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Summer is really losing its grip here in the Northeast. The temperature has cooled off a lot – we have days of mellow sunshine and the beginnings of fall colors. It’s the perfect time to make this Double Bourbon Apple Cake.
When apples are just beginning to get ripe, nearly any variety is good for baking. Later in the season, everyone wants Granny Smiths and Northern Spies, but in September and October, my favorites are Cortlands. Cortland apples, developed about 20 minutes from my house, at Cornell University, are named after the next county north of us, so it’s no wonder we find them in abundance locally. Honestly, though – virtually any apple is going to be wonderful in this cake. I used two kinds of apples – diced and apple sauce because I wanted a rich, moist cake and lots of apple flavor. I used bourbon because it enhances these kinds of flavors and because I can. Here is how I make Apple Sauce if you’re interested. You can use store-bought apple sauce. Find unsweetened apple sauce, because otherwise, the cake might taste too sweet. No bourbon? You can sub in apple juice or even milk. The alcohol in the bourbon will cook out during baking, so no worries there.
Double Apple Bourbon Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cup diced fresh apple
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup bourbon [or apple juice]
- 1/2 cup room temperature butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° F
- Generously butter the sides and bottom of a 10 inch springform pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom and place in the pan. [optional - just a bit of extra insurance against sticking]
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and whisk together thoroughly.
- Combine the apples, apple sauce and bourbon in a smaller bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer [or use a hand mixer and a large bowl], cream the butter and sugar until light.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in the vanilla, and then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Beat in the remaining ingredients, alternating in thirds, between the dry ingredients and the apple mixture, You want a smooth batter, but don't over-mix, because the cake won't rise as well.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake on the middle rack of the 350° oven, for 50 minutes to an hour, turning the pan twice during baking time.
- The cake is done when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, with maybe just a few crumbs sticking, but no wet batter.
- Remove from the oven when done, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and set the cake on a cooling rack.
- Can be served warm, with toppings of your choice - powdered sugar, whipped cream, warm applesauce, vanilla ice cream, or any combination of the above.
- Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. Leaving this out on the counter isn't recommended, because of the apples.
This is really a cake to enjoy year-round because these days, you can get apples in every season. It really is something that everyone will love and it’s a recipe you will want to make again and again.