For me, fall is the best season for baking. I love fall flavors! Cinnamon, pecans, pumpkin and, the ingredient highlighted here, apples. Apples are great for baking anytime because they are easy to find, versatile and relatively cheap for fresh produce. Typically, you should be able to find some variety of single apples for 99 cents a pound at your local grocery. You can also buy the big bag and save even more.
This recipe is inspired by the October 2015’s Cooking Light recipe for Whole-Grain Apple Cake. I really wanted to make the recipe for a tailgating get-together with my boyfriend and his family. But cake plus knife plus forks plus plates? Not exactly low maintenance and easy to carry. Plus the original recipe has walnuts in it. My least favorite nut. Yuck! So I decided to modify the recipe somewhat by including pecans, diced apples, nut milk and more cinnamon. I also tripled the topping and turned the large cake into a dozen little crumb cupcakes. Enjoy with hot apple cider.
Special thanks to my sous chef Chai! Who’s so helpful? You are!
All Dem Apples Crumb Cakes
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup almond, cashew and hazelnut milk blend (Did I mention I’m lactose intolerant? You can sub buttermilk but I like the nutty flavor of the Dream Blends milk for this cake.)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large egg whites
1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon (The cinnamon of cinnamon lovers!)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup peeled and shredded apple*
1 cup peeled, cored and finely diced apple
9 tablespoons oats
6 tablespoons chopped pecans
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted sweet cream butter, frozen and grated**
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tin and set aside.
*To prepare the apples: You will need about 2 or 3 apples total. I used a combination of Gala and Honeycrisp. I shredded my apples with a cheese grater after peeling them. It will be messy. Remember apples have juice in them! Grate them over a dish or lay out several paper towels under your cutting board. Shredding the apples will enhance the appley flavor without your cake just being a glob of apple chunks held together by flour. Some of the apples are diced instead because you still want some chunks! Pat the shredded apple dry with a paper towel because it will add a lot of extra wet to an already moist cake. But if you don’t have any apple cider around, you can always sub in the fresh apple juice.
Mix sugar, milk, oil and eggs until well combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and soda, salt and spices.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.
Add shredded and diced apples.
Spoon batter into muffin cups.
** Put the butter into a small Ziploc bag and freeze for a couple of hours or over night. Then grate with a cheese grater. This will make it easier to combine with the other ingredients. Just knead everything together until no lumps of butter remain.
Combine all crumb topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the batter.
Bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes or until pick inserted into center cake comes out with clinging moist crumbs.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Then remove from the tin and enjoy!