Featured in her new book, Tara “Teaspoon” Bench’s Apple Pudding Cake with Butter Sauce is her all-time favorite dessert. It may become yours as well.
“Hands down, this is my all-time favorite,” says Tara “Teaspoon” Bench, author of Delicious Gatherings: Recipes to Celebrate Together (see page 28). The rich apple cake reminds her of the dense steamed puddings her grandma used to make and she serves it year-round, especially during peak apple season in the fall. “It’s subtly spiced and full of the tart and sweet taste of apples, plus crunchy pecans,” Bench says.
Apple Pudding Cake with Butter Sauce
SERVES: 12 TO 14
HANDS-ON TIME: 40 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS, 55 MINUTES
APPLE PUDDING CAKE
2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
4 cups grated apple, any variety, from 3 to 4 cored apples
½ cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
2 cups granulated sugar, plus more for pan
2 large eggs
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups (12-ounce can) evaporated milk
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1. For the cake: Heat oven to 350 F. Brush a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan generously with extra butter. Sprinkle pan with extra sugar, then tap out excess. Set pan aside.
2. Stir together flour, pecans, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a food processor or with a box grater, shred apples with the skin on. You should have 4 cups grated apple.
4. In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar with the paddle attachment. Add eggs and beat until mixture is fluffy. Stir in apples (and any juice they produce) and flour mixture until completely combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
5. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and cake pulls slightly away from the sides of the pan, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Tent cake with foil for the last half hour of baking to prevent over-browning.
6. Let cool on a wire rack, about 20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to remove from pan. Let cool completely.
7. For the butter sauce: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer all butter sauce ingredients, stirring, for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve the sauce warm over slices of cake, or serve sauce on the side and let guests add a generous amount of warm sauce to each slice of cake. Garnish with apple crisps, if desired. (Recipe on right)
NOTE: The cake and sauce can be made a day in advance. Allow both to cool completely before storing. Cover cake with plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Refrigerate butter sauce and reheat in microwave or saucepan to serve.
Want more apple-inspired recipes? Check out our collection here.