If you ever see me from across the room at a restaurant and you notice that I'm perusing the dessert menu, you'll be sure to see my eyes stop at the apple dessert.
I'm hopelessly smitten with anything warm, sweet and apple-y; and if it offers a drizzle of caramel/toffee sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, let's just say it's a done deal! Sometimes this gets me into trouble though, as Scott and I usually share a dessert when we eat out, and it's frequently some sort of chocolate confection that captures his fancy. Then we have to duel it out or see who's more persuasive.
If this Sticky Apple Pecan Cake was on the menu, I have a feeling that I'd be making a decision to, at least temporarily, put a halt to the sharing routine. I'd definitely want my own piece!
And if it were on the menu, this is how I imagine the description would read:
Sticky Apple Pecan Cake - Our most requested dessert! This moist, buttery autumn-inspired sweet treat is loaded with apples in the fabulous warm-spiced cake, as well as adorning the luscious pecan topping. It's a cross between an old fashioned British sticky toffee pudding and a dense, rich apple cake. Just before it emerges from the oven, it's brushed with a sweet, maple glaze, making it beyond irresistible. Order yours drizzled with our Buttermilk Maple Toffee Sauce for a true epicurean delight!
See why I couldn't share this one? Would you? I didn't think so.
But you know what? You can not only have your own piece, you can quite easily have your own whole cake. And though I wouldn't advise eating the whole thing, I think your family/friends will be quite enchanted with this fabulous Sticky Apple Pecan Cake.
One last thing, if you skip the ice cream and toffee sauce, this also makes a wonderful coffee cake. I served to guests this weekend for brunch and it was a huge hit.
P.S. And if you do notice me across the room at a restaurant and there's an apple dessert on the menu, go ahead and order the chocolate offering. Please. I would be so sad if you got the last slice of delicious apple concoction (it probably has my name written on it anyway).
- 10 tablespoons cold butter 140g (divided)
- 1 ½ cup light brown sugar 250g
- ½ cup maple syrup 150g
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 2 cups all purpose flour 250g
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 medium apples* 1 peeled and cored, one cored but leave the skin on, dice the apples into ½-inch pieces, keeping the two apples in separate piles
- ¾ cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray a springform pan with baking spray. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with foil and place on a sheet pan. If you con't have a springform pan, spray a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray and cut a circle of parchment paper for the bottom of the pan (this will make your cake much easier to remove). Set aside.
Combine 5 tablespoons of the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves and ginger in a microwave-safe bow. Microwave for one minute on high. Stir and return to microwave for another minute. Stir till smooth and set aside to cool a bit.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the remaining 5 tablespoons cold butter into ½ inch pieces and add to flour mixture. Using your fingers rub butter into flour until all large lumps are gone and mixture resembles coarse meal. (You could also use a pastry blender for this if you prefer.)
Add the milk to the melted butter/sugar mixture and stir well then add eggs and whisk until well incorporated.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Stir just until all flour is incorporated. Add the peeled apple pieces. Pour into the prepared pan. Scatter the chopped pecans and apples pieces (with the skin on), over the top and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and brush the top with the glaze mixture (see below). Return to oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If cake starts looking golden but is not quite done, cover with a piece of foil towards end of baking.
While cake is baking, make the glaze: combine the butter and maple syrup and stir well.
After cake is completely finished baking, cool in pan for 20 minutes then remove sides of springform (or if baking in a cake pan, remove from pan by inverting onto a plate) then transfer to a wire rack to cool.Serve warm with ice cream and a drizzle of Buttermilk Maple Toffee Sauce or Ridiculously Easy Caramel Sauce.