Here is the last new cake I prepared for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner! I spotted this in the October 2009 issue of Bon Appetit knowing that I would add it to my “must bake” list for the holiday. Unfortunately, this is one more cake I did not taste because it was saved for the Friday after Thanksgiving festivities and I left on Thanksgiving evening. I did have a taste after I leveled the layers and ate some of the cake top. It tasted great. I can only imagine how good it tasted after the spices had a chance to settle overnight.
Fuji Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2009
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. rum (optional and bourbon and apple brandy can also be used)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 medium Fuji apples, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into 1/3 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1. Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2-9 inch cake pans with 2 inch sides. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper round.
2. Whisk first flour cinnamon, baking powder, salt, allspice, nutmeg, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add both sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, then rum (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 3 additions alternatively with applesauce in 2 additions, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in apples and pecans. Divide batter evenly between cake pans and smooth the tops.
4. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into center of each layer comes out clean. Transfer cakes to rack and cool in pans for 15 minutes. Cut around pan side to loosen cakes. Invert cakes and peel off parchment paper.
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar (measured, then sifted)
Coarsely chopped pecans (for garnish)
1. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar, beat until frosting is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
2. Using a long, serrated knife level the cake and brush off any loose crumbs. Transfer cake to platter and drop half of frosting by spoonfuls on top. Spread frosting to edges evenly. Top with second cake, trimmed side down. Drop remaining frosting on top and leave the edges plain. Spread to edges then sprinkle with remaining pecans. Let cake stand at room temperature 1 hour to allow frosting to set.