Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Molasses Cake with Sugared Apples

Just two little days can change my culinary mood so much. As of yesterday, it's Autumn. I can't begin to express the tingly excitement of being a Tuesdays with Dorie baker during the Fall. Join in and bring a little bit bit of cinna-magic into your kitchen.
This week's assignment was a Dimply Plum Cake. Dimply. And last week we made Chocolate Chunkers. Chunkers. Dimply and Chunkers. Perhaps it was this not-so-subtle 2 week message that inspired me to make a lightened version of Dorie's cake. And that's not all I changed. Craving the flavors of fall, I added molasses, ginger, and cinnamon to the cake batter and covered the top with not plums, but sugared slices of September apple. With yogurt standing in for half the fat, this cake is guaranteed not to make you dimply or chunky- although I certainly wouldn't hold it against anyone and expect the same courtesy when necessary. A plain and unpretentious un-frosted cake, it's unbeatable with a cup of hot cider, or with a scoop of low fat vanilla cream. I have it on good authority, ahem, that is also superb for breakfast with a dollop of vanilla yogurt. But don't take my word for it. Make some yourself to welcome in the season of "the winnowing wind and soft-dying days."
Money Saving Tips: Apples have a very long life, if stored unbruised in a cool, dark place. I keep mine in the refrigerator, but if I had a cool basement, that's where they'd be.
Molasses Cake with Sugared Apples
Estimated Cost: $3.50
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used half whole wheat)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup molasses
2 eggs
1/3 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 or 3 large baking apples, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugar, and molasses until creamy. Add the eggs and beat well. Gently beat in yogurt and vanilla. Gently add dry ingredients, mixing only until blended. Scrape batter into prepared baking dish. Cover the top with apples and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes. Coming Tomorrow:
Fall Vegetable and Pumpkin Chili

74 comments:

Marthe said...

Your apple cake looks delicious!! But what is molasses??

Girl Japan said...

Rightfully done so... what a nice fall introduction as always you amaze me!!!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I liked how your mind thought the names were a clue to lighten the cake, lol! You are just too funny!!! I'm having breakfast now and that would be perfect to go with my latte!

HoneyB said...

Looks awesome! Dimply reminded me of my handsome almost 22 and single son. lol. I think this was a very photogenic cake! Love your version however and maybe my guys would eat it!

VeggieGirl said...

Oh my, that apple cake - PURE DELICIOUSNESS!!!!

The Blonde Duck said...

After this weekend, that looks to be exactly what I need. Not even the Blond Duck is immune to weeks of heavy sweets!

gigi said...

I love how you change things up, for the better and healthier version! I wish I had as much confidence in my own creations! Love apples any way and how!

Cathy said...

Oh, I knew that you could pull off what I was only able to dream about, Prudy! I thought and thought about apples for this cake. Apples seemed like they would work with that crumbly, honey-brown cake, and IT'S FALL, by gosh!! Apples just feel right. But Dorie didn't give an apple variation, and you know me, I'm too chicken to even leave out the pinch of ginger without permission. Now I feel like I have permission, and I am going to go and make your apple cake.

Mary Ann said...

Wonderful changes! and here I was thinking this one wasn't too bad since it didn't have a full stick of butter! I want to try it your way, but I can't deal with fall yet. I am still missing those Southern seasons! It looks wonderful, Prudy!

Amanda said...

HI Prudy and thanks for stopping by my blog! :) Yours is fabulous and I just LOVE the design. I have added you to my blog roll, hope you'll add me too ;-)

This cake looks wonderful by the way. We have a boatload of apples we just picked at the orchard, so this is perfect!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Apples mean fall to me and your cake looks like the perfect fall breakfast, er, dessert. I'm putting this on the weekend list for me!

Audrey said...

I was hoping someone would try this with spples - and the flavors you added to it are perfect.

Andrea said...

Wow, Molasses Apple Cake, another delicious sounding recipe from Prudy! I am giving this a try for sure, my husband isn't too keen on plums and after he had a piece of the plum cake and said he liked the 'cake' part just not the plums I asked if he'd like me to try it with apples, now I won't even have to fuss with changing the recipe and I can just check out yours, thanks! I'm so like you with fall, it's just excitement all around for this amazing season in our home. I love how you described it as tingly, I'd never thought of it that way, but you hit the nail on the head with that description. And I can't wait to see your vegetable pumpkin chili tomorrow, sounds wonderful :)

Lori said...

molasses and ginger!!!! what great flavors to go with the brown sugar heaviness of the cake. this note is going in my cookbook.

Laura said...

Love the healthy apple variation, Prudy! I wish I would have thought of apples - I'm going to make this again next weekend for some friends and I'll be sure to use your version. Thanks!

Prudy said...

Marthe:
It is the syrup that remains after sugar is processed. In England they call it treacle. Do you know it as that?

chocolatechic said...

I used apples too, but yours looks much better than mine.

Maria said...

I love the changes you made. This cake is perfect for fall and I love that it is a healthy dessert! Great work!

I am glad you are going to try the pretzels. I would go with Bobby Flay's recipe that we adapted. We really liked them both, they are both winners, but that won was a smidge better. Let me know how it goes!! Good luck!

Karen said...

I love that you tried it with apples! Looks delicious! :)

CB said...

ooohh apple cider. I am craving apple cider now. I bet it was delish with your dimply molasses apple cake. Great job!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Amy said...

OOOOOO, Prudy! You are doing it again... how am I supposed to walk with my knees getting so weak?? :)

This looks heavenly :) Wooooo weeeee!!

Jamie said...

Looks delicious! I did mine with apples too! Yum!

Anne said...

Yum! Those flavors sound like my mom's molasses crinkles recipe but with apples, too- I want to make another! I'll try the yogurt sub next time. We have to do what we can, baking so much! :)

Catherine said...

This looks delicious. We're hoping to go apple picking on Saturday, so maybe we'll have to try this with our super fresh apples!

jenjen said...

Your cake looks so wonderful! It's funny -- I posted on someone's blog yesterday that my favorite things about fall are the smell of gingerbread and baking apples and your dessert pretty much sums up my favorite smells. What a wonderful way to begin the season! Thanks!!!

Di said...

Your cake looks delicious! I think you're right--I should have sliced the apples thinner for my cake. I also thought about sprinkling sugar on top, but didn't. Next time, I'm thinking about just chopping the apples and mixing them into the batter.

Amy said...

Ooooh yummy!! This looks wonderful!! I'm going to have to try this!

I love your blog by the way...I love the music in the background!

-Amy
www.singforyoursupperblog.com

Kimberly said...

Yummm; what a cool variation.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I love this! What a great way to transition into Fall. The apples and molasses are brilliant!

Natashya said...

I can always count on you for a great twist on the theme. I love how confident you are with a recipe, you really make it your own. I love the apple cake.
ps, I noticed on one of your comments to another that you are waiting for a deal on cardamom. I got mine at a Persian market and have also seen it at Asian markets for much cheaper than the big name, jarred ones.

Allie said...

Love that you used apples for the fall time approach! Your cake looks yummy. Nice to see there's good looking cakes that taste good without all the icing.

Marie said...

Oh Erin, I am impressed! Your cake looks fabulous and I love that you redid it and made it all molassey and appley for fall! You go girl!

Flourchild said...

Your Dimply apple cake looks tasty. I love all these great fall recipes!

Dr. Mom said...

Looks yummy and perfect for fall!

TeaLady said...

OH!OH!OH!OH! This is heaven. I have to try this version. YUMMY!!!!!

Beth said...

I love apple cake!! This looks like a perfect autumn bake

CECIL said...

This looks super delicious!! I don't eat apples (just as it is) a lot (I know..I know!) but I love baking with apples or anything with apple. Just don't really like it fresh fruit apple. I will try to make this for sure!

Bridgett said...

I can almost smell and taste the cake from here, just look at the color!! What a delectable take on this weeks selection. I am in awe of your cake, Prudy! You did a beautiful adaptation.

noble pig said...

Ah I feel Fall in the air! Love the cake!

Peggy said...

I really wanted to do apples but was afraid they would not cook enough in the 40 minutes. I bet your house smelled wonderful while it was baking.

MK and Co. said...

I could almost smell that delicious cinnamon apple aroma coming from my oven. Almost! Guess I'll have to take care of that. Thanks for the great fall recipe!

Esi said...

Nice job! I always love seeing your takes on the TWD selections

Cathie said...

I completely agree with you about it being Autum, it makes me want to cook as well!! I put up my first Donna Hay, although it's only a side dish!!!

1freshstart said...

Yum!

n.o.e said...

If it's molasses, it has my name on it! So send that cake on over here... LOVE your cake with apples and all those fall flavors. Can't wait to try it myself. I almost always sub yogurt for oil, and I did on my peach version. Great job!
Nancy

Darius T. Williams said...

I'm loving the apples! Great job!

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Aggie said...

I love that you lighten up your baking to make it a little more guilt free. I would love a slice of this for dessert tonight. Those spices and that apple are calling my name!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

molasses and apples--sounds great! i did think that flavor of buttermilk would be great in this cake...that's great that it can stand in for the oil!

Melissa said...

I love what you did with the cake! I'm in the mood to bake something fall-like myself, I love this season!

Tammy said...

wow, great variation!

Marjie said...

I love your objection to "dimply" and "chunky". I'm forever changing things, too: "this is a perfect recipe except for ______!"

This cake looks great!

The Food Librarian said...

Oh my! Those apples look perfect. I love how "autumn" your dough looks. :)

Kayte said...

Absolutely gorgeous...I am going to have to stop coming by here as it is so tasty looking that I swear I put on pounds just looking at your food.

Nice job, as always.

How's school going? Oh, and let me know if you need to know how to mummify a chicken as we have done that one twice!

Shandy said...

Oh Prudy! Your cake looks and sounds so perfect and yummy for fall! I just posted mine and I have to tell you I bombed onthis one. I know what I did wrong, I think but I just "have" to try your way immediately. I have been craving a Fall dessert to welcome in the Romantic season of the year. Okay, to me Fall is romantic =). You are such a brilliant lady!

Mike Spoodles said...

Looks tremendous! Once again, I'm foiled by my unwillingness and fear to tamper with recipes and experiment. Apple cake is my absolute favorite cake in the world!

Emiline said...

Cinna-magic! I love that.
This looks perfect!

~Holly said...

Fall is in the air . . . I am so excited!! :)

Steph said...

I always love seeing the twist you make on the TWDs! That looks really yummy with all those apple slices piled on top.

Cristine said...

Looks amazing! Great substitutions!

Nickki said...

That looks fabulous!! The perfect autumn cake :)

Grace said...

this sounds about 128 times better than a dimply plum cake. apples trump plums in my book any day. :)

Emily said...

I agree with Grace! I love your alterations! It sounds all fancy schmancy and looks so inviting!

Engineer Baker said...

What a wonderfully seasonal cake - I love molasses, but I'd be afraid that I'd ruin my cake making all those alterations!

Christine said...

Oh that so makes me think of fall. Love the substitutions that you made your cake looks great!

Madam Chow said...

Our weather has started to cool (thank heavens), and I'm thinking about making things like soup again. The apple/molasses combo is a wonderful idea!

bakingwiththeboys said...

I want to jump through the screen and it this. That combination sounds fantastic.

Prudy said...

Thanks Amy! I appreciate the kind words.

kim said...

this sounds DELICIOUS! lol, i am definitely feeling the dimply chunker effect ;) the lightened up recipe sounds great, and so do the flavors!

PheMom said...

Fantastic version - I think I would have liked this much more! Happy Autumn!

Jo said...

Hi Prudy. Your cake looks amazing! I love anything with apples in it. I will most definitely try your recipe. And, thank you for visiting my blog and for your words of encouragement and welcome. BTW, I love your website!

Teanna said...

By making this cake healthy, you make my heart pitter-patter!!! And it looks so gorgeous! You are always so brilliant!

Rigby said...

I love the variations that you made! Sounds wonderful!!!

SiHaN said...

now that's fit for an autumn feast!

Jaime said...

that's funny about the chunky and dimply :) the apples all lined up in the pan look wonderful... i'll bet your cake was so much better than my dry yucky one