31 August 2013

Weekend Cooking: Legacy Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

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Whole Grain Baking by King Arthur FlourIn the United States, Labor Day weekend is the traditional end to summer. By next week, kids will be in school, families will be unpacked from vacation, and everyone will be hard at work. In honor of the upcoming change in season and because it's a holiday, I decided baking was in order. And what better way to welcome fall than with an apple cake.

I've shared my easy apple cake recipe with you before. It's the one we take camping or to the shore or for a casual get together with friends. I wanted something a little bit different this week, so I turned to King Arthur.

In March 2010 I wrote a post about one of my favorite baking sources, King Arthur Flour. As I've mentioned many times, I own their cookbooks, I often subscribe to their baking newsletter, I use their flour, and I mail order from them several times a year. I was sure they'd have the perfect apple recipe, and I was right.

I usually bake with tart apples, but we had a quarter peck of Paula Reds in the house, so I used them for my cake. We don't usually go for frosting, but I figured it was a holiday and a little indulgence was called for. Plus the recipe gets rave reviews in the book and on the King Arthur website.

I made a couple of changes in the recipe, but the results were wonderful. First, I didn't have any cider or apple juice, so I substituted buttermilk. Second, I didn't peel the apples; we don't mind the skins at all. And finally, I used sliced almonds instead of chopped walnuts because I was feeling lazy.

If you clicked through to the King Arthur website, you'll notice the ingredients are slightly different. That's because I used their whole grain version instead of the white flour recipe.

We loved the moist, rich cake, and I wouldn't hesitate to serve this to guests. Enjoy!

Legacy Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
One 9 × 13-inch cake

  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup (2 sticks), unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup boiled cider or apple juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups peeled, chopped apples
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Brown Sugar Frosting
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9 × 13-inch cake pan.

Make the Cake. Whisk together the flour baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl; set aside. Cream together the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stopping in between to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the cider and vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients, stirring until evenly moistened. Fold in the apples and walnuts.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 minutes. Remove the cake to a wire rake and cool completely.

Make the Frosting. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts. Add the milk, bring to a boil and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, stir in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners' sugar. Spread on the cake while the frosting is still warm; it will firm up and be more difficult to spread once it cools.


Marg 8/31/13, 6:09 AM  

Oh my goodness! This sounds so good! Adding it to my list of recipes to try at some point!

Patty 8/31/13, 7:24 AM  

How great to finally find a
recipe that leaves the skin
on the apples intact.
Plus, using the healthier
version of the ingredients
compensates for the frosting!
Autumn is coming...

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 8/31/13, 7:47 AM  

I was just "googling" apple cake recipes yesterday. My mom use to make a great one. Thanks for sharing.

jama 8/31/13, 8:20 AM  

Love a good apple cake recipe. This looks sooooo delish. Yay for Fall!

Anonymous,  8/31/13, 8:37 AM  

Cakes in a 9 x 13-inch pan are the best. Pour, bake and go--wherever it is you've got to go with a dessert. This looks a nice one to make during the change in seasons. Love anything with apples.

bermudaonion 8/31/13, 9:03 AM  

I know how much you love King Arthur flour so I always think of you when I see it now. Your cake looks yummy!

The Solitary Cook 8/31/13, 10:50 AM  

I haven't made brown sugar frosting in years! Thank you for reminding me how good it is.

rhapsodyinbooks 8/31/13, 11:22 AM  

I always get in the mood for apple cake when fall comes!

JoAnn 8/31/13, 11:23 AM  

You just can't go wrong with King Arthur! Apple season is finally here and I can't wait to try this recipe.

Unknown 8/31/13, 11:44 AM  

That sounds fabulous! I've never had brown sugar frosting - must try.

Debbie 8/31/13, 1:36 PM  

I love anything made with apples. Sounds so good.

Carole 8/31/13, 4:20 PM  

Hee hee, we're all metric here in NZ so I have no idea how many apples would be in a quarter peck! Have a good week.

Couscous & Consciousness 8/31/13, 4:28 PM  

Thanks for hosting again, Beth. I've joined in this week with two entries - How to Make Labneh and a Roasted Pepper & Baked Egg Galette.

Have a great weekend.

Anonymous,  8/31/13, 5:53 PM  

That sounds delicious! Im saving the recipe for when I, er, actually have apples.

SuziQoregon 9/1/13, 12:31 AM  

I linked up an instagram photo of my successful sourdough biscuit experiment this week. These turned out pretty good. I need to make them a few more times before I do a real Weekend Cooking blog post but here's the photo for now.

Heather Webb 9/1/13, 7:23 AM  

OH, yummmmm! I'm printing this out and making it today. I have company coming tonight and he's a starving college student so I suspect he'll gobble this up.

Laurie C 9/1/13, 8:59 AM  

That cake sounds perfect! I love brown sugar, apples, and nuts in a cake, and the frosting sounds like penuche, which I also love! And you know I'm a big King Arthur fan! I didn't get it together to post a Weekend Cooking this weekend, but will check out some of the others!

Joy 9/1/13, 9:56 AM  

That looks like the perfect cake to celebrate fall!

Joy's Book Blog

Peaceful Reader 9/1/13, 10:03 AM  

The cake sounds delicious. I think I would like this baking book as it veers toward more wholesome baking if you are using whole grains. Have a great long weekend!

Sue Jackson 9/1/13, 12:56 PM  

The apple cake looks fabulous! And I;m not a big frosting fan, but this one looks really delicious.

And I loved that you used a whole grain version - I always bake with whole wheat flour, and now that I've discovered White Whole Wheat Flour, I am using even less white flour.

I will definitely try this cake this fall - my kids will love it!


Book By Book

Catch My Words 9/1/13, 4:38 PM  

That looks tasty.


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 9/2/13, 8:47 AM  

I always skip over recipes for sweets. My husband doesn't eat them. But this looks like a recipe he might try!

Belle Wong 9/2/13, 2:19 PM  

This looks delicious!

Cecelia 9/2/13, 6:49 PM  

Oh, this cake looks good! I've heard such good things about KA, and I know their headquarters/shop is right by my grandmother's place in upstate NY. I'm going to have to put it on my itinerary for Thanksgiving break this year!

Daryl 9/3/13, 8:05 AM  

i love apple cake ...

Couscous & Consciousness 9/6/13, 3:37 AM  

That sounds like a wonderful cake, Beth - so pleased you didn't skip the frosting. Think I could eat a bowl of just the frosting.

fishgirl182 9/9/13, 8:04 PM  

Sounds super tasty. I love a good cake.

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