I love this cake.
It's a basic pound cake, so it's easy to make
but the simple addition of sliced apples
makes it just a little more special.
I've adapted the recipe just slightly by adding
a layer of sliced apples in the centre
between the batter
and then again on top,
pressing both down in the centre
to keep them as flat as possible while baking.
I also grind the almonds loosely in a mortar & pestle
to give the finished cake a bit of a rustic feel.
Once baked I dust with confectioners sugar before serving.
It's great warm from the oven with a scoop of ice cream
or toasted for breakfast on day two.
Everyday Apple & Almond Cake
Part of what gives this cake its light texture is beating the butter and sugar well, so don't rush this step.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract (I omit the extract & use the contents of 1 vanilla bean)
1 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup loosely ground skin on almonds (I use a mortar & pestle for this)
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan
2 small/medium green apples, cored and sliced (I added these)
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a 9x5x3” loaf pan; line bottom and long sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving overhang. Butter parchment and dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess. (I often make two cakes from one recipe, 1 in a 6" springform and 1 small loaf. The recipe works well doubled as well, in this case 1-6" springform and 2-7.5"x2.5" straight sided loaf pans, similar to these ones).
Whisk baking powder, cardamom, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk milk and ½ cup crème fraîche in a small bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat sugar and ¾ cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula, then add vanilla and almond extracts.
Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with crème fraîche mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients; beat just until combined. Scrape a layer of batter into whichever prepared pans you've chosen, make place a single later or apple slices, arranged in a fan from outside to inside. Add another layer of batter (your pan should be approx. 2/3 full) place another layer of sliced apples. Sprinkle with almonds.
Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55–65 minutes. (Tent with foil if browning too quickly.)
Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Using parchment overhang, gently remove cake from pan and transfer to rack; let cool.
Slice cake and serve with Tea-Poached Plums and crème fraîche. (I like to serve warm with vanilla ice cream and skip the tea poached pears since I've add the apples.)