I wanted cake. I didn’t feel like a cake with gobs of frosting, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. I needed something lighter. I quickly scanned my fridge and counter. I had strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and 2 frozen bananas. Nope. I wasn’t salivating, so that wasn’t going to work. I had one apple. What to do; what to make.
Just like you see in the cartoons, a light bulb went off. It nearly blinded me, but luckily I’m OK now.
I made a loaf cake and layered it with apples, dates, walnuts and a brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Of course you can skip the dates if you want, but I love them! You could substitute Craisins instead of dates. I’m sure they will be perfect with the apple/cinnamon/walnut flavors. You don’t have to do any swirling, just layer the ingredients and you’ll end up with an absolutely delicious cake with a moist light crumb. No frosting needed.
Sprinkling a little cinnamon sugar (the same as you’d put on toast) on top turned the exposed walnuts into candied nuts. Oh my!!! Ice cream with caramel sauce drizzled when serving? Or ice cream with chocolate fudge sauce drizzled? YES, please!
½ cup sugar
1 stick salted butter
2 large eggs
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 ¾ tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup milk
¾ cup chopped apple (1 medium apple)
5 or 6 dates, chopped (or chocolate chips or craisins)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup brown sugar
1 rounded tsp cinnamon
Extra cinnamon and granulated sugar for sprinkling on top
Caramel sauce is optional
In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and brown sugar with a fork, removing any lumps. Set aside.
In mixer bowl, beat sugar and butter for about 2 minutes at medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add Vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Alternately add flour and milk, mixing until incorporated.
In a standard 5” x 9” loaf pan, butter the sides and bottom. Pour in approximately ¾” batter to cover the bottom of pan and sprinkle dates, chocolate chips or craisins on top. Add half of remaining batter, sprinkle half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, half the apples, and half the walnuts on top. Add remaining batter, remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, remaining apples, and the last of the walnuts. Press lightly with your fingers or a fork to embed the toppings. You don’t want them falling off later.
BAKE at 350°F for about 40 minutes. Use toothpick test. The top will be golden brown and if you used a glass loaf pan, you’ll be able to see that the sides are a nice rich brown.
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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016