Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Cake, Texas Style!

Yee-haw! Kick up your heels, gang, because today we've got something that's perfect for these cool fall nights. Or days, whichever you prefer.

A couple weeks ago, Virginia, aka the Fresh Pioneer, shared an amazing recipe for apple cake. Today I'm going to share one with a Texas flare that's bound to have Edna ready to take a walk on the wild side.

This is called Chipotle Apple Pecan Cake. Now before all you folks north of Oklahoma get to hollerin', let me just say IT AIN'T THAT HOT. Really. I promise. Would I steer you wrong?

Okay, don't answer that last one.

This cake just screams autumn with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Not to mention apples. But unlike your average apple cake, this one will warm you up on the inside. Again, it's not hot.

So here we go.

Your list of ingredients:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 large sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored, and diced (about 3 cups) **I used Honeycrisp apples
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • Spicy Caramel Glaze (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 10 inch bundt pan and set aside.

In a bowl, combine 3 cups flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, chipotle, ginger, white pepper, salt, and cloves. Set aside. (Time for author intrusion. I see you, staring at the chipotle and white pepper. I know what you're thinking. First, let me just say that I am not a fan of spicy-hot foods. Yes, these ingredients lend a little warmth, but not a real heat. It's the kind you feel in the back of your throat a minute or two after you swallow. Just a nice warm sensation. However, if you want to be a total weenie, I will let you omit the chipotle. I do recommend, however, that you at least try it once. If the whole teaspoon scares you, try a half a teaspoon.)

In a mixing bowl, beat oil and sugar with electric mixer (like Edna) on medium speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in vanilla and as much flour mixture as you can. (The mixture is thick, but I managed to get all of mine in with out burning up the motor on my mixer)

Stir in remaining flour mixture, apples, and pecans.

The mixture will be very thick. As evidenced by the wooden spoon stuck in the middle.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. (mine was finished in about 60-65 minutes)

AS SOON AS YOU PUT CAKE IN OVEN (I'm being very emphatic so you won't miss this part), prepare Spicy Caramel Glaze.

Okay, gang, I'll be honest with you, this glaze is where the heat is. The first time I made it, I thought my lips might burn off. But I ate it anyway. It was kind of addicting. In subsequent times, though, I've cut back on the amount of chipotle pepper the recipe calls for.

In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup whipping cream, and 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle powder (that's the red stuff you see - I cut that 1/2 tsp. back to about 1/8-1/4 tsp and it was perfect - my lips were happy)

Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally. Boil gently 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tsp. vanilla. Let stand until slightly thickened. (Okay, I failed to read all of the instructions the first time I made this and waited until the cake was about due out of the oven. Then I saw it was supposed to cool. Yikes! So, I put the hot mixture into a bowl then placed that over some ice water and whisked it. Voila! In just a couple of minutes it was the perfect consistency)

When cake is done, cool in pan for 10 minutes. See my little contraption, there? Baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then the cooling rack on that. You'll see why in just a sec.

Invert cake on rack and drizzle warm cake with Spicy Caramel Glaze, respooning glaze that drips on the baking sheet over the cake.

Cool completely before serving.

Look at those chunks of apple and pecan. I love pecans. This cake is very moist with all the right flavors. Like I said, the perfect fall cake.

Now it's time to fess up. If you were to make this recipe, would you go for the gusto and follow the recipe as is, or would you totally ignore any ingredient with the word pepper in it?

Go on, give it a whirl. You know you want to.


  1. Oh, WOW!!

    Um, I hate anything hot. BUT every now and then I get those spiced nuts and they've got chili pepper mixed with whatever sweet glaze it is and I can't stop eating them!

    I can see how this is going to be totally delicious. Also, thinking of those chocolate bars with chili added. What about a chocolate chili cake?

    Mostly, I'm just totally impressed you have chipotle powder on hand. :D

    I have canned chipotle peppers in the pantry for Chicken mole. You think that would work? Big apple bits, pecans and lumps of chipotle peppers??

    Maybe not.

    And yes, Edna is all up for some hot chili cake. I think she's been a bit bored at my house. Better than the box she was in, and a lot noisier, but not a lot of mixing going on.

    1. Funny you should mention chili-chocolate cake. I made a Texas Sheet Cake over the weekend and, after the fact, I wished I had thought to add just a touch of pepper to that. And I know what you mean about those sweet and spicy pecans. Those things are so addicting and I think it's that touch of heat. I can't explain it, but I'm sure that's it.

      I have a couple of chocolate cookies recipes that call for chipotle or ancho chili powder, so I keep them on hand. A little goes a long way.

      Suggestion for you, since you don't like hot. Add the pepper to the cake, but don't put any in the glaze. You just might find it oddly addicting :-)

    2. Old fashioned gingerbread recipes tell you to put black pepper in with the other spices. This would be the same thing, to my way of thinking. I will give it a try sometime!


  2. P.S. Jan, Crispin is a wonderful name for your oven!

    And I loved the poem. I've never seen that one.... beautiful.

    1. Virginia, my family thinks I'm nuts for even considering naming an appliance.

      Obviously they don't spend as much quality time with them as I do...

      The poem is from Shakespeare's Henry V. I love it - the whole speech. Henry V and the English army are in France, getting ready to fight the French at the Battle of Agincourt. They're greatly outnumbered. You have to go to Youtube and listen to the speech as Kenneth Branagh does it... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-yZNMWFqvM

      By the way, the English won, on St. Crispin's Day, 25 October 1415.

  3. Okay Mindy, you're right. I want to give it a whirl!

    I even have chipotle pepper in my cupboard!

    Knowing my crowd, though, I'd have to keep that ingredient a secret until they've devoured the cake :)

    1. Good idea, Jan. What they don't know won't hurt them :-)

  4. Ohhhhh, Kenneth Branagh as King Henry V. *swoon*

    And *sigh* at that last speech to his bride...

  5. I just saw something about combining spicy, sweet and savory. Love this!

    1. Julie, you were talking about food, right? Just checking, because that's apparently how Virginia likes her men - spicy, sweet, and savory:-)

  6. Uh-oh! Virginia's been swept away. She's such a romance novelist.

  7. Oh. My. Stars. (just call me Ruthy). This sounds amazing! Look at all that pepper in there. How fun! :)

    Mindy, I'm going to trust you and give this a try soon. If my mouth goes up in flames, I'm heading to Texas to get you!


  8. BTW, I think I'll need to buy chipotle powder. I've only bought them in cans.

  9. I will seriously ignore the chipotle powder. Don't even have it in the house, wouldn't know where to find it and don't want to know!!!! I'm opting to make the blander version of this delish looking cake. I even have some lonely apples sitting on the counter looking for some place to go. :-)

  10. Wait, wait, what about the men?

    Spicy, sweet and savory? Yes, and yes and ?? All I can think of is cannibalism for that last part. I would never try to roast my husband because he's been contaminated with cilantro. Plus, he'd be tough and stringy by at his age.

    I finally cracked a few of those books Julie sent me from her conference.

    YOWZA! I didn't know you could print words like these! Frantically trying to find a place to put them where the kids won't find them.

    Maybe Edna can hold on to them...

  11. Thank you so much. I have been looking for a good stand by apple cake recipe!! Pepper does not frighten me. My favorite grandma Christmas cookies include pepper!!!

  12. Missy you did that so well, girlfriend! :)

    I will make this as written except for the sauce because I am a wussy Yankee! But some pepper mixed in to give a little bite...oh so yummy! And evil TEEEEENA WILL NOT SHARE that amazing cookie recipe. The brat. Tex. I'm glad you love us enough to"let us in!"