Winter arrived yesterday in the form of a nice downpour with more expected to follow. Time to bake some old fashioned comfort food, which at this time of year usually means apples and spice in the form of a spoon dessert.
This is one of those crazy self-saucing cakes that sort of defies logic. There’s a layer of fruit on the bottom, a layer of cake batter and then a layer of liquid poured on top. Somehow, this strange arrangement magically bakes into a cake with a nice sauce that simmers the fruit. Fairly odd, but just the thing to enhance a rainy day.
Brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg add to the warmth of the dish in each layer. And since I’m a fiend for oatmeal, I tossed just a smidgeon into the cake mix for more texture and taste. Apple cider that’s been simmered with more cinnamon and brown sugar gets poured over the whole thing. Just 30 minutes later you have a soothing warm dessert. And a kitchen full of the very best aromas of winter.
- I used Gala apples, which aren’t very sweet. Fujis or Granny Smith would also be good. Adjust for sugar.
- If you’re not a fan of oatmeal, just delete it. I’d be tempted to add ground pecans.
- Have the cider, brown sugar and cinnamon ready in a saucepan. Once the cake batter is mixed, work quickly to heat the cider mixture, pour it on and get it in the oven.
- Use unsweetened apple cider.
- This is a great dessert all by itself but of course lends well to serving with ice cream or a dollop of fresh cream.
Apple Cider Sauce Cake
Serves 9 - 12
1 t lemon juice
1 T sugar
pinch of cinnamon
1 C flour
3 T old fashioned oats
1 3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
generous 1/4 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 C + 2 T dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 C milk
2 oz (4 T) butter, melted
1 t vanilla
1 C apple cider
1/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 t cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the sides of an 8” x 8” baking dish.
Peel and core apples. Cut into thin slices and place in a bowl. Toss with lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Set aside.
For the cake batter, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar until completely combined.
In another bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, vanilla and egg until thoroughly blended. Using a fork, stir the flour mixture into the liquid until just incorporated and there are no dry streaks.
Toss the apples and spread them in an even layer in the prepared pan. Carefully spread the cake batter evenly on top of the apples, fully extending the batter to the edges and corners of the pan.
Combine cider, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and bring it to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat and pour over the cake batter. Do not stir or attempt to mix the liquid into the batter in any way.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Place the cake on a wire rack for just a few minutes to rest. Serve warm.