THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS BEAT THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS IN THE NFC DIVISIONAL ROUND GAME LAST SUNDAY!!! To celebrate that stunning victory, I developed this recipe for honey apple Bundt cake with apple caramel sauce using as many Minnesota products as possible. Minnesota is the home of Nordic Ware, the manufacturer of Bundt pans so that was my choice for the pan. Next, Land O Lakes is a Minnesota company and the producer of the butter, whipping cream, and half and half that I buy. There are many apple orchards in the state, Gold Medal Flour is based in Minnesota, and there’s no shortage of beekeepers providing honey.
Two of my favorite apple varieties went into this cake–McIntosh and Granny Smiths. Peeling them was fast with my favorite Swiss peeler (which I got at the Minnesota state fair several years ago) then coring and sectioning them was even faster with the OXO corer and divider. After that, I tossed them into our food processor and buzzed them very briefly because I wanted small pieces, not a puree.
I mixed up the batter, then folded the apples in with a large rubber scraper, making sure that they were evenly distributed.
The oven was preheated and my 12-cup Bundt pan was ready with DIY baker’s joy Bundt pan prep mixture brushed on, so I scooped the batter into the pan, smoothed the top, tapped the pan on the counter 3 or 4 times, did a tilt-a-whirl motion with the batter in the pan (did you know that ride was invented in Minnesota?), then slid the pan into the oven.
Most Bundt cake recipes say to bake the cakes for anywhere from 50 minutes to 90 minutes for similar cakes, but I’ve learned to start checking all cakes at about 80% of the stated baking time. Our house was filled with the intoxicating fragrance of honey and apples baking. This cake was perfectly baked at 50 minutes.
After being pulled out of the oven and set on a cooling rack, all cakes need to rest in the pan for a few minutes in order to firm up a bit, and I leave large Bundt cakes in the pan for at least 10 minutes but no more than 15 minutes before I turn it out onto a serving plate.
While the cake cooled, I made the apple caramel sauce that to drizzle over the top of individual slices of cake. I began by melting brown sugar and butter together with a pinch of salt in a small pan with a heavy bottom. After it came to a bubbling boil, I turned down the heat and kept it going for another 5 minutes, then added undiluted apple juice concentrate and brought it back to a boil again. I let it bubble for another 5 minutes until it seemed to be about as thick as I wanted it, then removed it from the heat and stirred in the heavy cream. I poured it into a canning jar, let it cool to room temperature, then covered and refrigerated it overnight.
After 3 hours the cake was completely cool, so I covered it with my cake dome and stored it at cool room temperature overnight.
While I can assure you that the plain honey apple Bundt cake is great, I always like to add a little something extra.
I warmed up the apple caramel sauce, put it into a squeeze bottle that we keep for the purpose, and embellished that lovely piece of cake. Oooo, this is really getting good!
But I still wasn’t done. There was vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer, so I got that out and nestled a scoop of it next to the slice of cake. Now THAT is a dessert worthy of being called Minnesotan.
Believe me, this cake is every bit as delicious as it looks.
I’ve got my fingers crossed and my Vikings shirt ready to go as we cheer on our Minnesota Vikings when they play the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game next Sunday (1/21/18). If the Vikes win that game, they’ll be the first team in the history of the NFL to play in a Super Bowl on their home field. GO VIKES, BRING IT HOME! SKOL!!!
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Thanks, and bon appetit!
- 3-1/2 cups (15 oz, 420 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pie spice or cinnamon (I use Penzey’s pie spice)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (5-1/2 oz, 155 grams) light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid oz, 118 ml) canola oil
- 1 cup (8 fluid oz, 340 grams, 240 ml) honey
- 3/4 cup (6 fluid oz, 177 ml) water or coffee, or a combination
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound (3 or 4 small) apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 115 grams) butter
- 1/4 cup (3-1/4 oz, 107 grams) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid oz, 120 ml) frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
- 2 tablespoons (1 fluid oz, 30 ml) heavy cream
- pinch of kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and prepare a 12-cup (10 inch) Bundt pan by brushing with Bundt pan prep.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spice in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Add the peeled, cored, and sliced apples to the work bowl of a food processor and pulse in two or three short bursts; remove the cover and scrape down the bowl, then replace the cover and pulse once or twice more, just until the apples are in smallish pieces.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the brown sugar and oil until light, about 1 minute, then add the eggs and beat until light, about another 1 minute.
- Add the honey to the egg/sugar/oil mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
- Combine the water and/or coffee with the vanilla extract, then add to the egg/sugar/oil mixture alternately with the dry ingredients, mixing only until blended; scrape down the bowl.
- Fold the apples into the batter with a large spoon or rubber scraper until completely distributed.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top and tapping the pan on the counter two or three times, then tilting and rotating the pan so the batter goes up the sides of the pan about an inch.
- Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides and a long wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 10 but no more than 15 minutes, then turn the cake out of the pan onto a serving plate.
- Combine brown sugar, butter, and a pinch of kosher salt in a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat until bubbling, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the thawed apple juice concentrate and cook for another 5 minutes, until thickened as desired.
- Remove from heat and stir in the whipping cream.
- Cool and store in refrigerator.
- Warm before serving.
The cake may be served the same day it's baked, but for the best flavor bake the cake the day before you plan to serve it then cool it completely. Cover and store the cake at room temperature and refrigerate the caramel sauce. Rewarm the sauce before drizling it over individual servings or the entire cake.
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