Isn’t autumn glorious!! The colours, the smells, the flavours that are inspired by this time of the year are simply incredible. Who doesn’t love curling up with a warm cup of coffee to read a good book while nature is getting ready for a long winter sleep. The only thing that makes a cup of coffee better is a slice of this Apple Spice Cake and a drizzle of Pumpkin Spice Syrup to go along.
When we first moved to England three years ago Pumpkin Spice Latte at a local Starbucks was something of a myth, a tale from a faraway land called America. The baristas heard of it but had not idea why anyone would want to consume pumpkins in a drink form. I complained loudly mostly on Facebook and a friend suggested making my own syrup. Now, since I own little and stylish Italian Gaggia, enjoying homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes has become an everyday treat. 🙂 My bank account and my waist line thanked me. Happiness is…
Ingredients: (Makes about 750 ml)
- Water-2 cups/500ml
- Demerara/Turbinado Sugar- 2 1/2 cups
- Cinnamon- 1 tsp. and 1 stick of cinnamon
- Nutmeg- 1/2 tsp.
- Ground Ginger- 1/2 tsp.
- Cloves- 1/4 tsp.
- Canned pumpkin (or use your own like I did)- 4 tbsp.
1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium pot and stir to combine, bring to a boil and then cook 5 more minutes over medium low heat.
2. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve and bottle it. Keep refrigerated!
3. If you have an espresso machine chances are you know already how to make a latte, so just add 1-2 tablespoons of Pumpkin Spice Syrup and a swirl of whipped cream for a special occasion. As for me, I rarely indulge ( by which I mean “never”) in a cream topping but I do love me some Pumpkin Spice Syrup!
4. If you don’t own an espresso machine, not to worry! Just brew some strong coffee and add steamed milk to it at 1:1 ratio, then stir in some pumpkin spice syrup to taste. Relax and enjoy!
Note: If you do decide to prepare your own pumpkin puree here is what you need to do. Split your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place your pumpkin halves on a baking sheet cut side down and roast at 400F/200C for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of your pumpkin. Pierce it with a knife to check for doneness, it should go in and out easily.
Don’t you think autumn is the ideal time to bake? There is plenty of fruit that’s been just harvested but the temperature is not scorching hot anymore which makes a warm oven is quite welcome. Especially when it is a cheaper substitute for central heating!
This cake is my take on a well-beloved zucchini loaf except instead of zucchini I am using shredded apples. They add the same amount of moisture to the cake and so much more aroma and flavour! Just look at the raw material I was working with!
You are going to fall in love with this cake because it has the familiar taste of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves we so crave in the fall and the little extras like streusel top and salted caramel drizzle take it to the next level. I also lightned up the cake by using only 1/2 cup of oil and a reduced amount of sugar. I’ve used Demerara sugar, which has more nutrients and minerals than regular white sugar, it’s light brown, raw and has a natural caramel flavour that hasn’t been refined out!
For the Cake
- Apples- 4 medium (3 cups shredded)
- Sugar ( I used Demerara/Turbinado sugar)-11/4 cup
- Oil-1/2 cup
- Eggs-4 large
- Flour-3 cups
- Baking soda- 2 tsp.
- Baking powder-1/2 tsp.
- Salt-1 tsp.
- Cinnamon- 1 tsp.
- Mixed Spice- 1/2 tsp.
- Nutmeg- 1/4 tsp.
For the Streusel Topping
- Flour-5 1/2 tbsp.
- Sugar (Demerara/Turbinado)-5 tbsp.
- Cinnamon- 1/4 tsp.
- Mixed Spice- 1/4 tsp.
- Nutmeg- 1/4 tsp.
- Butter, slightly softened- 3 tbsp.
- Walnuts (chopped)- 1/4 cup
Salted Caramel Drizzle ( I used pre-made Marks and Spencer brand)-2-3 tbs.
1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C
2. Grease the bottom only but not the sides of a 9″ round pan. Springform pan works the best as it makes it easier to remove the cake after it’s been baked. Shred the apples with skin on and mix together with sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients (cake ingredients only). Pour the batter into your pan and smooth the top.
3. Mix together the streusel ingredients in a small bowl with a fork or use your hands. The streusel won’t be crumbly but will have the consistency of a cookie batter. Pinch of small bits and cover the surface of the cake.
4. Bake for 60 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
5. Let cool for 30 minutes, then loosen the sides of the cake and remove it from the pan. Drizzle with pre-made salted caramel in any way your imagination allows. (If you caramel sauce is a bit stiff put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, that should help to get it runny and only use a good quality brand you trust. :-))
Even though this cake is incredibly soft and flavourful, the best part of it is the crunchy streusel top drenched in caramel. Pure indulgence!