Saturday, October 17, 2009

Apple Cider Cake

My cakespertise (cake-expertise) was requested recently. Our task - a fall-themed cake. Just off the heels of my previous cake, the five-spice fall cake, I had to do some brainstorming. I draw my inspiration from a couple different sources. For the previous cake, I had some particular flavors that I wanted to include, so I tried to base the design of the cake off of that. The other way I create my culinary concoctions is to use another dish for inspiration. So for this cake, I enlisted the help of another fall favorite, apple cider.

Apple Cider Cake

I found what seemed like a good cake recipe at This website compiles the recipes that different people have for the same item. The one I chose seemed the most straightforward, though I did substitute butter for the shortening as the latter makes me feel a little disgusting when I cook. The cake came out fine, perhaps a little dry, but the apple cider flavor was there. It was muted through all the other ingredients, but it was definitely there.

Now to really personalize this treat. For a filling, I decided on diced cinnamon apples. I peeled and cubed 5 gala apples and placed them in a saucepan with 4T butter, apple pie spice, and an unknown amount of sugar (I just dumped some in, it was probably somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 cup). I let this cook in the saucepan until the apples were tender and the sugar and butter had formed a thick sauce. These apples would be good as a side dish, dessert or topping for most meals as well. They're the homemade version of the little well of apples that comes with many frozen dinners and, quite frankly, I like mine better because they are not super heavy on the sauce.

For the frosting, we settled on cinnamon buttercream. I made my standard buttercream and included a decent amount of ground cinnamon and cinnamon extract to produce a pretty pungent cinnamon topping. After coloring the frosting orange and brown, we assembled the cake and piped on some simple fall leaf outlines to finish it off. Despite the slight dryness of the cake, the apples and frosting made the cake quite awesome. A glass of the remaining apple cider on the side made for a great late-night snack.

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