Maple-Glazed Minne-Apple Cake

Yesterday, I had a wonderful visit to the apple orchard. It was a perfect day outdoors: a sunny day, blue skies, a light breeze, and rows of gorgeous apple trees laden with their ruby-red fruit. If you’re curious about my adventure at the apple orchard, you can read about it here. The apples were so beautiful! They inspired me to develop a recipe for the Maple-Glazed Minne-Apple Cake in the post today.

Admittedly, when mother nature presents me with such beautiful gifts from the trees, I don’t like obscuring them in a preparation, but because apple season is really immensely abundant here in Minnesota, we have so many apples that you can eat them fresh, bake them into pies, preserve them as canned apple sauce, press them into cider, or bake them into a cake, and still have fruit left over. But why cake instead of pie?

I love apple pie, but I confess that I am still a novice pie baker, and much intimidated by the art of creating a flaky, buttery crust that is not made soggy by a juicy pie. Pie-making is truly an art form and one that I did not grow up practicing. I am still very intimidated by it, so until I muster the courage to practice the art of making apple pie, I decided to make a sweet apple cake laden with the quintessential fall spices and topped with a sugary maple glaze. I promise you, this Bundt cake has all of the autumn flavors that we all so love and cherish and associate with the season: apples, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, maple syrup, brown sugar, and ground pecans. Baked in a ring-shaped form in a Nordicware Bundt pan, it is portable, easy to share, eye-catchingly beautiful, and also super simple to decorate. It’s a classic, fuss-free, one-bowl cake that can be a great dessert or midday treat with tea or coffee.

Lastly, you may notice that I aptly named this cake Minne-Apple cake, paying homage to my hometown of Minneapolis. If you are curious, this playful nickname came about when Minneapolis was contrasted with New York City, the Big Apple. As wonderful as New York City may be, Minneapolis is and forever will be ranked first in my heart. Minneapolis is the artsiest town on the prairie, a bite-sized version of the Big Apple itself, and a land of art, literature, lakes, and yes apple orchards, offering thousands of things to do and see and taste -including a slice of autumn-flavored comfort that is hard to beat anywhere else.

Hope you enjoy the cake!

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Maple-Glazed Minne-Apple Cake

 

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins

Makes: 10-12 servings

 

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 2 apples, peeled, finely chopped (roughly 8oz)
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped

For the Maple Glaze

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup real maple syrup
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp light corn syrup
  • ½ tbsp Scotch whisky, preferably aged in Caribbean cask
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple cream

*I made my own apple pie spice by mixing:

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom

 

Instructions

Make the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cane sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, and oil until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  5. Gradually add the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and apple spice. Stir until barely combined.
  6. Fold in the apples, followed by the pecans. Stir well until the batter is well-mixed.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for an hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Glaze

  1. In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and corn syrup, mixing well as the butter melts.
  2. Stir in the scotch and the pinch of salt.
  3. Add the heavy cream and increase the heat to medium-high, stirring frequently, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Boil the mixture for about one minute and remove it from the heat.
  5. Whisk in the maple cream and vanilla extract.
  6. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, whisking well so that the mixture is smooth; you don’t want any lumps or granules.
  7. Allow the glaze to cool. This will allow it to thicken slightly. Make sure that the glaze doesn’t form a top sugary shell. If you see this shell start to form, stir the mixture. Do not wait until the mixture is cold, because then you won’t be able to pour it. It shouldn’t be hot but it should be warm to the touch. You can test the consistency of the pour before glazing the cake to see if it is as thick as you like.
  8. Carefully pour the glaze over the top of the Bundt cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides of the cake and into the center of the ring. Let the glaze set.
  9. This cake is best enjoyed within 3 days. It is best to store it covered by a dome. I recommend not refrigerating the cake, because it will dry out in the fridge.

 

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