I like apple baked goods and this seemed like a good recipe to get close to an apple fritter without the commitment of actually frying one.
It’s a cake, it’s got apples, it’s got a brown sugar cinnamon streusel and a vanilla glaze – yup, pretty much all the elements that trigger my salivary glands. And if you take a critical look at the ingredients, there’s even somewhat of an attempt to be mildly less not-healthy for you because it doesn’t have as much butter as it could and any butterfat-type need has been replaced with applesauce. Just, um, ignore the full-fat sour cream, caramelized apples and so on.
Despite the different elements with caramelizing the apples, mixing the streusel, the cake itself and the vanilla glaze, this is pretty easy to make. I know, I know, I say that about almost everything I blog about and it’s easy if you’ve been baking for the many years that I have (can I have been baking for 34 years when I’m only “29”? ha). But it doesn’t take much to put this together. Work on the apples first since they need to cool before you layer them over the cake batter. While they’re cooling, mix the streusel together then the cake batter. Layer them as directed and bake. When the cake is in its final stages, make the glaze.
When I first made the glaze, I thought it was too runny and was tempted to add more powdered sugar to thicken it up. But I resisted because if this was really going to mimic an apple fritter, you only want a thin glaze-y coating over it. You actually do want to pour the (runny) glaze while the cake is still hot from the oven. Some of it melts into the cake so when it cools, it’s more of that opaque coating like you see on a yeasted doughnut or, heh, an apple fritter.
Taste-wise, I think this was just okay for me. Of course it was good lukewarm but when it had cooled, the taste was still good but I thought the texture was a bit dry. At first I thought I had just overbaked it and while that’s a (remote) possibility, I think I was reacting more to the less butter-more applesauce nature of the cake. It’s just not as rich as most of the other cakes I’ve made, despite the addition of the sour cream which should have granted more richness and moistness. Or who knows, maybe I really did overbake it. In any case, this goes in my “okay” column. But you know how my picky-taste-buds scale goes. When I brought the whole 9 x 13 cake into the office which turned into a two-layer stack of cake squares on a large round platter, the whole thing disappeared that morning. So what do I know?
1 heaping cup of sliced apple (cored and quartered then sliced)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
small pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sour cream

2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons milk
  1. For filling: Make your filling by combining apples, sugar, water, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small saucepan.  Cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened and the apples are a bit soft.  Set aside to cool.  
  2. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together until well combined and set aside.
  3. For Cake: Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9×13 baking dish.  Set aside.
  4. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add applesauce and vanilla and mix till combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients together.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three parts alternating with the yogurt in two parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat until just combined.
  6. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Spoon the cooled apple mixture over the batter carefully and spread as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle 2/3 of brown sugar cinnamon mixture over apples and cover with the rest of the batter.  Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the top.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. For Glaze: While the cake is baking, make the glaze.  In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until the glaze is desired consistency.  When the cake comes out of the oven, pour evenly onto hot cake.  

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