From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I know I'm pushing apples before the berry season has ended, but I so liked this cake that I carried it from one coast to another, so my family could sample and enjoy it. A single bite will help you understand why I'm so enthusiastic about this confection. It is the creation of Piper Davis and I found it in her book, The Grand Central Baking Book. Her bakery was named one of the 10 best in the country by Bon Appetit magazine, so her credentials are stellar and her book is worth more than a passing glance. This cake is versatile as well as delicious. It can take any shape you wish, as long as you don't overfill the pans. To prevent batter overflow, fill your pan, or pans, only 2/3 full. Let me warn you ahead of time, that a 12-cup bundt pan is not large enough to hold the batter for this cake. A larger bundt pan can, of course, be used, but I prefer to make the cake in loaf pans. While you lose the graceful beauty of a perfectly baked bundt, slices from a loaf cake are more practical and much prettier on the table. I used Golden Delicious apples to make this cake but any well-flavored apple can be substituted. For best results, have all the ingredients you'll be using at room temperature. In my parlance, that means the butter, cream cheese and eggs have been sitting on the counter for about two hours before I start to make the mix and bake the cake. The finished creation is moist and velvety and it has a faint tang that comes from the cream cheese that is in the batter. The cake keeps well for several days and its flavor actually improves if it is allowed to sit for a day before serving. I know you those of you who try this cake will really like it. This is a keeper of the first magnitude, and, yes, it makes my socks go up and down. I love this cake! Here's how it is made.
Cream Cheese Apple Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Piper Davis and the Grand Central Baking Book
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 pounds tart apples, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two (9 x 5 x 2-inch) loaf pans.
2) Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together and set aside.
3) Put butter, cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat ingredients on medium-high speed until mixture is very light in color — almost white — and texture is fluffy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl once during the process to insure that butter is evenly incorporated.
4) Crack eggs into a liquid measure and add vanilla. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour mixture into bowl allowing eggs to fall in one at a time. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl.
5) Add sifted dry ingredients on low speed; stop mixing as soon as flour is incorporated. Fold apples in by hand using a stiff spatula and scrape batter into prepared pan.
6) Place pans in the middle of oven and bake 60-75 minutes rotating pans halfway through baking time. When cake is finished, a wooden skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean. Allow cakes to cool 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely and cover with a thick dusting of confectioners' sugar. Yield: 16 servings.
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