I summoned my inner pastry chef to design a cake that would be a cross between Honey’s favorite dessert and the traditional birthday offering. My inner chef goes by the name Google Search and she’s pretty savvy. I’ve made apple pies before, but I wanted this to be special for the man who gosh, would lasso the moon for me if I asked. I finally found two recipes, one from The Terrace Housewife and the other from Martha Stewart. I, of course, looked at the pictures first, because what’s a birthday cake if it isn’t pretty? I read the reviews and decided on combining the best parts of both recipes with my own personal twist. I liked Martha’s crumbly topping and the fact that T.T.H. had oats and cake incorporated into the
pie cake pie cake. Whatever. Caked mixed in meant I didn’t have to make a crust that would probably end up soggy or hard. I crossed my fingers and dove right in. The only downfall to baking something for the first time on a very special occasion was that the girls weren’t there to help me figure it out and put it all together, but Jay did a great job of washing dishes while I made an enormous mess of the kitchen.
For The Apple Filling
- 4 Granny Smith (green) Apples & about 3 of your favorite “other” apples to balance the flavors/acidity. I used Fuji apples because they are firm yet sweet.
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 3 medium limes (juiced)
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar (I’m not big on sugar, but you can add up to a cup)
For The Cake Batter
- 2 cups flour (or 1 cup wheat flour and 1 cup self rising flour)
- 1 cup oats (I used instant oatmeal because I’m a mom and that’s what was available in the pantry. Sue me.)
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup cold butter cut up in cubes
For The Crumble Topping (It’s almost déjà vu, but it’s not)
- 1 cup of packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup cold butter cut up in cubes
Before you do anything, please preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Thank you. Proceed.
Peel, core and cut up your apples. Try to resist eating them. In a saucepan on medium heat, add apples, sugar, lime juice and cinnamon. Cook the apples down until they are halfway between soft and firm. Hmmm, how do I explain this? They’ll look like they got an apple tan and all the sugar from the fruit and what you added will turn brown and saucy.
Turn the heat off and leave them to cool. Don’t worry about draining them, you’ll need the extra juices for what comes next.
In a bowl, mix the crumble topping ingredients: flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter until they look like teeny weeny pebbles. Put that aside.
In another bowl, prepare the cake batter. Ingredients: Combine flour, oats, sugar and butter until they start to look like little pebbles too, but don’t stop! Add the eggs and salt and mix some more. Take your cooled apples and fold them into the cake batter, being careful not to smush the apples. Don’t stare at it, you’ll make it nervous.
Scoop it up and put it in a greased spring form pan; a 9×13 is a good size. Give it some encouragement, tell it how pretty it is. Well…tell it it has potential.
Sprinkle your crumble topping all over the top of your pan and stick it in a 380 degree oven for about 35 – 40 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick in it and have it come out clean and dry. I prefer to use a skewer so I can check for doneness in the center of the cake. Place it on a cooling rack, run a knife along the edges and LET IT COOL. Please, control yourself. Dust with powdered sugar or serve with a scoop of ice cream. Or, you could just lock all the doors, close the curtains, hide in the corner and swallow it whole. Whatever makes you happy, it’s your cake. Pie. Pie cake.
I put it in a cake thingamajiggy and marveled at it’s beauty. Then I turned around and caught a glimpse of the kitchen sink and commenced Project Cleanup. Sigh.
Pop: What should I wish for? Sommer: Good health for everyone.
Here’s why it was my prettiest birthday cake ever. Firstly, I suck at decorating cakes and I offer no evidence to convince you otherwise on the basis that I am too embarrassed to show you my horrible attempts at it. Second, it is just a really beautiful looking cake. It’s sophisticated and sexy and super yummy. Like my Honey.