All week long I've been looking for a recipe for an apple cake to bring to a party on Saturday night. But not just any apple cake. An apple cake that would wow; not one that would just sit on table and look like a regular old cake, without hinting at the
appleness of it. I spent at least a half an hour a day every day googling recipes. I tore through all of our cookbooks. I called my mother. I don't know why I got it into my head that I wanted to make an apple cake, except that there was a New York Times recipe for one from a few weeks ago that I wanted to make, but then decided I didn't like. This is what I made; it's an adaptation of a recipe I found by simply typing in some of the ingredients. It was a hit.
Apple Yogurt Cinnamon Nut Bundt Cake
The layer of walnuts and cinnamon ribboned in the middle and on top of this cake is what makes it special. It's pretty rich, so make sure you get at least 20 thin slices out of it. It takes quite a while to prepare everything, and over an hour to bake.
Equipment needed: a bundt cake pan, a food processor or chopper, a hand-mixer, a spatula, two medium-sized bowls and one large bowl.
CINNAMON NUT FILLING
2 1/2 cups walnuts (other nuts can be substituted)
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature (take out of the fridge 30 minutes before using)
1 1/4 cups low- or no-fat plain yogurt (you could probably use vanilla)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups of chopped apples, kind of cubed coarsely, big enough to bite into and taste! I used Gala apples, but I'm sure plenty of kinds work well.
Preheat 350 degrees
Butter a bundt pan and then flour (shaking out excess flour)
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt
In a small food processor, chop the walnuts, 3 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/2 cup sugar until the nuts are chopped. Add in 1/4 cup melted butter and pulse once or twice to combine, place in a small bowl, set aside.
To make the cake: In a large bowl beat the 1 cup softened butter with 1-1/4 cups sugar at high speed with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes. Add in eggs and beat well. Beat in yogurt and vanilla until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and add in the flour mixture, mixing just until blended. The batter will be thick. Add in all but about 1/4 cup of the chopped apples; mix to combine.
Sprinkle one-third of the nut mixture evenly into bottom of the bundt pan. Lay 1/4 cup of the chopped apples over the nut mixture.
Spoon just under half of the batter on top of the nut mixture, spreading out with a spatula. Sprinkle another 1/3 of the nut mixture over the batter, and then spoon another just-less-than-half of the batter over that layer of nuts. Sprinkle the last 1/3 of the nut mixture onto this layer of the batter, and then dollop with the remainging cake batter, spreading it over the nuts with a spoon or spatula. Don't worry if some of the nuts roll up into the batter...this will be on the bottom of the cake.
Bake for about an hour, an hour and 15 minutes, or until cake tests done
Cool cake in the pan on a rack for about 1 hour, then run a thin knife around the inner edges
Place rack on top of the pan, then flip to invert onto rack
Cool completely, wrap, and bring to your party!
You can drizzle a simple icing over the top, but that's not really necessary.