Sunday, March 13, 2011

Apple & Spice 'Anytime' Cake

When Joanne Chang's new cookbook Flour came onto my radar recently, I immediately requested a copy from my public library (as I often do before buying). I had to wait 3 weeks to get a copy! Now I know why - it's a wonderful book full of delicious recipes from her Flour Bakery and CafĂ© in Boston.  I'm sure I will be owning a copy of this terrific book soon.

I don't often make desserts unless we're having company for dinner or we're invited for dinner and I offer to bring the dessert. After leafing through the book, the recipe for Apple Snacking Spice Cake first attracted my attention. This was a cake that could be eaten any time of day and not just for dessert...with tea in the afternoon or even for breakfast (I've already done both)! 

When the cake comes out of the oven, it has a beautiful texture that looks like craters on the moon!

Other than tasting fantastic, the another great thing about this cake is that it freezes beautifully.  Since my husband and I are empty-nesters, I froze more than half of the cake in sections to savor slowly.  My husband loved it and keeps asking for more! 

The only changes I made were to omit the raisins since my husband doesn't care for them and, also, I used half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour instead of all AP flour. The next time I made this cake I'm going to try adding some dates!

Apple and Spice 'Anytime' Cake
Adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang
Printable Recipe

Makes one 10-inch round cake

1/2 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour (original recipe calls for 1 cup AP flour and no WW flour)
1/2 cup (140 grams) whole wheat flour (my addition - I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat)
3/4 cup (90 grams) cake flour (such as Pillsbury Softasilk)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1½ sticks, 170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
4 cups (450 grams) peeled, cored and chopped apples
1/2 cup (80 grams) raisins (I omit because my husband doesn’t like raisins)
1 cup (100 grams) pecan halves, toasted and chopped
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (I also omit)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan. I used a 10-inch springform pan which was deep enough and made releasing the cake easy.

Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves together into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the granulated sugar and softened butter to the bowl and, using the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for about one minute until the butter is fully incorporated into the dry ingredients, stopping the mixer several times to scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl to make sure all the butter is mixed in. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix on low speed for 10 to 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Then turn the mixer to medium high speed and beat for about 1 minute, or until the batter is light and fluffy.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the apples, raisins (if using) and pecans. The batter will be very stiff and thick. It will look like too many apples and not enough batter, but that’s okay. Scrape all of the batter into the prepared pan, then spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes (mine was done about 5 minutes sooner), or until the cake feels firm when you press it in the center and the top is dark golden brown. Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

When cool, release the side of the spring-form pan and invert the cake onto a large baking pan, lifting away the bottom, using a long flat knife to separate the bottom from the cake, if necessary. Then invert the cake again onto a serving plate so it is right-side up. Slice and plate, the dust the slices with confectioners’ sugar (I felt the cake was sweet enough without the powdered sugar).

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or, it can be well wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to two weeks; thaw overnight at room temperature for serving.


  1. It looks beautiful and delicious and your collage is gorgeous;)
    Your pics are just getting better and clear and sharp..Bravo!

  2. Very nice looking cake! I am with your husband...there is something about raisins in baked goods that I do not like. Chocolate covered though are quite fine.

  3. Oh this sounds great and I love the "anytime" in the title-I would take that soooo literally! Can't wait to hear about your new toy:@)

  4. Looks like a perfect apple cake and just the right size too.

    Your mosaic is lovely ~ like something that would be cute hanging in a kitchen or dining room!

  5. I love books with single word titles.. fat, meat, now flour... all of the ones I've tried have been wonderful... you have peaked my interest with FLOUR. I like all the good things in that cake and always put whole wheat in my cakes when I can... I love the extra nuttiness.

    BTW, made your grouper recipe last night and it was great!!

  6. Gorgeous looking cake - sounds delicious! Nice that it freezes well...

  7. OMG, I just bought the book last night at Barnes & Noble! LOL!!!

  8. That cake looks beautiful. I'll have to try that next. I love the book.

  9. I'm tempted to get the book, not to bake but to look through! Your cake look divine! And I'd have to leave the raisins out, too :)

  10. The cake looks and sounds wonderful and the mosaic is delightful as well. I especially like that Granny Smith apple.

  11. Thank you, my friends!

    Susan, I'm with you on the chocolate!

    Deana, thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the grouper recipe! I love those single name cookbooks too..Stir being another favorite.

    OB&CS, that is a coincidence! You'll love it. I am so sad that all of our Borders stores are closing :(

  12. Looks so good. Love, Love your mosaic.

  13. lovely cake and what a great idea to freeze portions :-)

  14. I make a version of this cake quite a bit as it's one of our favorites and a good way to use up apples!

    I browsed through a copy of "Flour" at Coscto today ...nice cookbook!

  15. What a delicious looking cake and the nuts and apples can almost be tasted through the computer. I bet that would be fantastic served warm. I adore your wonderful collage too. The green apple just makes it pop.

  16. Looks good -- I love anytime apple cakes!

  17. I just printed out the recipe. I think a little piece of that cake would be perfect with my afternoon cup of tea. I will have to check out that cookbook too.

    Great mosaic. It should hung on a wall it is so gorgeous.

    Have a great week.


  18. This looks & sounds delish~ Love your mosaic!

  19. I loved seeing Chef Susan on the spoon :-) Beautiful mosaic, and PLEASE pass the cake. Sounds delicious!

  20. Hi there this is my first time joining in with Monday Mosaic and I am now hopping around from Italy viewing all the wonderful blogs that join in. I like your framed mosaic.

  21. This cake sounds delicious; love apple cakes too for their homey taste and this one has got plenty of this!

  22. This cookbook does sound like one I need to add to my collection!The cake sounds wonderful!

  23. This really does look wonderful! I love cookbooks...and will look for this one! Happy Monday! I'm off to see how to make the grouper! ♥

  24. Oh dear me. That looks wonderful!

    I might substitute cranberries for the raisins, as my guys don't care for them either.
    And, dear Susan, the freezing step would not go over well here; that spicy confection would disappear within a matter of hours.

    In fact, since I'll be staying home today, I'm gonna put it to the test.

  25. Wonderful collage Susan, I love it!
    I think that this cake would be perfect with my afternoon cup of coffee,a warm hug....

  26. This cake looks wonderful. I don't bake very often too because I always end up eating most of the cakes myself. Not good, not good at all for my figure!

  27. Oh Susan, you sure know how to make delicious look pretty too! Great post...thanks.

  28. Oh my. That slice of cake is wonderful, Susan. All those apples and nuts...exactly the way I like my sweet breads to look!
    I have that cookbook on my wish list! I keep reading wonderful things about it.

  29. This looks incredible!! I love the nuts and big apple pieces. And the fact that this freezes well! Then, I love everything Joanne does :) It's beautiful!


  30. This looks great. I'm afraid I wouldn't have the restraint you have though. I'd eat it up..

  31. This is definitely a gorgeous and almost healthy looking cake. Flour is famous in Boston - and I just missed getting there. Tell us more as you get through the book - at least another recipe or two, as then we will all know if we want to buy it. So many leave out their best recipes, or they don't translate well into smaller portions.
    This one, however... YUM!
    I am saving it for the fall!

  32. I love the combination of apples and cinnamon and enjoy them together throughout the year, not just in the fall. I agree, this would be wonderful anytime you are looking for a little something sweet to go along with a warm cup of coffee---like right now!

  33. How did I miss this? It looks just wonderful!

  34. What a lovely and delicious looking cake :)


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