I have not been able to stop thinking about the strawberry buttermilk cake I made last summer. Normally, I try to avoid repeats, but I loved this cake, I couldn't wait to make it again with some more seasonal flavors. I remember that Maria made an apple version a few months ago, so I decided to try my hand at that. I've had one lone pink lady apple in my fruit bowl for longer than I care to admit. It was the perfect way to use up that apple and the buttermilk left over from those amazing biscuits. This cake so was so good! The hint of cinnamon in the apples and cake batter was warm and inviting and it was the perfect way to end my week and relax on a rainy night. Plus, you know what? I'm not done making this cake yet. You can be sure it will pop up again in the spring or summer with a different kind of berry in the same wonderful cake.
Apple Buttermilk Cake
(Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009)
Makes 1 4.5-inch cake
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 small pink lady apple, thinly sliced
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Dash of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 4.5-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Beat butter and 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
In a small bowl mix together the sliced apples with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of cinnamon.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter the apples evenly over the top and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
Bake until the cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-30 minutes. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool to warm, 10 more minutes.