Apples are a must-use ingredient in fall cooking, whether you’re going to make a fresh apple pie or some warming apple crisp. Here, I baked some diced apples into a Maple Apple Ginger Cake that is spiced with fresh ginger and lots of delicious maple syrup.
Maple syrup is a lovely flavoring to use in cakes, especially during the fall. It adds sweetness and also attracts moisture, meaning that you’ll end up with a cake that stays fresher, longer. In this case, it works very well with the flavor of the apples and gives the cake a really warm feeling. The fresh ginger adds a lot of spice, but unlike dried and powdered ginger, it has a much brighter taste to it that serves to contrast with the warmer maple and brown sugar flavorings already in the cake.
As a result, this is a cake with lots of fall flavor that isn’t just another gingerbread-type cake loaded up with the same four or five dried spices. It is very moist and very tender, not too sweet and with a great balance of flavors. I baked it in a 10-inch tube pan – the type that you might use to bake an angel food cake – so that the finished cake would have a very attractive shape to it. It could be baked in a bundt pan, but keep in mind that some of the apple pieces might end up sticking to the sides of the bundt, so don’t try to use a pan that is too detailed.
Like a quickbread, this cake keeps very well and can easily be served as is, with no accompaniments. If you want to dress it up a little bit, it goes well with a small scoop of ice cream or a little dollop of whipped cream. A drizzle of caramel sauce or maple syrup will finish off any presentation nicely.
Maple Apple Ginger Cake
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup (pref. grade B)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger root
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups diced, peeled apples (2 medium)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking power and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by maple syrup, vanilla extract and fresh ginger. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream, followed by the remaining half of the flour mixture. Mix only until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in diced apples, then pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake will spring back when lightly pressed.
Cool cake in pan, then use a knife to loosen it from the sides. Invert cake onto a large plate, then reinvert onto a serving plate or cake keeper before serving.
Makes 10-12 servings.