Guest Author - Shona Porteous
If you go into the produce section of the supermarket right now, there are two items which you will see a lot of - apples and cranberries! The last time I was in my grocery store, I counted about ten different varieties of apples, and there were bags of cranberries piled everywhere. It seemed only natural to make a dessert incorporating the two. Luckily, they go very well together!
When choosing apples to bake with, you want a firm, crisp apple that keeps its shape during cooking. McIntosh, Granny Smith, Fuji, Rome Beauty, and Braeburn apples are all good choices. Cranberries are usually quite cheap. They also keep extremely well in the freezer. Cranberries are available for only a limited time, so it's well worth buying a few bags for use year round.
This cake is a rustic country-style cake, chunky with fruit. The apple lends sweetness and the cranberries are bright and tart. Ginger and cinnamon provide a warm and spicy backdrop. Apple Cranberry Cake is the perfect afternoon snack with a cup of hot tea.
Apple Cranberry Cake
This is a vegan recipe.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
1 large apple, cored and diced
3/4 cup cranberries, can use frozen [they do not need to be thawed]
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a 9" square cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the fruit and stir until mixed into the flour. If you prefer not to have big chunks of fruit in your cake, you can put the sugar in a food processor along with the apple and the cranberries and pulse until the fruit is finely chopped. Stir this mixture into the flour and spices and continue with the recipe.
Add the oil to the apple juice and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine. The batter for this cake is very thick to compensate for the moisture in the fruit; however, you might find you need to add a couple of extra tablespoons of apple juice or water to get everything mixed together. Be careful not to use too much.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and put in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 9 or 12 pieces, depending on your preference!
Variation: Thanks to the fruit, this recipe is moist and delicious as a fat-free cake as well. Simply omit the oil and use 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce instead.