Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Apple Spice Cake with Clementine Buttercream




Sometimes simplicity is best.  Those flavors that remind you of being young or a special occasion bring on that feeling of comfort and memories people you love.  It is a reminder that not everything needs to be kicked up, changed and radically modified to satisfy a craving.


Case in point:  this apple spiced cake with a clementine buttercream.  The only modification I did was to use the clementines I had on hand instead of the oranges the original called for and omitted the walnuts in the batter.  A deliciously tangy cream cheese filling is quite addictive and the buttercream packed with orange juice and zest will remind you of the summer days ahead.  Go make some memories.

Apple Spiced Cake with Clementine Buttercream

For the Cake:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 stick (8tbsp) butter, softened at room temp
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs at room temp
2 cups, peeled, cored and shredded apples (I used pink lady, my favorite)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, in my opinion)

Preheat your oven to 350F and grease the bottom of 3 8 inch cake pans.  Then line the cake pans with parchment and grease the parchment.
In a large bowl, sift your flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add in your eggs one at a time then stir in your apples and the vanilla.
Slowly add in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. (some people do this and end with the liquid but do as you please, I won't be offended).  Fold in the chopped walnuts if you are using.
Pour into the prepared pans evenly and bake for 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. It all depends on your oven, actually.  Let the cakes cool in their pans for a few minutes then run a knife along the edges to loosen them, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely after taking off the paper.

For the Clementine Buttercream and Filling:
1 stick (8 tbsp) softened butter
1-1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 cup fresh orange juice
4 tsp grated clementine rind
1 tsp vanilla 
pinch of salt
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened

To prepare the buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy then add the sugar in alternating with the orange juice.  Add in the 3 teaspoons of the clementine zest, the salt and vanilla.  Mix well.
Start on your filling: In a small bowl, mash up the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in 1/2 cup of the clementine buttercream mixture and the remaining 1 teaspoon of zest then blend until smooth.
When ready to fill your cake, using a serrated knife, shave off the domed tops of your cakes should they have one.  Place one layer on your serving plate and use half of the cream cheese filling, spreading to the edges of the layer.  Place the second layer on top and use the remaining filling, once again, spreading to the edges.  Place the last layer on top and using the clementine buttercream, frost the sides and top of the cake.

*Inspired by Epicurious, Eva's Kitchen and RecipeNut



37 comments:

Mehjabeen Arif said...

Yum :) Cake is awesome !

Hazel said...

I don't think I've actually tried apples with clementines before! This looks very satisfying indeed! I would love a slice right about now.

vanillasugar said...

alllll over that buttercream! give me a spoon! LOL

Barbara said...

I've missed you! Hope all is well.

You sure came back with a bang! What a super combo for your cake, Bridgett!
My dad's favorite cake was a spice cake, but we always made a brown sugar frosting to go with it. I'm loving the clementine buttercream. That touch of orange with the apple must be delicious. And the color of the frosting against the cake makes a lovely presentation.

Saji said...

Yum Yum

My Little Space said...

Bridgett, I've to agree with you. Simple is beautiful! I am loving your cake. Looks so spongy and delicious. Bookmarked it already. Can't wait to try it out. Hope you're enjoying your day, dear.
Blessings, Kristy
p/s hope you're well too!

Diana @ Our Vintage Home Love said...

This cake is beautiful and sounds delicious! I've never tried clementines before but I certainly will now. What a wonderful pairing!

Christy said...

Yes, the simplest things bring the best pleasures of life:)
I am intrigued by your apple spice cake, it looks like a very unique and flavorful cake;)

Pegasuslegend said...

now that's a gorgeous cake! I just love the layers and frosting ... just spectacular!

Audrey said...

This would definitely make memories...and if I made it, I would think of you every time! I love the combinatin of flavors. :)

divya said...

I am drooling here....Yummy!

tartedujour said...

This sounds sooo delicious! Great combination of flavors!

Joanne said...

Sometimes simple is DEFINITELY the way to go and with an deliciously flavored apple cake like this...this is one of those times! How gorgeous!

Bo said...

Wow...glorious looking cake! Simple is always best...more can be just more!

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

I agree, simplicity is so wonderful when it comes to cooking! Love the addition of clementines in the frosting. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Pam said...

Beautiful, creative, and delicious! What a fantastic combination of flavors.

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Goodness gracious almighty. Simplicity and decadence all in one bite!!! Drooling over here - and after I've brushed my teeth no less!

5 Star Foodie said...

How gorgeous! I would absolutely love this, love apple cake! The pumpkin spice must make it so flavorful and I love the idea of clementine buttercream.

Vivienne said...

i agree that simplicity is the best too :D the texture of the cake looks amazing as is the delicious frosting!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

What a wonderful recipe, it sounds absolutely delicious! Great idea to add pumpkin spice in the sponge and clementine rind in the icing! Wonderful - looking forward to a piece!
Mary

Comfy Cook said...

This cake is spectacular. I love the flavors you put together to make this so appealing.

claire said...

I have never heard of such a combo! looks amazing!

Bridgett, your photos are unreal and your recipes are to die for!

Let me know if you would ever like to do a blog swap!

Claudia said...

I swear a recipe can "youthen" you - and a bite of something from your past can evoke the same feeling as when you were a child. This cake has it all and will need to devise a celebration to share it.

shooting star said...

looks awesome....but am on the fence whether to try out myself or not...am not that good at baking!!!

Emily said...

I was just thinking you hadn't posted in a long time. That's one tall, beautiful cake. I'll have to find an occasion to make it!

Eliana said...

Not only does this cake look gorgeous but the flavor combination rocks. Luv it!

cooking contests said...

Oh I love apple cake! Usually drizzle a brown sugar based toping over it, but this clementine buttercream looks amazing! and definitely simple enough for me to make. Thanks for sharing!
~Nancy Lewis~

Michael Toa said...

Simplicity is best indeed Bridgett. This cake looks gorgeous and I love warm flavours of the pumpkin pie spice. Delicious. Have a nice day.

Choclette said...

Well that looks completely stunning and like the idea of the citrusy creamy filling. Now what spices are in pumpkin pie spice I'm wondering?

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A beautiful cake! The kind I'd kill for (well, maybe not exactly though ;-P).

Cheers,

Rosa

Gloria said...

I think this look really perfect and delicious! Ismy type of cake, I want one slice please,,, have a lovely weekend, gloria

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Oh, wow! I'll bet this is a very moist cake. I'm so bookmarking this one, as spice cake is one of my very favorites. This is a beautiful cake!

Esi said...

OOh, this is almost like winter with these flavors (my favorite season)

pigpigscorner said...

Yes you are right, sometimes simpicity is best! Food like this brings back memories.

Velva said...

The clementine buttercream frosting sounds/looks amazing. What a creative flavor for icing. I am loving it. I love the cake too, but the icing just stopped me in my tracks. Awesome.
velva

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You created such a beautiful cake. The spice cake, the clementine frosting sounds like a great marriage.

lena said...

wow, the cake looks gorgeous and the sponge looking so soft!