Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts

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Fall’s officially here, let the baking begin!

Apple and cranberry is such a classic New England combo when it comes to Autumn desserts.

This cake gets a double apple punch from fresh apple cider and sliced apples. We always hit Brooksby Farm a couple of times a year to go apple picking. (If you live in the Boston area, I definitely recommend them. Beautiful orchard, usually not super crowded.) Check out my pics here.

Whole cranberries add gorgeous color and a little tang. The cake gets a little earthiness from chopped walnuts. The generous amount of fruit makes this a moist, dense, rustic cake.

Ground ginger and cinnamon add a little spice. (Double the amount of ginger for extra zing.)

This is one seriously versatile cake

Personally, I like to toast a fat wedge, slather it with cold butter, and have it for breakfast with a steaming cup of tea.

For a fancier, dessert-type cake, double the recipe to make two layers, then fill and frost with maple buttercream. Or, serve slices at brunch topped with homemade cinnamon ice cream.

I’ll bet you could even crumble it up, dry it out a little, and use it as stuffing for a chicken or turkey. (Warning: I haven’t tried this. Let me know if you get there before I do…)

At any rate, you get the idea.

Alrighty, to the ovens!

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts

3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbls. butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup fresh apple cider
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup fresh apples, peeled and cut into small chunks (about 1 large apple)
1 cup whole cranberries
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Makes 1 9-inch cake

1. Make the batter

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the apple and cut it up into small chunks.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

I’m very imprecise about this because it’s a rustic cake. If you like, whack your peeled apple in half, core it, and cut into even slices. Either way will work.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Cut the butter into pieces. Toss it into the bowl of your mixer (or a large mixing bowl if beating by hand) with the sugar. Beat until well combined,then toss in the egg and beat to incorporate.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Add the cider. Beat until uniform. It will look a little grainy. That’s just fine.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Beat until *just* uniform. (Too much beating will make your batter develop gluten, which will make it tough.)

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Add the chopped apple, cranberries, and walnuts. I keep my cranberries in the freezer. You can toss them in directly without thawing. That’s just fine.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Beat quickly until just incorporated.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

2. Bake the cake

Lightly grease your cake pan and line with a round of parchment paper. (The parchment will make it very easy to get out of the pan later on.) Spoon the batter into the pan. Spread it around to even it out.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Pop into your preheated 375-degree oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

When it’s done, the cake will pull away from the edges of the pan slightly and will be golden brown on top. When you press on the top lightly with a finger, the cake should spring back. And, when you insert a toothpick in the middle, it should come out clean.

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

3. Cool, slice and enjoy!

Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it out and cool completely on a rack before slicing. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts at The Hungry Mouse

Apple Cider Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts

Yields One 9-inch round cake

This cake gets a double apple punch from fresh apple cider and sliced apples. Whole cranberries add gorgeous color and a little tang. The cake gets a little earthiness from chopped walnuts. The generous amount of fruit makes this a moist, dense, rustic cake.

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Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbls. butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup fresh apple cider
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup fresh apples, peeled and cut into small chunks (about 1 large apple)
1 cup whole cranberries
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel the apple and cut it up into small chunks.
  3. Cut the butter into pieces. Toss it into the bowl of your mixer (or a large mixing bowl if beating by hand) with the sugar. Beat until well combined,then toss in the egg and beat to incorporate.
  4. Add the cider. Beat until uniform. It will look a little grainy. That’s just fine.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
  6. Beat until just uniform. (Too much beating will make your batter develop gluten, which will make it tough.)
  7. Add the chopped apple, cranberries, and walnuts. I keep my cranberries in the freezer. You can toss them in directly without thawing. That’s just fine.
  8. Beat quickly until just incorporated.
  9. Lightly grease your cake pan and line with a round of parchment paper. (The parchment will make it very easy to get out of the pan later on.) Spoon the batter into the pan. Spread it around to even it out.
  10. Pop into your preheated 375-degree oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  11. When it’s done, the cake will pull away from the edges of the pan slightly and will be golden brown on top. When you press on the top lightly with a finger, the cake should spring back. And, when you insert a toothpick in the middle, it should come out clean.
  12. Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it out and cool completely on a rack before slicing. Enjoy!
http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2012/11/26/apple-cider-cake-with-cranberries-and-walnuts/

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Jessie,
    I likeyour blog very much , and this cake looks just very “yummy”. I also love your photos, they are very helpful.
    I wish you the very best for 2013 and always. By the way, I live in Brasília.
    Big hug

  2. i went food shopping late last night so i can bake this this morning. i made it with gluten-free flour and it was a huge success ^_^v thinking of adding white chocolate chunks next time and drizzling a piece with spicy pinot noir cranberry sauce. thanks for the inspiration!!

  3. hello,
    i’m helen from indonesia. i want to make this cake but i can’t find fresh apple cider here. can i use fresh apple juice? thank u.

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