DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS ONE!  Holy macaroni, this cake is something to write home about!  And I’m not just saying that…

Okay, this evening I watched Jamie Oliver’s TED award speech and then I got all inspired, and then I remembered that I have a field of fallen apples outside… and then I thought about how much I’ve been craving bread lately… and then, and then….  and then, I just had to bake an apple cake.

I have a nice, standby recipe for apple cake that is fool-proof and handy, but you know I wasn’t feeling it.  It is a great cake to show up at someone’s house with, but it’s not the kind of cake that you want for the rest of the week.  It’s sweet and desirable, but it’s best fresh and shared.  You know how some recipes are like that?  Anyway, I decided to browse through my September Canadian Living Magazine and found a section called “Loaves, Cakes and Muffins in a Jiffy“.  I flipped through a couple of pages and finally halted on a cranberry seed muffin recipe (sorry I can’t link, because I can’t find it on the web).  I will say straight up that I am not very skilled with muffins.  I don’t know why, but I have the worst results with them.  However, there is no law against converting a muffin recipe and into a cast-iron cake instead.  Which is precisely what I did.

Using my amazing recipe modifying skills I managed to convert this recipe into a fantastic apple cake.  I did such a good job in fact, the recipe is now only a distant cousin to the original (modifications sometimes lead to transformations, not always, but sometimes… like this time).  Not to blow my own horn or anything, but this recipe is soooo easy and brainless, yet the taste of it is rich, spicy and sweet.  I swear, I ain’t lying.

Hot Damn Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 350

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda and salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp molasses
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 cup oil or melted butter

Topping:
2 cups sliced apples
3 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 chunks of dark chocolate finely cut

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oatmeal, baking power and soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix in seeds and nuts.  In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, molasses, eggs, and oil. Combine the two mixtures until combined. Pour into a greased iron cast frying pan or favourite baking dish. Place sliced apples on top, pour over butter and maple syrup mixture and sprinkle with dark chocolate. Bake for ~ 50 minutes.

Welcome to apple season!

PS 1: I make my own brown sugar by mixing together molasses and white sugar (~1 cup to 2 to 3 tbsp of molasses), and that is what I have done here.  If you don’t have molasses, add 1/2 white and 1/2 brown sugar to this recipe (for the 1 cup sugar).  Then on your next shopping trip, buy molasses and make your own brown sugar from now on.  You won’t be disappointed and it’s enhanced flavour will be noticed.

PS 2: If you wanted to make this a diabetic cake, replace the sugar with Splenda, but use only about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup, because Splenda is sweeter.  You could still add a tbsp or two of molasses, but check-in with the person you are making this for, to see if that’s okay.

PS 3: I don’t stock milk in my house, so I used almond milk.  Regular milk is fine, as I’m sure soy milk would also suffice.

PS 4: It doesn’t really matter what kinds of seeds and nuts you use.  I happen to have a huge bag of pecans, so I used them.  I probably wouldn’t use sesame seeds, but that’s just me.  Sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, which ever would all be very good.

PS 5: When I make this again, I think I will use apple sauce instead of oil, as it would be a perfect fit for this recipe.

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