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Blog Archive - August 15, 2011

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August 15, 2011 - Apple Cake with Apple-Butter Cream-Cheese Icing
Click here for short instructions

I hear (from my sister who teaches kindergarten) that school is about to start. The summer sure went fast! But I know that everyone is at least a little excited to see what this next school year will bring. To start the year with my best wishes and "thanks" to all of the teachers out there, here's an apple cake. But you know me - it's not just an apple cake. It's an apple-shaped cake, loaded with apples in the cake, and topped with an apple-butter cream-cheese icing! Believe it or not, this cake is actually a low-fat cake. That, plus the massive amount of fruit in the cake, should make you feel great about giving it to your favorite teacher or enjoying some yourself.

To make this cake, you'll need a Cake-Shaping Strip (look here about how to make one), a sheet pan, heavy-duty aluminum foil, prepared cake batter (see the apple cake batter recipe below or use about 2 boxes of cake mix), icing (see the apple-butter cream-cheese recipe below or use about 2 16-oz. containers of icing), 2 16-oz. containers of icing (for a crumb coat and for the leaf), food dye, and chocolate icing (for the stem).

Apple Cake

First, make a Cake-Shaping Strip as described here using eight sushi-mat segments. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, and shape the strip into an apple shape. My apple shape was rather big and wide, so I used two sheets of foil to line the bottom of the sheet pan. After the shape is formed, fold the bottom foil up and around the strip. Cut the foil if needed to wrap around the strip, and insert small balls of foil into outer corners or edges if you think that the foil didn't wrap around the portion well enough to prevent cake-batter leakage.

Apple Cake

Now make the cake batter. You can use about two boxes of cake mix, or you can use the delicious and low-fat apple cake recipe below. (And yes, there is absolutely no oil, butter, shortening, etc. added to this cake. Yet it is an incredibly moist cake.) Either way, spray the strip and bottom foil layer with cooking spray, pour the batter into your cake pan, and bake it until the cake is done.

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Apple Cake (this makes a big cake)

4 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons cinnamon
8 eggs
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
12 cups peeled and chopped apples (from about 8 large apples)

Combine all ingredients except for the apples. Fold in the apples. Bake for about 60 minutes or until done.

Apple Cake

Do you see how many apples there are in this cake? Delicious. Now make the icing, and ice the cake. You can use the apple-butter cream-cheese icing recipe below or use store-bought icing. But let me tell you that I could nearly eat the icing alone with a spoon. It's delicious. I dyed the cream-cheese icing red.

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Apple-Butter Cream-Cheese Icing

3 (8-oz) packages low-fat cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup apple butter
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Red food coloring

Beat together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate or freeze until the icing reaches the desired consistency.

This should make plenty to ice your cake. Feel free to cut the recipe by 2/3 if you'd like. (I always prefer a little extra, just in case.)

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Spread a thin layer of icing (a "crumb coat") using store-bought white icing on the cake. This smoothes out the bumps caused by the apples in the cake a bit.

Apple Cake

Let the crumb coat fully dry. Then spread the cream-cheese icing on the main portion of the apple cake. Dye a little bit of store-bought icing green for the leaf, and frost the cake's "stem" using chocolate store-bought icing. Decorating this cake was really easy, which was nice after all of that time that I spent chopping apples!

Apple Cake

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