I am going to take a break from my quick weeknight dinner posts (I have several more) to post a few sweet treats. Back to school treats are very important in our house. 🙂
This cake can be served for dessert or as a very special snack or breakfast. We ate it for breakfast. I recommend eating it as soon as possible 😉 , but, it should keep fresh for several days in an airtight container at room temperature. I made it in a standard loaf pan this time, but I plan to make it in my fluted loaf pan on the next occasion.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sarah Jampel. I weighed the dry ingredients and reduced the baking time. Just as yummy as a farmstand apple cider doughnut!
Yield: One 9-inch loaf
For the Cake:
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 2 T (172 g) all-purpose flour (can substitute 63 g with whole wheat flour)
2 T (15 g) cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
For the Topping:
- big pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 T unsalted butter, melted
- 1 T reserved reduced apple cider (from above)
- Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°, preferably on convection.
- Lightly butter an 8½ x 4½” or 9×5″ loaf pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on both long sides. Lightly butter the parchment. (I used cooking oil spray and a metal loaf pan.)
- Bring cider to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until cider is reduced to ¾ cup, 8–10 minutes.
- Pour ¼ cup reduced cider into a small measuring glass or bowl and set aside.
- Transfer remaining reduced cider to a small bowl or glass measuring cup and let cool 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and vanilla and set aside.
- Melt 8 tablespoons of butter in same saucepan (no need to clean) over low heat. Let cool slightly.
- Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a medium bowl to combine.
- Vigorously whisk eggs and 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar in a large bowl until pale, voluminous, and frothy, about 2 minutes. (I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.)
- Whisking constantly (with the mixer on low-speed), gradually add melted butter in a steady stream; continue to whisk until fully combined and emulsified (no spots of fat should remain). Reserve saucepan (no need to clean).
- Whisk dry ingredients into egg mixture in 3 additions, alternating with reserved sour cream mixture in 2 additions; whisk just until no lumps remain. Batter will be thin.
- Scrape into pan and set on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until deep golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–80 minutes. (I baked mine for 55 minutes.)
- Transfer pan to a wire rack and poke top of cake all over with a toothpick.
- Spoon 3 tablespoons of the reserved reduced cider over; let cool 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the topping: Mix a big pinch of salt, remaining 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a small bowl. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in reserved saucepan and mix into remaining 1 tablespoon reduced cider.
- Using parchment paper, lift cake onto rack and set rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Peel away parchment from sides.
- Brush warm butter-cider mixture over top and sides of cake.
- Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture to coat every surface (use parchment to help rotate cake and collect any excess sugar).
- Remove parchment and let cool completely before slicing.
Do ahead: Cake can be made 4 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped or in an airtight container at room temperature.