Apple Bourbon Cake

Apple Bourbon CakeOctober Fest
Last weekend some friends hosted their annual Oktoberfest celebration. It was perfect. The weather was crisp and fall-like. The beer flowed and many pretzels were consumed. There were tasty brats and my favorite bockwurst. There may also have been lederhosen but it’s a visual that I’m trying to ignore.

I was in charge of bringing a dessert. But, what does one bring to a beer party? Chocolate seemed wrong. So, I figured a harvest-y flavor like apples would pair nicely. And, since the group was mostly adults, I knew something boozy would also work well. I went with this Apple Bourbon Cake, and it didn’t disappoint.

Don’t be afraid of the bourbon glaze. The flavor is not as overpowering as you might think. Some lightly sweetened whipped cream is a must, though…

Apple Bourbon Cake Recipe
Adapted from Melissa Clark, NY Time Cooking
Yields 10 to 12 servings

2 sticks butter at room temperature, plus more to grease pan
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more to dust the pan
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup bourbon or rye whiskey
1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
1-3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely grated
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream for serving

Preheat the oven
Heat the oven to 325º F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

Soak the ginger
In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the bourbon with the candied ginger. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes.

Cream the butter, sugar, and eggs
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the brown sugar and remaining butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated.

Mix the dry ingredients
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining flour with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

Make the sour cream mixture
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream and vanilla. Pour in the bourbon from the ginger mixture (reserve the ginger) and whisk until smooth. Stir in zest.

Combine the ingredients
With the mixer on medium speed, add the dry mixture and sour cream mixture to the wet mixture in three additions, alternating between the two. Fold in the ginger, apples, and pecans. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the surface.

Bake the cake
Bake until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out dry (about 1 hour).

Cool the cake
Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes. Then run a paring knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake. Cool the cake, flat side down, on a wire rack.

Make the glaze
While the cake is cooling, combine the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup whiskey in a small saucepan. Over low heat, gently stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the lemon juice and take off the heat.

Glaze the cake
While the cake cools, make 10 slits on top with a paring knife and pour half the bourbon-sugar mixture on the still-warm cake. When the cake is fully cool, flip it and pour the rest of the glaze on the other side. Then flip the cake one more time and place on a serving plate.


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