Apple Cranberry Cake
It has been such an awesome week for me. Although it’s been very busy, I’ve actually been managing to find time to hang out with some of my nearest and dearests over the last few days, with plans to do more. It’s kept me away from the computer a lot – but it feels good to be out there renewing connections and catching up. I’ve found that I will sometimes fall in to that trap of talking to or running in to friends and then saying ‘we should get together soon!’, and then never actually following through on that. So I’ve been trying to be more pro-active about following through, making plans and touching base with the people who are important in my life. And – if you’re reading this, and are wondering why I haven’t contacted you recently – try to remember it’s a work in progress, and maybe contact me instead!
Aside from my blooming social-butterfly-ness, I’ve also been pretty busy around the house – preparing for the holidays, getting the drywall in the den patched up and preparing to paint the remainder of the den (Bright Purple!), dealing with Miss Thing and her new OMG-You-Never-Let-Me-Do-Anything-Ever Attitude. (well, technically, it’s not a new attitude… it’s just been a lot-lot-lot more … ah… active… lately) and busily procrastinating getting family pictures done (or getting my holiday cards in the mail). I still have some holiday shopping to take care of – because I’m lame like that… lol! But I still have time to get it done. I hope.
In other holiday related news, I lost the fight with Mr. Man and Miss Thing on the whole Holiday-Tree thing, which I’m still pretty disgruntled about. I was hoping to convince Mr. Man and Miss Thing to consider trying out some more Eco Friendly alternatives, but I was outvoted. Both Miss Thing and Mr. Man are convinced that only a green, pine-needle-laden monstrosity will do, despite my best efforts. It’s very disappointing, since I would very much like to put forth our time and effort in to finding and making our own holiday traditions. (Preferably Eco Friendly ones) It’s frustrating to feel so little control over how my holidays are spent and to be the lone voice trying to convince my family to be more eco friendly. <sigh> But I’m not going to let it get me down – I’ll just keep working on ‘em for next year. Maybe if I keep plugging at it, I’ll wear them down.
Part of my new found zeal for environmentalism probably stems from the fact that I’ve been working on reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. I mean, I’ve always tried to be green, but I’m going through this book and really developing an appreciation for how far I still need to go. It’s been a real eye-opener, and I feel really lucky to live in an area where it’s easier to support these ideals. At any rate, it’s made me even more appreciative of the services I use to obtain local food, FFTY, Planet Organics, and Spud! All of which have made it much easier for me to make informed choices about where I’m getting food for my family. In spite of the fact that I think I’m going to become heartily sick of apples by the time spring fruits roll around… although perhaps less so with this apple cake recipe.
Initially, I had intended to take this cake over to a friend’s house for dessert, which is why I don’t have any in-process pictures. For one, I was rushing to get it baked, and for two – I figured it would probably be a little tacky to show up with a slice missing out of the cake (lol!). Unfortunately, the cake hadn’t cooled enough to frost before I had to go, and I ended up having to leave it at home. When I was finally able to frost it and taste it, I realized the lack of in process photos would have to be overlooked, because this cake is pretty darn awesome, and needed to be posted.
To be honest, I basically riffed off of the Carrot Cake recipe I’ve posted about before – with a few modifications. And I think I like this apple version better. Although, if nothing else, it gives me something easy to try and use up the never ending supply of apples I get in the winter from FFTY, since we’re still not really apple fans. (To clarify – apple the fruit, not apple the tech… my next computer will be a mac, darn it! and I’m fairly fond of my iPhone) I’m going to try and come up with an alternative to the pineapple next time, however. I happened to have a couple of cans of pineapple sitting in the bottom of the pantry, but since I don’t really intend to buy any more once those are used up it would probably be a good time to find something different to use. I’m open to suggestions – so far my idea was maybe some kind of combination of buttermilk (for tang) and more apples (for bulk)… thoughts?
- 3 Cups Flour
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tbs Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 and 1/2 Cups Safflower Oil
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tbs Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Pecans; chopped
- 2 cups Apple; finely grated
- 1 cup crushed Pineapple
- 2 tbs Brandy
- 2 tbs White Wine
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
- Preheat the Oven to 350°
- Butter and Flour two 9″ Round Cake Pans
- Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat
- Toss the Pecans in the melted butter and cook until fragrant. Set aside.
- Plump the Cranberries by heating them together with the brandy and white wine. Set aside.
- In to a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and ground ginger
- Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla and Beat well (batter will be very thick)
- Gently Fold in the Pineapple and apples until batter is moistened
- When combined, stir in the Pecans and Cranberries (including soaking liquid)
- Divide the batter between the two cake pans
- Bake on the middle rack of oven for 45-50 minutes, or until knife inserted in to the center of cake comes out clean
- Cool cake completely before Frosting
- 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
- 6 tbs butter, softened
- 2 and 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Cream together the butter and Cream Cheese
- Beat in the powdered sugar, a little bit at a time, until desired consistency is reached
- Stir in vanilla
- For best spreadability/consistency frost cake immediately