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Apple Gingerbread Cake Recipe & Video

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This rustic looking Apple Gingerbread Cake is the perfect Fall and Winter Dessert. It is a moist yogurt cake with a spicy sweet flavor that is topped with caramelized slices of apple. After baking the top of the cake is brushed with apricot preserves which gives it a nice shine, adds flavor, and prevents the apples from drying out. You can serve this cake warm from the oven, at room temperature, or cold. Softly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream is the perfect accompaniment.

The Gingerbread Cake has lots of flavor. It contains ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, along with molasses (although you could use treacle or honey). For the yogurt, I normally use whole milk plain yogurt (Greek style) as I like its rich and tangy flavor. You could use a low fat plain yogurt, just drain off any excess water. This batter also contains a flavorless oil (can use vegetable, corn, safflower, canola, or a light olive oil) instead of butter. The oil, along with the yogurt, gives the cake its moist texture, plus it will keep the cake from becoming too firm (unlike butter) if you store it in the refrigerator.

Molasses is used in baked goods to add color, moistness, and flavor.  There are two types of molasses generally used in making gingerbread: light and dark. Light molasses, used in this recipe, comes from the first boiling of the sugar syrup and is lighter in flavor and color than dark molasses. Molasses is usually labeled as "sulphured" or "unsulphured" depending on whether sulphur was used in the processing. I use unsulphured molasses as I prefer the flavor.

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Apple Gingerbread Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and lemon zest.

In another bowl, stir or whisk together the eggs, oil, yogurt, and molasses. Stir in the sugar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into thin (1/8 inch) slices. Lay the apple slices on top of the batter, overlapping slightly.
Sprinkle with about 1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) of granulated white sugar.

Bake in preheated oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Apricot Glaze: In a small saucepan heat the apricot preserves until boiling. Remove from heat and strain to get rid of lumps. Add the Cognac or water.  

If desired, place the cake pan under the oven's broiler (top heating element), or use a hand held butane kitchen torch, to brown the apple slices. Then, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the cake, both the cake and apple slices, with the apricot glaze. Sprinkle the cake with chopped nuts, if desired.

Makes about 10 servings.

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Apple Gingerbread Cake:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda

1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

Zest of 1 lemon (outer yellow skin of lemon)

2 large eggs (100 grams out of shell), at room temperature

1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) flavorless oil (vegetable, corn, safflower, or canola)

3/4 cup (180 ml/grams) plain yogurt, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsulphured molasses or honey

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar


2 large apples

1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) granulated white sugar

Apricot Glaze: (optional)

1/4 cup (70 grams) apricot preserves

1 teaspoon water or Grand Marnier

Garnish: (optional)

1/4 cup (25 grams) chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds)

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