Messy But Good Birthday Cake

apple chocolate cake web

I may have mentioned before that presentation is NOT my forte.
Most of the things I make taste pretty good. Quite a few look … well, I guess the polite way to put it would be “homemade.”
The cake I baked for my mother’s birthday on Saturday was a case in point.
First I made a teensy (okay, a big) error in not making sure the pan was balanced in the oven. It tipped a bit as the cake baked, rendering the whole creation a little lopsided and not incidentally spilling batter onto the floor of the oven. My dog Truffle was NOT happy when the smoke alarm went off!
Next, I rushed through icing the thing. As a result, my lopsided cake was messier than ever.
Luckily, I had some gel and sprinkle to cover up at least some of the mess. Even more luckily, the birthday girl and her guests were nice enough not to mention the way the cake looked. And of course it did taste fantastic–moist from the apples yet very cakelike.
I thought of taking a photo of Jan on her 91st birthday. Unfortunately, the idea didn’t enter my mind until nine o’clock that night. She had gone to bed at 8:30. This doesn’t mean she didn’t have a great birthday–only that she is indeed 91.
I do have pictures of her 90th birthday party on the blog post for THAT event.
Meanwhile, here’s the recipe. Do watch your placement of the pan in the oven. (To be extra sure, put a cookie sheet under it!)

Apple Chocolate Cake
If you want to increase the apple presence in this recipe, use the powdered buttermilk manufactured by SACO, available in many grocery stores. Add 2 tablespoons of buttermilk powder to the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; then stir in 1/2 cup sweet cider when the recipe calls for the liquid buttermilk.
2-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated apple (about 2 medium apples)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, cream together the butter, oil, and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in the vanilla. Next, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, blending well after each addition. Stir in the apple.
Pour the batter into a greased, 10-inch bundt pan. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake for ten minutes; then remove it from the pan, and let it cool completely before frosting with cream-cheese frosting. Topping the whole with seasonal sprinkles and/or candy corn is a plus. Makes 12 servings.
piece of apple cake web

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3 Responses to “Messy But Good Birthday Cake”

  1. Peter says:

    I’ll comment only to correct the author’s misreading of her (and the birthday girl’s) guests’ failure to respond to the appearance of the cake. The cake did indeed wear a Jackson Pollock sort of icing, but it immediately conveyed the subliminal message “I am delicious.” Bear in mind that all the guests had previous experience at this kitchen’s table and therefore were well aware that never had a cake failed to fulfill the promise of dessert. The icing was surprisingly light and had the refreshing zing that cream cheese can impart when well-handled. The cake itself was subtle. I suspected the cocoa’s presence with each bit, but it was so balanced by the apple that I was thrown off balance and was genuinely uncertain. I was used to similar appearing cakes that later revealed that they were spice, or pumpkin, or applesauce cakes. There had been one cake whose frosting was so generous with caramel (or something similar), spices, raisins and especially nuts, that it became a dessert unto itself as far as I was concerned. This one was sly. Hmmm… what was going on here? Am I crazy? Well, it took a second slice, and nearly a third to confirm the unexpected but very nice (and again light) pairing of apple and chocolate. I’d say the icing on the cake was appropriate as could be. The zany and unexpected appearance did what it was supposed to do visually – convey to the dinner guests “You’ll love what’s inside (even if you cannot imagine it now)!” Speculating on apples and chocolate, I’m wondering if this cake would also be a hit with a caramel and nut icing? I know the author has recipes for such in her repertoire. I’ll have to behave and hope to be a guest again soon.

  2. Teri says:

    I’m intrigued, but I’ve never thought about chocolate and apples before. I like the cream cheese frosting, and I’d be tempted to dust it with more cocoa. Hey, on another note, is Peter remembering the icing on my great pumpkin cake? Is this the same Peter who calls it “Teri’s Much Adored Raisin Frosting’? (page. 119 PHC)

  3. tinkyweisblat says:

    Teri, it IS the very same Peter. And thanks for reminding me of your wonderful cake. October is just around the corner; I think it will be in my kitchen (and on my blog!)……..

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