Apple cake is a very popular cake that has slices of apples and nuts in it. Traditionally, ground nutmeg and cinnamon too are added to give a nice flavor to the cake, as these are the ideal spice ingredients of apple. This rich cake is prepared in the same manner as any other sponge cake, but it is filled with slices of apple and nuts such as almonds and walnuts. This cake can be made with and without eggs, as per one's choice.
What is Apple Cake?
Apple cake is believed to have originated in UK, wherein there are different variations within the various regions of the country. It is known by different names in different parts of UK, such as Dorset Apple Cake, Devon Apple Cake, Somerset Apple Cake, etc., depending on the region and the local apple juices that are added to the cake. However, adding apple juice to the cake is optional. Other than these, there are other variations to the traditional apple cake, which are enumerated further in the article.
Traditional Apple Cake Ingredients and Preparation Process
The main ingredients that go into making this cake are plain flour, oil, eggs, sugar, baking powder, vanilla essence and a pinch of salt. Apple slices and nuts are added to the cake batter. Once the oil, eggs and vanilla essence are mixed well, sifted flour (with baking powder) is added to the mixture and folded in well. Apple slices and nuts are added to this batter and once blended well, the batter is poured into a baking dish and baked at the required temperature.
Milk, brown sugar, butter and vanilla essence are blended well to prepare the glaze for the cake. Once the cake is baked, the glaze mixture is poured or applied on the cake, which is then allowed to cool. This gives the cake its wonderful golden color. Apple cake is generally served with double cream and tea/coffee.
Types of Apples Used for the Cake
Apples used in apple cake should ideally stay firm even after baking. There are a variety of apples that taste good in the cake and these include Cortland’s, Granny Smith, Honey Crisps, Golden Delicious and Gala. One should avoid using the soft variety such as the Macintosh, which tends to turn into applesauce when baked.
Variations of Apple Cake
Irrespective of the place, variations of the apple cake are made with the same ingredients as used in the traditional version of the cake. Some popular variants of this cake are –
Spiced Apple Cake - The main ingredients of this cake are flour, caster sugar, eggs, oil, and baking powder. Bicarbonate of soda too is added along with baking powder. Ground cinnamon, nutmeg and mace are added for spicing up the cake.
German Apple Cake – This is similar to the American Apple Pie that has a cup shaped crust at the base and lattice like crust on top. The base is filled with spiced apple slices and the pie is then baked. This version of the cake/pie is similar to the Austrian Apple Strudel, which derives the name from Deutsch strudel, which means ‘whirlpool’.
Apple Sauce Cake – This cake is an offshoot of the Spiced fruit cake of the 19th century. Either fresh or dried apple slices are used in it. There are many variations of this cake and the most popular is the one that includes candied lemon, chopped citron and orange peel in the batter. Another popular variation of this cake is the one where oatmeal, dried fruit, nuts, cocoa, powdered sugar and chocolate chips are included.
Nutritional Value of Apple Cake
Apples are a rich source of iron, boron and anti-oxidants. However, apple cake is a rich cake that is high in calories and rich in fat, sugar and sodium. Hence, the daily consumption should be limited to either one or half serving.