Spiced Apple and Crème Fraiche Cake is apples, spices, and everything nice! It is the perfect mixture of caramelized apples, wintery spices, and tangy crème fraiche. Although sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup, the crème fraiche provides a lovely balance.
Even though we are not facing sub-zero temps here in Los Angeles, we have had our share of cold mornings. It is all relative, right? When it is cold, I love to bake. Obviously; all of my boys, both big and small, love these days and the tasty treats that appear on our table.
Brew some coffee. Pour milk for the little guys. Slice the cake. Share with your little ones and big ones for a not-too-sweet treat. Despite the cold, these moments will bring plenty of warmth to your table.
Birth of the Spiced Apple and Crème Fraiche Cake
Bundt cakes are gorgeous, aren’t they? I decided back in December to develop a bundt cake recipe. Have I ever made one before? Nope. Have I ever followed a recipe for a bundt cake? Nope. I still thought I could do it. That’s called fearless. Actually, maybe crazy is a better word.
Despite lack of experience, I wanted to create a bundt cake, so I charged ahead. I knew I wanted it to contain some essential winter ingredients:
- Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
- Dark sugars such as brown sugar, maple, and molasses
- Something sour such as buttermilk, yogurt, or crème fraiche
After several, SEVERAL, attempts the Spiced Apple and Crème Fraiche Cake was born.
Full disclosure: It is NOT a bundt cake. Yes, the cake is soft and subtly sweet and delicious. No bundt cake texture or density. The perfectionist in me wanted to keep changing thing in or to reach the bundt cake goal. Fortunately, I realized I already had a great cake.
The enemy of good is better, right? I stuck with my creation and we enjoyed every last bite.
As with any recipe, set up is key to a successful recipe. You want your cake to come out of the pan, right? Make sure you use some butter or coconut oil to grease your bundt pan getting into all the grooves. After greasing the sides, use some flour to coat the butter. I did this over the sink so I could tap the outside of the pan as I shifted it from side to side. I love cooking, but I strongly dislike making a mess. Flour can easily transform your kitchen into a snow covered war zone.
Most of the ingredients in this cake are pantry staples. During the winter, we always have loads of apples on hand because they are quick snack for the boys and my husband loves homemade apple sauce. (Click here for applesauce recipe.)
Apples pair well with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Rather than using raw apples, I caramelized the apples in butter and added in the cinnamon. With my spiced apple sauce recipe in mind, I also added in the other winter spices into the flour mixture.
For the sweet side, I wanted to use the darker sweeteners for a rich almost gingerbread feeling. The crème fraiche adds a tanginess to balance out the sweetness.
This cake is all about balance. It doesn’t overwhelm you with sweetness. And to finish it off and make it look a bit prettier, I dusted it with a mixture of cinnamon and powdered sugar.
New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to mean no cake!
Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone leaving resolutions in their wake. You don’t have to give everything up, though, do you? Without being indulgent, the Spiced Apple and Crème Fraiche Cake will please your taste buds and your soul.
So, how are all the New Year’s resolutions going? I am generally not one for making resolutions, but I have some simple ones this year.
My resolutions are mostly centered around my family. I want to appreciate all the little moments I get to share with my husband, two boys, and our dog. You’d think being a stay-at-home-mom would mean that these moments are unending. Not always. It is so easy to get distracted by my phone or list of to-dos’, rather than enjoying the moments.
Not this year, baby!
Blogging while being a mom can be tricky. Not impossible. Incorporating the boys into my recipes, cooking, and even photographing has been really fun.
Although both boys like helping me in the kitchen, I am noticing my younger son is much more curious. He helped me whisk the dry ingredients as well as manned the mixer.
You can see the pride emanating from my four-year-old after helping me take photographs. After asking him to hold the reflector for me behind the cake, you would have thought I asked him to go to Disneyland. He was so excited to help.
All the moments are not ideal. Having two crazy boys does make everything a bit more difficult. And fun! I need to not be concerned with the little things such as a sweet, little finger in my photo when it wasn’t supposed to be there.
When I think back about baking with my boys, I will cherish the little fingers reaching in to sneak the first taste. Or, as in the photo, to show me which slice has their name on it.
Even cleaning up after recipe development can be fun. Try handing your child a whisk after making a yummy cake batter. Their tongue becomes much more effective at cleaning than water and sponge. Why does the cake batter taste so much better when licked off the spoon?
I don’t have the answer, but I love these memories with my boys. I love seeing the delight in their eyes as they taste what I have made. This is why I cook. This is why I spend countless hours in the kitchen. Even though the moments may be small, these are the moments my boys and I will remember together.
I hope a piece of this Spiced Apple and Creme Fraiche Cake brings you some warm moments with those you love during winter.
Happy New Year’s!….Love, Ashley
Spiced Apple and Creme Fraiche Cake
- 3 large apples chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (I used fuji and pink lady)
- 2-3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground clove
- 4 large eggs
- ½ c maple syrup
- 1 cup dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 280 g crème fraiche (approx 1 1/4 c)
- 2 tbsp molasses
- Preheat oven to 350F for cake.
- Warm pan over medium heat. Melt butter and then add in apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Turn heat to low and let simmer until apples are tender and caramelized. Remove from heat. Let cool while preparing cake.
- Prepare a 10-12 cup bundt pan. Lightly grease pan and then lightly flour ensuring surface is covered.
- In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves with whisk until combined.
- In large bowl whisk, eggs, maple syrup, molasses, and brown sugar together until combined. Ensure melted butter is at room temperature, add it into egg mixture and whisk together. Fold in caramelized apples.
- Add about half of dry mixture to wet mixture and gently fold until just combined. Don’t over mix. Add half of crème fraiche and fold in until combined. Repeat once more with dry ingredients and then crème fraiche.
- Pour mixture into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from oven. Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Turn pan over on to plate and cake should gently slip out. Let cool before serving. Store covered at room temperature.