It’s been such a humid winter. I’ve had to put up my hair in a tight bun these past few days.
The air conditioner has been on and so have the cieling fans. Lately I’ve been taking walks outside in this cloudy and strangely warm winter. My hair turns into this huge frumpled mess if its not tied up when i’m walking outside. I seriously don’t feel like i’m in Houston right now. Because I somehow pictured winter visiting us in January. This is typically the month that tends to be the coldest of the year, at least in this city. But definitely not this year. Am I visiting some tropical island right now or what? 😛
I guess all those factors haven’t stopped me from my usual seasonal baking… I’d been meaning to bake up some sort of concoction with apples. Crisp apples, spice and everything nice. That typically rings a bell and reminds me of Autumn. I didn’t get a chance to bake with apples during that season so I had to makeup for it.. & as you know.. pumpkin spice reigned supreme during that time.. yep.
So these cute little apples were just sitting in the kitchen. Waiting to be devoured.
Last week I found the perfect recipe to use up some apples from The Kitchn. It’s an online food community that has become one of my favorites! They have some great recipes on The Kitchn that are both innovative and creative. These small little apples had been sitting around in my fruit bowl for a week.. or two. Far too many to devour. Then a light bulb struck my mind when I came across an apple cake recipe using ingredients I had in my fridge. There was a tub of yogurt quietly sitting in the fridge, as well as some sour cream and butter. Perfect! I whipped up this Apple yogurt cake.. and to my surprise.. it was quite nice.
I’ve had great success baking with yogurt, lemons, and sour cream in the past. Such ingredients create the moistest and tart tasting cakes and treats. Mediterranean cuisine tends to use yogurt as well for baking. Such creations have always turned out to be some of the lightest and fluffiest desserts. So here is the setup of all the ingredients. I diced three small apples. Figured they would be enough without having too much of apple in the batter. I decided to use both sour cream and yogurt in the cake, because I wanted to use up both products. Feel free to use all yogurt, as the original recipe states. Either way, you can even use all sour cream. The cake will turn out soft and tender anyway.
Using a handheld mixer, whip up the batter until it becomes nice and smooth. Make sure not to over-mix! Having a few clumps in the batter is not a big deal. Using a large and flat baking spatula, gently fold in the diced apples towards the end of the procedure. There is quite a lot of batter, so make sure to use a 9×13 pan. Its a great sheet tray cake and makes quite a lot! We had plenty of leftovers. Lastly, here is the recipe via The Kitchn that I slightly changed. If you’re not into apples you can surely try pears! You can even swap the cinnamon for cardamom. 🙂
Apple Yogurt Cake with a Cinnamon-Sugar Streak
1 1/2 cups whole-milk yogurt, well-stirred (I used 1 cup of yogurt, and 1/2 cup of sour cream)
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (about two lemons)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 pounds apples, ideally tart apples such as Granny Smith (I used three small red apples)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with baking spray or olive oil.
Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Peel and core the apples, and chop into chunks about 1/2-inch across. You should end up with 3 1/2 to 4 cups of apples. Stir the chopped apple into the liquid ingredients.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon right into the liquids and stir just until no lumps remain. In a small separate bowl, mix the remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon with the brown sugar and butter.
Pour half of the batter into the cake pan. Sprinkle the batter with half of the cinnamon-brown sugar mixture, dropping it on the batter in small lumps. Spread the rest of the batter over top, and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-brown sugar.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, covering with foil at the end if the top is browning too much. When a tester comes out clean, transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan before cutting. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.
This keeps very well for several days, and it gets even moister as it sits, due to the apples.
Oh gosh! I wish that I could eat a small slice right now. The apple cake was finished and devoured in just a few days. Our kitchen smelled delightful with the sweet fragrance of cinnamon, brown sugar and warmed apples. Not even a fancy candle could beat the smell of a fresh cake emerging out of the oven!
What are some of your most favorite things to bake in winter? I truly feel this cake can be eaten any time of the year. Luckily we have some of the tastiest apples year round at our local Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s has some great produce as well. The idea’s are just endless when baking! Anyway, i’ll be back for yet another post soon! Keep an eye out on something savory headed your way. 🙂
Until next time dearies xx