Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple Pecan Muffin Cake


Few things are more evocative of autumn than the smell of apples cooking, warm with cinnamon. The smell that wafted from the oven when I made this made me want to pull out the fall coats (such as they are in northern California) and warm sheets. Even better, we had our first seasonal rain as I was baking this cake, and the gentle sound of the rain reinforced the feeling. Fall is here, and this cake is the perfect way to celebrate.

I mixed up the recipe a bit, doubling it as I usually do, and I omitted the raisins. Not a fan, and I didn't think dried cherries would be as good. The cake came together easily, the crust was crusty and the center fluffy, just like a terrific muffin. The flavor was delicious and the pecans made it extra special. A few ideas if you make these (Katrina has the recipe for you here):
  • I like to measure the brown sugar into the bowl, break up the lumps, then add the rest of the dry ingredients
  • I substituted quick cooking Irish oats since that's what I had
  • I omitted the almond extract and added 1/2 tablespoon of boiled cider (which I ordered from King Arthur Flour) for extra apple flavor
  • Toast your nuts for extra flavor
  • Although I didn't go in this direction, this cake would be great made with white whole wheat flour replacing all or some of the all-purpose flour
  • I almost added chopped candied ginger but I was afraid my tasters wouldn't like it
  • Add the apples, nuts and dried fruit (if using) before all the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated to help avoid over mixing

Katrina of Baking and Boys selected this recipe from Baking From My Home to Yours as this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. I haven't posted for TWD in a long time, though I've baked along. I was home from work early to the other day, and realized with a thrill that I could bake for TWD and post on time. That's what people who aren't working 12 hour days do. Note to self...come home early more often!

14 comments:

jillbert said...

Looks delicious! Nice tip about the brown sugar - it was a bit difficult to mix it in later on.

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking cake to snack

Flourchild said...

It's so nice to have you baking and blogging with us today!! I have missed your posts! Im glad you enjoyed this cake. It is a perfect fall treat! I loved this recipe and will make it again and again! Happy Fall Baking!!

Tracey said...

Great picture Leslie! I turned mine into muffins and added a streusel - they were a great fall breakfast :)

Kayte said...

It's such fun to read all your changes and keeps and the reasoning behind them all. I'm so boring, I usually stick to the recipe the first time as I have no imagination whatsoever to figure out what else I could do with it...that's why I come here, so I get ideas and implement them for round two. Pecans will definitely be in the mix...love those more than walnuts. Nice photo!

Di said...

Looks yummy! I used boiled cider in mine, too--I didn't have apple juice or cider, so I used 2 tablespoons of boiled cider then added enough milk to make 1 cup. I thought about using some www flour too, but didn't. Next time!

margot said...

Your cake looks great, Leslie! I am always so happy when I leave work a little early. I've had long hours lately and it definitely cuts into the baking/blogging time.

Judy said...

Wow, I get hungry ;-)

pantryrevisited said...

Love the changes you made to this. Ileft the raisens out of mine too. I wish we could share a slice or two every now and then with each other to taste the differences!!

Cindy said...

This looks so good. I was busy loving grandbaby and didn't get to it. But I'm home now and I think this will be dessert tonight.

TeaLady said...

SOOOOOO glad to see you back and baking. Missed your posts. This was mighty good wasn't it. And fairly quick even if don't have much time. Wish I had used pecans, darn!!

Bizzy B. Bakes said...

It is good to read your post. You make your baked goods both look and sound delicious.

Welcome back.

http://sweetsav.blogspot.com

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I think your note to self is the best part of your post, because it might mean we get to see you around here more often! Great job on the cake, Leslie, it looks amazing and thanks to your notes we can aim for your results.

Norliza said...

oohhh this looks yummy. i should try this recipe one day. Thanks for sharing. :-)