Despite the drought we endured in the Midwest, our local orchards have some wonderful apples this fall. Big, sweet and surprisingly juicy apples. With the pleasant days and cool nights I was ready to make an apple dessert to show off these wonderful prizes from a harsh summer.
This is a spice cake more like a gingerbread than what most people think of as spice cake, although this cake has no ginger in it. Many people do not know coriander (the seed from the cilantro plant) is a great pairing with cinnamon. This is an apple cake (3 ways) spiced with cinnamon and coriander. The cake has apple butter and apple cider in it and is topped with thin apple slices that bake and add their juices to the cake during baking. A very moist cake with delightful flavors. By slicing the apples very thin and arranging them circularly, it looks like an open flower….an apple blossom you might say.
10 inch spring form pan, greased
3 large baking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup all purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 cup apple butter (I like R W Knudsen organic)
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup apple cider, hot
Additional raw sugar and cinnamon, as needed
Preheat oven to 375 F
After peeling and slicing the apples, place them in a bowl of water with 1-2 tbs of lemon juice added to prevent browning. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine both flours, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside. In a mixing bowl combine melted butter, apple butter and raw sugar. Mix on medium setting until well combined. Add eggs and molasses and mix again. Stir in walnuts.
Place apple slices in a colander and let drain. Return to now empty bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Toss to mix.
Alternately add dry ingredients and hot cider to wet mixture until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into spring form pan and spread into an even layer. Arrange apple slices over the top of cake batter, beginning at the outer-most edge and working inward overlapping slices as you go. Sprinkle additional raw sugar over the top of apple slices, if desired.
Bake for 45-60 minutes (depends on amount of apples and their moisture content) until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temp. Enjoy!