Grated Apple Snack Cake
I was going for a not-too sweet apple dessert reminiscent of German and Italian apple pudding-cake like concoctions I grew up with, but a bit more cake-like. The addition of the sprinkle of brown sugar in the pan and the fresh nutmeg gives it a hint of Americana and cake doughnut flavor. All the fresh apples give it some weight but it’s sill more cake than pudding!
- To German-ify it add 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dried apricots or prunes
- You could soak that dried fruit in a little rum first, too
- Add 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or hazelnuts
- Use orange zest instead of lemon
- Skip the sugar in the pan if you’re doing any of these variations
- These should work fine as muffins, just don’t overfill them and reduce the baking time–guessing 22-25 will do it.
1 9 x 9″ cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or half whole wheat or spelt and half apf)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if you have it
2/3 – 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil (I use a mix of olive oil and sunflower oil–all neutral oil like sunflower is great or all olive oil if it’s not a very strong/bitter one)
Zest of half a lemon (optional–use if your apples are bland)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 apples, quartered, cored and grated on the large holes of a box grater (no need to peel) about 2 1/2 cups lightly packed
Butter for greasing the pan
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar for the pan (optional but fun)
Preheat oven to 325 Degrees
1. Generously butter a 9 x 9″ baking pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the bottom of the pan–it won’t be enough to cover the surface or be even and that’s just fine.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
3. In a large bowl beet the eggs and sugar vigorously with a whisk or with a handheld mixer until light in color, about 3-4 minutes by hand or 2 with a mixer. This step is important as it will help the cake be cakey, not stodgy. Whisk in the oil, vanilla and lemon zest, if using.
4. Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in three parts. Do not over mix. Fold in the apples and spread the batter in the prepared pan.
5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. The risk here is actually under baking rather than over. The apples have a lot of moisture so you don’t want it too gummy. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then loosen the edges and gently turn out onto a plate. If it seems to be sticking at all, just leave it in the pan and cut it there and serve.