Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves…..are a fabulous combination. Top this with a walnut praline and you will be guaranteed to be transported to a very happy place! This is a version of my mom’s apple cake and it’s truly my type of cake. Unfortunately, I could probably bake this and devour the entire cake before anyone even notices. This cake is made with oil instead of butter so stays incredibly moist. It’s the sort of cake that is perfect for winter when apples are in season and the oil keeps the cake soft and moist. There is nothing better than a spiced apple cake with a strong cup of Orange Pekoe tea to satisfy any craving!
- 2 cups (300g) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 180 gm caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 medium apples (pink lady or gala apples are perfect), peeled, cored and coarsely grated (use a box grated), place the basin on an angle to drain slightly
- 100 gm crimson raisins
- 1 cup (250 ml) oil (light olive oil, rice bran or canola oil)
- 3 eggs
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200 gm caster sugar
- 50 gm toasted walnuts
Preheat your oven to 180°C degrees. Butter and lightly flour a bundt tin. If you don’t have a bundt tin, use a 20cm round or square cake tin.
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix them together. Alternatively blitz this in a food processor. Add in the crimson raisins and toss to combine.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla until well combined. Add in the flour mixture and gently fold until just combined. Add in the apples and mix to combine. Be careful not to over mix.
Pour into the bundt tin, level the top and bake for 50-55 minutes or a fine skewer inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning the cake out.
To make the praline, line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Prepare a bowl of water and place a pastry brush nearby. Start by heating a clean frypan over medium heat. Add enough sugar to thinly cover the surface of the pan. Once the sugar starts to melt around the edges, swirl the pan around to mix with the rest of the sugar. When most or all of the sugar has melted, sprinkle more sugar into the pan. Repeat until all the sugar has melted. At this stage, pay close attention as the caramel will turn very quickly. You want to cook it to a dark golden brown colour but not burn the caramel. Sprinkle in the toasted walnuts, quickly toss and pour out onto the lined baking sheet. Leave to cool completely. Once it cools, the praline will harden, break into pieces and roughly grind in a chopper or food processor.
This cake will look beautiful on a cake stand. Sift over some icing sugar, sprinkle with the walnut praline and serve with freshly whipped vanilla bean cream.
Note: Vanilla Bean Cream is easily made by whisking 300 ml of thickened cream with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean (seeds scraped) until soft but firm peaks. Do not over whisk or your cream will be lumpy and separate. In warmer climates, ensure the cream is kept cool and preferably work in a cool room.