The way food disappears at my office, you’d think that we don’t ever get fed. We had a Thanksgiving feast for lunch on Monday, with the office providing all the turkey and sides and employees supplying the desserts. There was so much food that I was sure this time people would be full and that there would be enough leftover to bring a slice home for Joseph, but I was sorely mistaken. I came back from a meeting and all that was left was a plate of crumbs.
Which isn’t in and of itself a testament to the quality of the cake because I have seen Easter candy that looked at least a couple years old put out at Halloween that was gone by the end of the day. If you need to get rid of food, just put it on out the table in the kitchen and it will be gone before you know it. However, enough people asked me for the recipe for me to feel confident that this was in fact a hit. The creamy, tangy, sweet frosting alone is worth it. Believe me, that’s a spoon you’ll be licking when you’re done mixing it together!
I actually kind of messed the frosting up, but you wouldn’t know it. The most important thing that I’ve learned about cooking and baking is to read the recipe ahead of time and get all the prep done before beginning. So I said to myself, “Self, boil down the cider first so it’s ready and not too super hot when you add it in with everything else.” What I should have said was, “Self, this new powdered sugar you got is super clumpy and make take a while to sift so you should do this first.” But I didn’t deal with the powdered sugar until after the cider and spent what felt like forever trying to get all my clumpy sugar through the sieve so that by the time I returned to the cider, it had turned to jelly.
I thought about starting over, but didn’t feel like it and decided I could salvage it. I tried heating it up a bit, thinking I could melt it back down, but it wasn’t really working. I finally just threw it in, but then the frosting wasn’t as thin as I wanted to be able to pour it over the cake. To compensate I just kept adding cider till I got the pourable consistency that I was looking for. The final product had tiny little jelly bits and frankly, I didn’t hear a single complaint.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Apple Cider Cake
Adapted from the Moonlight Baker
Do yourself a favor and have your powdered sugar sifted before you start working on your boiling down your cider for the frosting. Unless you want little jelly bits in your frosting, which hey, maybe you do. Also, see my note at the bottom if you would rather make your own pumpkin spice blend.
For the cake:
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup apple cider, heated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on low speed until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated.
With the mixer on low speed, add in ¼ of the flour mixture. Next, add in 1/3 of the buttermilk. Continue to alternate adding the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and beat until smooth.
Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add in heated apple cider. Mix until just combined. Wipe down sides of the bowl, then transfer batter to the prepared bundt pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45-50 or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool in pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Invert cake and let cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.
For the frosting:
½ cup apple cider, reduced by half
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
Beat together cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and increased in volume, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and apple cider, and beat until smooth.
Transfer the cake to a serving platter. Spoon the frosting all over the cake so that it’s dripping down the sides.
*I keep seeing all these recipes calling for pumpkin pie spice and it was annoying me because it seems silly when it seems to me that everyone most likely already has all the spices and why not just incorporate that into the recipe? I finally took an old cinnamon jar that I had and made my own pumpkin spice.