Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Revisiting a Fall Favorite - Chipotle Apple Pecan Cake

Today I want to revisit a recipe I first posted a couple of years ago. It's one of those recipes that has fall written all over it. Even if you decide not to opt for the chipotle seasoning, the flavors will still have your taste buds begging for more. 

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.

I have SO got to make this recipe again, very, very soon. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
So how is autumn shaping up in your neck of the woods? 
No color here in Texas, though some cool nights of late have me hopeful. 
I'm just pleased that the triple-digit temps are out of the forecast. :D


  1. hmmm I'm not wild about chipotle but it was that canned stuff with the adobo sauce -blech. I DO have a bundt pan now - got my mom's when some friends and I went up there last week. so no excuses not to try a bundt cake because Id ont have the pan (though it's still packed in a box and probably will be for a while...) oops can't make it- don't have that fancy mixer and can't justify getting one since I don't bake enough....and my mom didn't have one either - darn should have talked her into it several years ago...

    1. Susanna, watch for a mixer at a garage sale. Folks sell them all the time for a fraction of the price of a new one. Having one opens your mind to all kinds of ideas! Now the problem is if you're living alone and make this stuff, you have to share it otherwise we're eating it all!!! Yikes! And then all our walking or healthy choices go up in smoke. I love seeing pics of you and you and your buddies on facebook. Go you!!!!

    2. yeh I'd probably eat it all. and I haven't been walking the last couple of weeks eeks maybe moer - was too hot before work on nights and too tired when I got home then I was out of town some and working overtime...and now back on nights :-( I miss the walking because I felt better afterwards. sigh. I better not bake anythiing

    3. No fancy mixers needed, Susanna. A hand mixer will work or, like Tina said, a wooden spoon and arm muscle. Just think what a hit you'd be with your coworkers.

      I know what you mean about walking in the heat. Not a fun prospect. I'm always amazed when I see people jogging in the heat. Then again, I can't conceive jogging in the cold. Not unless someone is chasing me with a knife. Guess it's all about motivation. :D

      And, hey, how come Ruthy gets to be friends with you in FB. You need to come find me so I can see your pix, too.

    4. haven't had any good pics in a while- thought we WERE friends on fb...will have to find you and send a request

  2. Mindy, I remember this and I don't remember trying it even though I meant to. GASP. And I remember promising to try it!!!! You know, the Italian spice cookies call for black pepper in some of the recipes, and like salt vs. sugar, sometimes having that background taste brings out the other flavors. Like sharp cheese and apples. Wonderful! I need to try this once I'm caught up on writing stuff in a couple of weeks. But will I remember??????? The only way I thought to put out my fun scarecrows and fall harvest stuff was because I had Mary and Tina e-mail me to do it...and then used my daycare helpers to get it done. I am certifiably pathetic!!!

    1. Ruthy, the heat does indeed bring out other favors. However, knowing that you're not crazy about spicy (hot) foods, I'd suggest you cut back the chipotle to about a quarter to half a teaspoon and then leave it out of the glaze.

      Sharp cheese and apples... Reminds me of my grandmother. She loved that, especially with her Apple pie.

      See, now I would think your little people would remind you to out out your fall decorations. Not Tina and Mary.

  3. We don't do autumn. This time of year is called cold summer.

    I'm so excited I can go outside again.

    1. Yeah, I almost spoke too soon when I said we were done with the triple digits. Some places west of us will hit that today. 95 for us. Sigh.

  4. As for that recipe. I am a total pecan lover. This cake would be my downfall. MUST NOT MAKE THIS unless I can make it and bring to work. OOOOH. That's an idea.

  5. Well I don't have a fancy mixer and don't plan to get one, and I still make all these recipes. The secret is in the arm muscles. Prevents us from developing WINGS.

    1. What if we've already developed wings?

    2. Then they flap wildly while you stir :)

  6. YUM! This sounds amazing. And I think I would even try the bit of spice. :)

    Thanks for sharing again, Mindy. I never did try this either. I think this may be the year!

  7. I think you just need to mail us a slice so we can try it and see if we like the chipotle or not - maybe 2 slices so we can get a 2nd opinion...

    1. Hmm... You know, you may be on to something, Susanna. ;)

  8. I'm another one who said I was going to try this the last time you posted it, but didn't! And I've come to love that deep, earthy taste of chipotle. Not hot. Not spicy, But warming - you hit it on the nose, Mindy.

    So this is going on the list of things to do once I get back into the baking mood. I can't say "once I'm caught up on writing stuff" like Ruthy, because I have a feeling I'll never be ahead of this game. :)

    And on the topic of fancy mixers - just think of all the baking Amish homemakers do! You won't find a fancy mixer in their kitchens!

    1. Jan, earthy is perfect for this time of year. Especially in your climate.

      Like you, I don't think "caught up" will ever be in my vocabulary when we're talking about writing. Sigh.

      You know, I bet under those bonnets and plain frocks, those Amish homemakers have some nice muscles.

  9. Oh my goodness! What an intriguing sounding combination of flavors... My sister is a big fan of Chipotle. Might have to pass this on.

  10. That's exactly what I thought when I first stumbled upon this recipe, Patty. Luckily, it did not disappoint. Hope you sister enjoys it. :)