Apples are just the best, right? Apples are great all year round (at least here), they are good juiced, raw, peel on, peel off, in jams, oven baked, simmered … I could go on forever. I was feeling nostalgic the other day, I haven’t seen my parents in almost a year and I was missing my grandma, who always made a soft apple cake when I was a kid and my mom makes a great apple cake, so I decided to try to devise my own version of it, that is vegan, moist, super soft, not dense at all (!!) and, yes, pink, to some extent. 🙂 This cake is really good, I left a few slices for my husband and I took the rest to work where it disappeared pretty quickly. I made it in a 6” chiffon tin, but any small bundt tin or non-bundt (if you don’t care about the shape) tin will do. I hope you will try it and enjoy it as much as we did, it is really delicious I have to say!
Ingredients and procedure:
3 apples, 2 cubed, 1 sliced (reserve the peels for glazing)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pink pitaya powder (I used @rawnice)
Buttermilk: 280ml almond milk + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
150g vegan butter
150g brown sugar
300g self raising flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pour the vinegar in the almond milk and set aside, it will curdle a bit and we want it to do so, so we have vegan buttermilk. Start by peeling the apples (reserve the peel for later) and chop two of them and slice nicely the third one. Cook separately with a splash of water a tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon until tender but still retaining a bite. Bring some water to a boil and whisk in the pink pitaya powder, and the lemon juice, then put the apple slices in and let sit for 15-20’. (Then retain the pink water)
Preheat oven at 160C fan. Make the cake batter: start by creaming the butter and brown sugar together. Sift all the powders together and set aside. Once the buttermilk is ready, incorporate it and the flour mix in alternate batches in the butter mix using a spatula. I usually fold the ingredients rather than mixing to avoid over mixing, so you don’t have a stodgy sponge. Fold in the apple cubes and pour in the tin. Place the pink slices on top of the cake and arrange them as you wish and sprinkle some almond flakes. Bake for approx 1h – the recipe is for a 7” chiffon tin but can work with any other cake tin of similar size.
Remove from oven and let cool in the tin for 30’. Prepare the glaze: in a saucepan put the apple peels, 2 tbsp of the pink water and 3-4 tbsp sugar. Cook until you obtain a syrup which will be slightly pink thanks to the natural colour of the apple peel and to the pink water too. Brush the top of the cake with the syrup and what is left you can retain and use to sweeten things, to brush on a pie etc. (In drinks!)