There are few things as civilized as a slice of cake with your afternoon tea or coffee. A momentary escape from the stresses of the day to sit in leisure with a steamy cuppa and sweet treat. Sure, some raw veg and hummus or a piece of straight-up fruit may be slightly more appropriate for an afternoon energy boost than a crumbly, ginger-scented slice of apple cake but DANG – you work hard and deserve to shower yourself with love and cake every so often, right? Yer darn right.
This cake is inspired by and adapted from an Apple Yogurt Walnut Cake I came across recently on Vegetarian Ventures. It’s charm as warm and inviting as a wooly blanket on a snowy day, and the way Shelly photographed and styled the photos drew me right in – laser beam! You could almost smell it through the screen, and I knew I had to have it. The cake, as written, was brilliant – warmly spiced and tasted of autumn. The cinnamon and nutmeg scenting the air with warmth as it baked, the yogurt keeping the crumb moist but not so much that it doesn’t benefit from a mug of green tea, the apples slumping into the cake and creating oozey pockets of apple pie-like filling. It came together effortlessly and made afternoon tea something to truly look forward to. Hearty enough to feel good about snacking on, but just sweet enough to feel celebratory and worthy of a few moments pause.
As I went through my pantry this weekend, trying to figure out what all was in there hiding in the shadows, I realized I had a wee bit of spelt flour left from a tiny bag used to make bread last month. Spelt is mildly sweet and nutty in flavour, and light in texutre so it doesn’t weigh recipes down the same way whole wheat flour can. I immediately thought of the apple-yogurt cake recipe and thought, aloud to my husband who couldn’t possibly have cared any less, “I bet this would be beautiful in Shelly’s cake recipe!”. And then Allan heard the word “cake” and was wholly invested in this project.
In my experiments, I added some fresh and ground to give it an extra kick of spicy warmth throughout as well as adding oats and pecans to the crumble mixture for the sake of using them up. When all was adjusted, mixed and baked, it produced a cake that was incredibly good but different enough to be something all it’s own; the cake itself almost under-sweet, but when tucked under that crunchy brown-sugary crumble it all just makes sense. This is a simple, every day cake easy and approachable enough to throw together on a whim, but totally worthy of celebrating the every day small victories.
- For the cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ ground ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbps fresh ginger juice, squeezed from about 3 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 apple cored and diced small
- For the topping
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ cup pecans chopped
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter. cut into small pieces
- 3-4 apples cored and thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease the bottom and sides of a 10" round baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
- In a another large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar with a hand mixer or with some hefty muscle and a wooden spoon until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine after each. Add the yogurt, vanilla and ginger juice and whisk everything together, scraping the sides of the bowl down.
- Fold in the apples.
- In a clean bowl, add all the topping ingredients except for the apples. Smoosh together with your fingers until it's a clumpy, crumbly consistency.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Tuck the sliced apple pieces around the cake evenly and top with the crumble leaving soem apple peeking out.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden an it passe the poke test.
If you make this cake, let us know by tagging @baked_theblog + #bakedtheblog on Instagram! We love to feel like we’re in the kitchen with you.