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Whenever I start thinking about favorite fall flavors, my first choice is always apple.  Some people LOVE pumpkin with a capital “L”, but I’m an apple girl.  This recipe from King Arthur Flour Company (also one of my faves) is awesome!  How can you go wrong with a caramel apple in cake form?

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For the topping:

2 medium apples (I used Galas.)

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tbsp. thawed apple juice concentrate (or boiled cider if you have it)

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup light corn syrup

For the cake:

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tbsp. thawed apple juice concentrate (or boiled cider)

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use King Arthur.)

1 large apple, peeled & finely chopped (I used gala.)

3/4 cup chopped pecans

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan at least 2 inches deep.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper and spray that as well with non-stick spray.

Slice and peel the top with the stem off one of the apples and set it aside.  Peel and slice 2 apples into 1/4 inch wedges. Place the apple top, stem side down, in the middle of the pan, and overlap the rest of the apple wedges in a ring around that piece.

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Over low heat on your stovetop, melt the butter with the 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. apple juice concentrate, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup light corn syrup.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour 1/2 cup of the syrup mixture over the apple slices and set the rest aside.

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For the cake: Beat the vegetable oil, 1 cup light brown sugar, 2 tbsp. apple juice concentrate, eggs, spices and salt together for 2 minutes at medium speed.

Sift together the flour and baking soda then stir this into the batter.  Add the chopped apples and nuts and mix until just blended.

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The batter will be thick so scoop the batter into the pan over the apple slices then carefully spread it so it completely covers the apples.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

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Remove from the oven and run a knife along the outside edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan.  Let the cake cool for 5 minutes then turn it out on to a serving plate.  Make sure and save any of the tasty topping that might stick to the pan.

Reheat the reserved topping and pour it over the cake.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8-10 servings

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Fall is my second favorite time of the year (after spring) and I especially love to visit orchards to get fresh picked apples to munch on.  Every year, I like to try to go to a different one and this year it was local. 

My aunt, grandmother and I visited Hinton’s Orchard in Larue County, Kentucky a short time ago and I highly recommend it. 

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Just look at the loaded apple trees that you pass by driving to their store:

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Not only that, but they have pumpkins and gourds for sale:

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When you go in the store, you are bombarded with such good smells…apples, apple cider, baked goods, jams and jellies just to name a few.  They even offer locally grown and processed meats which I love. 

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Hinton’s also has several attractions to keep the little ones entertained as well.  You can take a trip out to their pumpkin patch, walk through their corn maze or take a hayride.  It is all so much fun and I highly recommend stopping by!

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I used to watch a LOT of shows on the Food Network, but there are only a few I really keep up with now.  Trisha’s Southern Kitchen is one of them and when Ms. Yearwood made this cake on her show, I thought it looked scrumptious.  Bundt cakes are so good and usually get even better a couple of days after they are made.

When I saw that September’s spotlight ingredients at Lady Behind The Curtain’s Dessert Challenge were apples and cinnamon, this recipe came to mind.  Never mind that there weren’t actually apples in the original.  They could just be added to the batter, couldn’t they?  Well, yes they can and the apples really add a lot of flavor and moisture.  This is a perfect recipe for fresh apples that are coming in season any day now.  I may have to make this again!

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For the cake:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Gala apple, peeled & diced

For the swirl:

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a Bundt pan with baking spray.  With an electric mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar together until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. 

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the flour to the butter mixture in thirds alternating with the sour cream.  You will start and end with the flour mixture.  Mix in the diced apples and set aside to prepare the swirl.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the swirl ingredients.  Now layer the batter and swirl in the Bundt pan, again beginning and ending with the batter. You should have 3 layers of batter and 2 layers of swirl.

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Bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out on to your cake plate to cool completely.

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When the cake has cooled, combine the glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cooled cake.  You could also serve the glaze on the side and pour some over each slice. 

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IMG_4750Please join me and other wonderful bloggers for apple/cinnamon day at Lady Behind The Curtain’s Dessert Challenge.


Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

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I still seem to be in the throes of cooking with apples so bear with me for one more week.  This recipe is from the same issue of Southern Living magazine as the Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake from last week, so it’s not my fault.  The recipes in that issue were just too good to pass up!  Here is the link to the original recipe on the MyRecipes website.

The only thing I changed was the type of apple used.  I used Jonathan because that is what I had and the recipe called for Granny Smith.  The Jonathans worked great and retained their crunchiness just as well.

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup butter, melted

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups peeled and diced apples

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13×9” baking dish. Stir together the brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.

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Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt.  I just put a fine strainer right over the bowl with the butter mixture and sifted all of my dry ingredients directly in.

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Stir in the apples and pecans.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread in an even layer.

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Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely (1 hour or more) before cutting into bars.

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Please join me and other great cooks over at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.  I am so honored to have been spotlighted this week for the apple cream cheese bundt cake.  Thanks, Miz Helen!

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Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

A little while ago, I paid a visit to Jackson’s Orchard and purchased a peck of Jonathan apples so I had to find new apple recipes to try.  This recipe was published in Southern Living a few months ago and I knew it would be a perfect test for fresh apples.  This cake turned out great!  The apples and cream cheese swirl kept the cake moist for days and the caramel topping was so good.

In fact, this is one of those cakes that is better a day or two after it is baked.  It just gets moister and more flavorful.  Do you have a fall potluck or party to go to?  Take this and everyone will be in apple heaven!

Note: I am not including quite as many photos as usual since this recipe is quite long already.  All of the methods used are pretty basic.

For the Cream Cheese Filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the Apple Cake Batter:

1 cup finely chopped pecans, lightly toasted

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup applesauce

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (The original recipe called for Galas, but I used Jonathans.)

For the Praline Frosting:

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

3 tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar

Prepare the Filling:

Beat the cream cheese, butter, and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth.  Add the egg, flour and vanilla.  Beat just until blended.

Prepare the Batter:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 14-cup Bundt pan with non-stick spray and cover with flour. (Or do like I do and use Baker’s Joy.)  Stir together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and allspice.  Then add the eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla; stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in the apples and pecans.

Spoon 2/3 of the apple batter into the prepared pan.  Spoon the cream cheese filling over the batter, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the pan.  Swirl the filling through the apple batter using a knife.  Spoon the remaining batter over the filling.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center come out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out on a cooling rack and let the cake cool down completely.

Prepare the Frosting:

Bring the brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Boil for 1 minute while still whisking constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Gradually whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently for 3-5 minutes or until the frosting begins to cool and thickens slightly.  Pour immediately over the cooled cake.

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Join me over at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday to see some yummy treats!

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For the July edition of the Picture Perfect Cooking-Southern Plate project, I have chosen a very refreshing drink that I think everyone would love!  It is sweet with just a hint of tartness from a little bit of lemon juice and it goes down so easy.  Sometimes a little too easy, since these juices have quite a bit of natural sugar, so a little glass goes a long way!

I first had a drink like this in the Applewood Farmhouse restaurant in Pigeon Forge, TN a couple of years ago.  I tried to duplicate it, but I could not get the taste just right.  I think Southern Plate did though because this is just how I remember it!  Make this on a hot summer day and watch it disappear!

1 quart apple juice

1 cup pineapple juice

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

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Mix all of the ingredients in a pitcher and chill until ready to drink.  Serve over ice and enjoy!

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Please join me at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage where I linked this recipe.

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This is the next recipe in my Southern Plate/Picture Perfect Cooking project and it is another good ‘un!  I made these for my co-workers and myself one night for breakfast the next day and these little gems were still so moist and delicious after setting all night. In fact, they were still moist and delicious the day after that as well!

I would highly recommend making these to take on a trip if you wanted a quick and easy breakfast or snack on the go.  The only mistake I made was not chopping my apples small enough.  They were still good but there were bigger chunks of apple than I really wanted.  Other than that, I loved them and will definitely make them again!

1 1/4 cups self rising flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans.)

1/4 cup quick cooking oats

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 eggs

2 cups peeled, cored and chopped (finely) apples

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 tbsp water

Note: I have Penzey’s apple pie spice so I used that in place of the cinnamon & nutmeg.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place cupcake liners in a muffin pan (or spray with nonstick spray).  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, nuts, oats, & spices.

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In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the apples, oil and water.  Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture; stir just until the flour is moistened.

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Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Enjoy!!
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I am linking this recipe to Designs by Gollum’s Foodie Friday!

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