Apple season is in full swing in my part of the world. I can travel north or south to visit quite a few different apple orchards. Some orchards have apples already picked for you to purchase along with fresh squeezed apple juice or cider while other orchards let you pick your own apples. This year it has been quite warm and fall has not yet arrived so walking around under the shade of the apple trees has been a nice reward.
Everyone Loves Apples
We all love Apples in our family and that includes our beloved Golden Retriever and Black Labrador Retriever. True story, our next door neighbor’s apple tree hung over our fence and both dogs would get up into the planter and sniff around on the ground until they found an apple to eat. They would then proceed to find the perfect spot to lay in the yard to eat their apple treat. I would have to watch them or they would keep getting into the planter and have several apples in one day.
Today I am sharing with you an awesome cake recipe that is perfect for autumn. I saw this cake on the Betty Crocker website and it sounded delicious. I followed the exact recipe but found it was bland and lacked apple flavor. I made it again with changes to the exact cake mix I used and added more flavors. It came out delicious. In fact this cake is more flavorful the second day after all of the flavors have mingled. It is great for a lazy Sunday dessert or would be excellent for any holiday dessert. This easy to make dessert with the delicate taste of apple and the “to die for” cinnamon sugar topping gives you a winning dessert.
Gather all your ingredients together, measure them out and place into dishes. Let them come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Place ½ cup unsalted butter into a microwave safe bowl and microwave butter until melted, approximately 30 seconds (depending on your microwave it may take longer.) Set aside to cool off.
Reducing Apple Cider
Place 1 ½ cups of apple cider into a non-stick sauce pan. Add 1 tablespoonful of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold Rum (optional). Bring to a rapid boil then turn down to a soft boil and reduce the liquid to ¾ cup.
My stove, set at medium, took approximately 10 minutes to reduce to ¾ of a cup. Start checking yours at 8 minutes to see if it has reduced down to ¾ cup. If not, try again in 2 minutes. When finished, take the cider off the stove and pour into a glass measuring cup to verify ¾ cup liquid. Set aside to cool.
You can do this step a day in advance if you wish to save a little time. Make it the night before while cooking dinner. Let it cool down and then place it in the refrigerator. Next day take out of the refrigerator with the other ingredients and bring to room temperature.
Peeling and Shredding Apples
Before starting the cake mix gather 2 apples for shredding, a paring knife, handheld grater and a bowl to collect shredded apple. Make sure to use the largest holes the shredder has for shredding. Peel the apple and then shred. Do this with both apples.
Be extra careful when shredding the apple that you keep your hands away from the shredder. With the moist apple it is easy to have your hand slip and cut your fingers or knuckles. Set the apples aside when finished. Do not worry if the apples start to turn a little brown while they are waiting to be mixed into the cake batter. It is a small amount of oxidation and it will not harm you or the flavor.
It is now time to make the cake batter. You will need a large mixing bowl, electric hand mixer, spatula, spoon, cooled apple cider, cooled melted butter, eggs and spices.
In a large mixing bowl first add the butter recipe cake mix, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice and mix all together. Then add the apple cider, butter, and eggs. Gently stir all ingredients together until combined.
Set timer and using the electric mixer beat on medium for approximately 2 minutes (check your cake box instructions to confirm time.) Once the cake mix has been thoroughly mixed use the spatula to gently fold in the shredded apple. Make sure to thoroughly distribute the apple so you do not end up with clumps of apple in your batter.
Spray your Bundt cake pan with non-stick spray for baking. Make sure to cover all the areas of the pan so that the batter will not stick. Fill up your Bundt pan using a large spoon to transfer the batter to the pan. This will make it easier to control the batter while transferring.
Bake the cake at 350 degrees for approximately 38-48 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. My cake took 46 minutes to cook. I started checking the cake at 38 minutes and then checked it every 2 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending upon how large your apples are and their amount of moisture.
When cake is done take out of the oven and let sit on a cookie rack for 20 minutes to cool down. While the cake is cooling melt the butter for the topping. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
After 20 minutes, check to see if your cake has attached itself to the side of the pan. If it has, you can use a knife to loosen it from the sides. Flip the cake out of the pan and onto the rack. The pan may still be warm and you may need to use a towel to help you flip out the cake.
Brush all sides and the top of the cake with the melted butter. Go slow and let the butter absorb into the cake. If the butter starts to puddle you can stop and not use all the butter.
Use your hand and spread the cinnamon sugar along the sides and top of the cake. Continue to do this until all the cinnamon sugar has been used on the cake. You can also sprinkle the cinnamon sugar into the center of the cake. Use your hand to spread the mixture into inaccessible areas.
Let the cake completely cool on the rack before transferring it to a decorative plate. It will take approximately one additional hour to completely cool.
Cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for approximately 3 days. If it survives that long….. Enjoy!