chunky apple cake with cream cheese frosting

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited.  I think it’s pretty clear that I love both cooking/baking and eating, so Turkey Day affords me the perfect opportunity to try new recipes and eat until the top button on my pants pops off and takes out the eye of some unsuspecting relative.

While turkey and stuffing play a pretty big role in the festivities, everyone knows that the dessert table is the star of the Thanksgiving meal.  So, in the spirit of giving, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite fall desserts, Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

The prep for this cake is a cinch.  The tough part is waiting one hour while it bakes.  And what in the name of Plymouth Rock makes this cake take an hour in the oven?  The apple slices (specifically, the bounty of slices from four Granny Smith’s).  They’re so darn moist, that it takes me about 60 minutes to get a fully-baked dessert.  So be patient (maybe take the hour to make and drink some mulled cider or, better yet, wine), and revel in the cinnamon-apple paradise you’re creating in your kitchen.

Some of you health nuts might want to forgo the cream cheese frosting, but I’d ask you to reconsider.  The frosting adds a necessary sweetness to the cake and balances the tart apples.  Also, cream cheese shouldn’t be passed up in any form.  That’s just common sense.

Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended.

2. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended.  Stir in apple slices and 1 cup walnuts.  Spread into a greased 13×9 pan.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.  Spread with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar and salt, beating until blended.  Stir in vanilla.

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