Spiced Apple & Hazelnut Cake

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By Team Studio Kitchen

Bakeology Podcast host and season six, Great Australian Bake Off runner up Adam Miller is kindly sharing this wonderful recipe with Studio Kitchen. Words, recipe and images supplied by Adam.

'This cake is a thing of autumnal beauty. It perfectly captures the change of seasons here in Melbourne, as the leaves transform from vibrant green to mellow orange and the crispness in the air signals the time to rug-up draws near.

I could think of nothing better than sitting down on an autumn afternoon with a slice of this cake, a cup of tea and good company, as the leaves slowly tumble around us.

There’s nothing overly technical about this cake, with it’s simple spiced apples and unassuming cake batter. And as so often in life, it’s the simple things that shine through. I’ve dialled up the spice in the apple mix, so they really sing once they’re baked in the cake. The apples bake just enough to easily cut through when you’re slicing the cake, while still maintaining some texture to not completely blend into the cake.

Some tips for when you’re layering the cake:

  • Leave a 2-3cm border around the apple layer so you can seal them in with the cake batter.
  • You’ll use about two-thirds of the prepared apples in the actual cake. The remaining apples can be made into a sweet, sprightly apple sauce you can serve on the side.
  • When you’re spreading the second layer of cake batter, the cake will be very domed, almost like a pie. This is how it should be! When it bakes the batter will puff up and level out.'

Time

2

hour

0

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Easy

Save

0

Portions

12
servings

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Ingredients

Servings

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APPLE FILLING

750g Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, halved and sliced into 2-3mm slices
120g caster sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground cardamom
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp vanilla extract
 juice from half a lemon

CAKE BATTER

200g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
2tsp vanila extract
2 eggs, room temperature
225g plain flour
75g hazelnut meal
 pinch salt
200 ml full fat milk, room temperature
 juice of half a lemon
75g roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
 q.s. icing sugar, to decorate
1

For the apple filling... peel and core your apples. Slice in half, from top to bottom, and then slice into 2-3mm half-moon slices. Place the apple in a bowl, along with the other filling ingredients and mix so the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

 

2

For the cake batter... pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C and grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm spring-form tin. Set aside.

With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using hand beaters, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

While the butter and sugar are creaming, pour the lemon juice and milk into a jug and mix to combine. This will thicken up, turning into buttermilk so don’t be alarmed when it looks curdled.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, hazelnut meal and salt together and set aside.

Once the butter and sugar are creamed, add the vanilla and one egg and beat until combined. Add the remaining egg and beat until fully combined, remembering to scrape the bowl.

Add a third of the flour mix and beat on low until almost combined. Add a third of the thickened milk and beat on low until almost combined. Repeat this two more times until all the flour and milk are added and you have a smooth, thick cake batter.

 

3

To assemble... spread half of the cake batter over the base of your prepared cake tin. Leaving a 2cm edge, layer the apple slices over the cake batter. I used about two-thirds of the apple slices and had a pile of apple slices three layers high.

You’ll notice there’s a lot of liquid left in the apple bowl. Reserve this, along with the left-over apple slices to make a beautiful, spiced apple sauce*.

Spoon the remaining cake batter over the apple slices and gently spread the batter to the edges of the tin, sealing the apples in like a pie, ensuring all the apples are covered with cake batter. The uncooked cake will be domed, which is what you want. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top of the cake.

Place in the oven and bake for 60-70 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. The cake is baked when it’s starting to brown on the top, a skewer comes out clean and the apples show no resistance when you test the cake.

Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, and then release and remove the side of the tin. Leave to cool on the base. You can serve this cake slightly warm, or leave to cool fully.

Dust with excessive icing sugar and serve with a dollop of double cream and some spiced apple sauce*, if desired. Enjoy!

 

 

4

Store in and air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days

*BONUS RECIPE – Spiced Apple Sauce

  • Place all the remaining apple slices and spiced liquid into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the temperature down and simmer for 5 minutes, until the apples are soft.
  • Pour the mixture into the beaker of a hand mixer, and blitz into a purée.
  • Pour into a container or bowl and cool in the fridge.
  • Use this to dollop on the side when serving this cake, or as a filling for another cake.

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

For the apple filling... peel and core your apples. Slice in half, from top to bottom, and then slice into 2-3mm half-moon slices. Place the apple in a bowl, along with the other filling ingredients and mix so the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

For the cake batter... pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C and grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm spring-form tin. Set aside.

With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using hand beaters, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

While the butter and sugar are creaming, pour the lemon juice and milk into a jug and mix to combine. This will thicken up, turning into buttermilk so don’t be alarmed when it looks curdled.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, hazelnut meal and salt together and set aside.

Once the butter and sugar are creamed, add the vanilla and one egg and beat until combined. Add the remaining egg and beat until fully combined, remembering to scrape the bowl.

Add a third of the flour mix and beat on low until almost combined. Add a third of the thickened milk and beat on low until almost combined. Repeat this two more times until all the flour and milk are added and you have a smooth, thick cake batter.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

To assemble... spread half of the cake batter over the base of your prepared cake tin. Leaving a 2cm edge, layer the apple slices over the cake batter. I used about two-thirds of the apple slices and had a pile of apple slices three layers high.

You’ll notice there’s a lot of liquid left in the apple bowl. Reserve this, along with the left-over apple slices to make a beautiful, spiced apple sauce*.

Spoon the remaining cake batter over the apple slices and gently spread the batter to the edges of the tin, sealing the apples in like a pie, ensuring all the apples are covered with cake batter. The uncooked cake will be domed, which is what you want. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top of the cake.

Place in the oven and bake for 60-70 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. The cake is baked when it’s starting to brown on the top, a skewer comes out clean and the apples show no resistance when you test the cake.

Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, and then release and remove the side of the tin. Leave to cool on the base. You can serve this cake slightly warm, or leave to cool fully.

Dust with excessive icing sugar and serve with a dollop of double cream and some spiced apple sauce*, if desired. Enjoy!

 

4
0 hours 0 minutes

Store in and air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days

*BONUS RECIPE – Spiced Apple Sauce

  • Place all the remaining apple slices and spiced liquid into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the temperature down and simmer for 5 minutes, until the apples are soft.
  • Pour the mixture into the beaker of a hand mixer, and blitz into a purée.
  • Pour into a container or bowl and cool in the fridge.
  • Use this to dollop on the side when serving this cake, or as a filling for another cake.