Saturday, November 08, 2008

Apple cranberry cake

I've been wanting to make Smitten Kitchen's mom's apple cake since I saw it, and finally got around to it last night. Here's most of what goes into it:
You'll need two mixing bowls, liquid and dry measuring cups, measuring spoons and ideally a tube pan. From the comments, it's noted that a bundt pan or large baking dish will also work, or two loaf pans. With the bundt pan you'll want to put the apples on the bottom since you invert the cake then. Two loaf pans are necessary since the cake rises significantly.

Happily, I had a tube pan. The recipe calls for six Macintosh apples. I used six Braeburns, and added about a cup of cranberries, too. In hindsight, I might've added a couple more apples.

The batter is alarmingly dry until you mix the four eggs in, and even then it's not very pourable. I was worried my pan was too large, as the batter and apples made very thin layers in the bottom, but it does rise. Here's the before and after:
Now, some commenters said their cake was done in less than the hour and a half specified, while mine took nearly two! (I'll have to get an oven thermometer to make sure it's accurate.) The cake is super dense, almost like pound cake. But it came out of the pan cleanly. (Do not forget to butter or Pam the pan first!)
Of course the fruity bits are my favorite, but the cake overall is a winner.
Thanks, Smitten Kitchen! My cow-orkers will be happy to polish the rest of it off tomorrow.


  1. I did not know: McIntosh and MacIntosh!

    The cake looks moist and lovely! Do you think Fuji apples could be used instead? About 8?

    And would the extra time have been due to the altitude we're at, given how dense the cake is? Did you tweak it for altitude (more moisture and less baking powder)? Would that make a difference you think?

  2. I love tangy cranberries - so delish!

  3. Thanks, db!

    Manisha, I suspected I was spelling it wrong! But either way is fine with me. I love both!

    I have both Fujis and Braeburns in my box, and both were touted as good baking apples.

    The altitude may have had something to do with it. Since it turned out well with the longer baking time, I figure I won't adjust the ingredients; just plan for longer baking. Your results may vary!

    Dana, I think rhubarb would work well in it too.

  4. I'm making this tonight. No tube pan or bundt pan. Gulp. In one 9x13 pan if I can find it. Or a 9x9 pan and a loaf pan. Fingers crossed!

    I love to see how words morph and trace where misspellings crept in and how that became standard. Grocery stores seem to play a large role! The only one that bugs me is "ginger root" - cos it isn't a root but leads people to believe it is. :-(

  5. Yours looks much better than mine. It's dense. Took only 1.5 hours to bake but the edges are really dark. I think that may be cos I baked in a 9x9 and a small loaf pan. I lowered the temp to 325F for the last 45 minutes to allow the center to cook. I don't mind but I might have to hide those parts when I bring this out for dessert with ice cream tomorrow :-D

    I love the burst of tart that the cranberries add to this cake. Without them, I would not have been as enamored of this cake. So thank you!!

  6. Hey! Glad it worked out for you. The center of mine took really long to bake, and I was worried about burning the edges, but it seemed to come out OK. I'm going to make another one this weekend.

    I should note that I used olive oil (that's all I ever have for vegetable oil) and the juice was orange peach mango. I don't know if either made a huge difference.