about bliss

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

daily bliss: apple layer cake with cream cheese frosting

When I heard of Gourmet magazine's demise, I felt shock. It was the first foodie magazine I subscribed to, back in the late 1990s when I started to cook for myself. 

Now, in addition to Gourmet, my mailbox is filled with Cooking Light, Saveur, and Bon Appetit. I regularly buy Gastronomica when I can find it, and still love Food and Wine

Yes, friends, I am a cooking magazine addict. 

And, so many recipes I mark—with dog eared corners—go unmade, as I fall into old patterns or search the blogosphere for a tried-and-true recipe from one of my fellow bakers. 

But Dorie Greenspan's latest selection of apple desserts in the October issue of Bon Appetit stuck in my mind. 

Early Saturday afternoon I declared to G, "I'm going to make a cake!" 

He did not protest. I showed him the magazine photos of the Fuji Apple Spice Cake. When I told him the frosting was cream cheese, he grinned. 

I left for the grocery store to purchase supplies, and he headed out for an unnamed errand. When I returned, a dozen roses and a smiling G greeted me. [insert schmoopy sweetness]

And so, in making the cake, I made a large, two layer eight inch cake to share with whomever, and a little four inch babycake just for G. 

I also bought a pint of Haagen Dazs five brown sugar ice cream (when you don't have time to make homemade, this is a more than fine substitute), and later that night, after making Vietnamese summer rolls for dinner, and after the babycake was assembled, I presented it to him as a token of sweetness. 

He shared his little cake with me, and I sent him home with a quarter of the big cake. 

Readers, this cake, like most Dorie creations, is a marvel. With warm autumn spices, diced apples—I used a mix of empire and cortland—as well as applesauce—I made homemade—and nuts—I used toasted walnuts—the cake is chunky and texturally pleasing. It's moist, dense, and yet inexplicably light. 

Since I have an oral allergy to raw apples, I can only eat this, one of my favorite fruits, cooked. I revel in this cake, which delivers fragrant appleness in every bite. It's the essence of fall, of sweetness, of homeyness, of comfort. I'll definitely be baking this cake again!


  1. Oh, that cake looks delicious!

  2. Good Golly Miss Molly that looks moist, delicious and over the top beautiful!

  3. Lovely cake! I'm so glad you tried this one, I marked the entire article. That would be a hit around here. It's weird about food allergies and how some things are OK cooked while others are more tolerable uncooked. We have plenty of allergies/sensitivities in my extended family to go around - it's a wonder we can even eat together!