When I think about pudding cakes, I picture a dessert that forms a pudding-like sauce at the bottom of the pan during baking. Chocolate pudding cake and lemon pudding cake are to of my very favorite recipes of this type. Throw some fruit into the mix and you have something that is a little closer to a cobbler than to one of those pudding cake recipes, but this particular fruit-filled recipe is more than moist enough to qualify for the designation.
This Apple Cider Pudding Cake has a sauce-filled fruit compote at its base and is topped with a layer of moist, spicy, gingerbread-like cake. Unlike a fruit cobbler, the apple pieces at the bottom of this dessert are diced up into small cubes, where they release more juice and become more tender than the fruit in a typical cobbler might be. I used fuji apples in this batch, but any kind of apple you like to eat will work well here. The cake is sweet and has a flavor profile that really compliments the apples, with maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg mixed into it. There is a lot of apple cider in this recipe helping to make up the sauce for the pudding cake and further enhance the apple flavor. If you don’t have apple cider, you can use apple juice or even water and the recipe will turn out just fine – although if you use water, add a bit of extra spice to your cake mix to play up those flavors even more.
This dessert is easy to whip up and tastes wonderful when it is fresh from the oven. It is a perfect comfort-food type of dish on a cold winter night and will definitely warm you up! It is good plain, but also goes well with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. If you want to serve it for breakfast, you can even throw a splash of hot milk or cream into a bowl with it.
Apple Cider Pudding Cake
3 medium apples, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch dice (approx 3 cups apples)
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled, divided
2/3 cup brown sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cups apple cider, divided
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place diced apples evenly on the bottom of an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch baking dish.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of melted butter and 1/4 cup of brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, followed by maple syrup. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 cup of apple cider. Whisk in remaining flour mixture until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour over apples and spread into an even layer.
Sprinkle batter with remaining brown sugar. Pour remaining 1/4 cup of melted butter and 3/4 cup apple cider over the top of the cake. Do not mix.
Bake cake for 35-40 minutes, until cake is set and deep golden brown at the edges, and filling is bubbling.
Cool for 15 minutes before serving.