I label myself as one who does not bake…often. Can I see myself as a pastry chef? It might be a hard feat. Perhaps not using an oven for over 16 years to make baked goods still haunts me to the point where the oven is a foreign machine that remains untouched unless absolutely necessary. Okay, the situation is not that extreme, but baking is something that takes an extra special ‘umph.’ It’s like knowing you’re not naturally gifted with X sport and yet you still try extra hard to still play for the pure joy and entertainment of it.
Regardless of my nearly nonexistent baking skills, I learned how to make a basic apple cake from a friend’s mother. Over the years I have modified the recipe to make it my own, with some extra sass to it. The sass comes from the spice and nut part of the cake – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and walnuts. These ingredients combined are extraordinary pals, especially with apples. The apples and cinnamon create a classic flavor foundation for the cake while the ginger and nutmeg create a special depth in the background.
And to top it off, the walnuts are a great way to add some nutrition and crunch.
This recipe is remarkably fool-proof, really. Your family and friends will give you smiles after having this cake! I have served it at Thanksgiving dinner and many other occasions. My coworkers seem to love the cake, too.
Apple Spice Walnut Cake Recipe
Preparation Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes (1 hour bake time, 15 minute prep time)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 can Comstock or Wilderness apple pie filling (21 ounces, available at most supermarkets)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Cooking spray
- Confectioners’ sugar, optional
- Vanilla ice cream, optional
- Large mixing bowl
- Chef knife and cutting board
- Measuring spoons and cups
- 8 x 8 square baking pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients with a spatula until moderately combined. The eggs should be well incorporated and the dark cinnamon should be blended in at this point.
Fold in chopped walnuts.
- Lightly coat baking pan with a quick dash of cooking spray. Pour cake batter into baking pan and place in the oven to bake for one hour.
- Remove from oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if your mood calls for it; it’s always a nice touch!
- For those watching sugar intake, a ‘No Sugar Added’ version of apples is sometimes available. Alternatively, you can reduce the granulated sugar amount to 1/2 cup. Splenda is also an option.
- All purpose flour can be substituted with whole wheat flour
- Don’t have ginger or nutmeg? Cinnamon alone would make it a lovely cake as well, just less sass.
And now the process of blissful, sweet satisfaction:
After a bite, one must keep going.