“I waited all week to make this and I just had my first bite. Had to run to the computer to let you know it’s perfect! I couldn’t find Honeycrisp apples so I used fuji and they worked out wonderful, thanks for a special recipe, I know I’ll be making it again and again !!” ~Sara
Make my Honeycrisp apple cake and you’ll never need to visit the coffee shop bakery again.
I get most excited about cakes that give me permission to eat dessert for breakfast, and this is one of those cakes. It’s a hybrid apple/crumb cake bringing the best of both worlds to this simple treat. I used cardamom with a touch of cinnamon to spice the cake, which gives it a subtly different flavor from your run of the mill apple cake. There are finely chopped walnuts in the crumble for extra flavor and texture. It’s pretty much fall on a plate.
apple cakes are a specialty of the house!
why Honeycrisp apples?
I chose Honeycrisp apples for this recipe because they’re my current apple obsession. Honeycrisps are a relatively new breed, developed in Minnesota about 30 years ago. They’re extremely crisp, as the name suggests, and juicy, with a nice balance of acidity and sweetness. If you’re still buying Red Delicious, hold on to your hat because this is an entirely new animal.
These apples are great to eat raw ~ I’ve used them in my Broccoli Honeycrisp Slaw where they steal the show. But I’ve found that Honeycrisps bake up well, too, in fact they maintain their famous crunch in this cake even after almost an hour of baking! No mushy apples here.
how to make custard sauce for apple cake
This is how they serve apple cake in Europe, and it’s a pretty neat idea. Instead of whipped cream or other topping they spoon a luxe egg custard over their slice of cake. I’ve added a vanilla bean to make it even better. It’s basically a variation on Creme Anglaise, which you could use, too.
- Bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat.
- Meanwhile whisk the yolks and sugar until pale in a small bowl.
- Drizzle a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This tempers the yolks.
- Then transfer that back into the pan and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Don’t overcook or it can curdle.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- I like to run the sauce through a strainer to catch any bits of cooked egg or lumps.
The custard sauce can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a couple of days. It’s got the perfect creamy consistency and doesn’t solidify as it cools. The only downside is that it requires 6 egg yolks. I know. So check below for some yummy ideas for using your leftover whites…
What to do with leftover egg whites
Egg whites can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-4 days while you decide what to do with them, and they can be frozen for up to a year…just put them in sturdy zip lock freezer bags and label (don’t forget to note how many are in the bag.)
Sue’s Styling Tip!
I love a nice crumble topping on cakes and pies, but they can look a little dowdy. A light sprinkle of powdered sugar (dusted with a fine mesh sieve) highlights the texture and makes this cake look irresistible. Refresh leftover apple cake with an extra sprinkle.
delicious variations on apple cake
- Use pecans instead of walnuts in the topping, or leave the nuts out.
- Cinnamon or cinnamon and nutmeg can be used instead of cardamom.
- A gluten free baking mix can be substituted for the all purpose flour.
- Top with whipped cream instead of custard sauce.
- This apple cake can be baked in a 9-inch round or square pan if you don’t have a springform pan.
- Granny Smith apples can be used for a slightly tarter flavor.
Honeycrisp Apple Cardamom Cake
- 9 inch spring form pan or 9-inch round or square pan
- 3 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced, 495 grams or 1 lb 1 ounce (after slicing)
- lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp milk or cream
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp salt
- confectioner’s sugar for dusting the finished cake
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch round spring form pan.
- Put the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and blend everything together with your fingertips until it has a nice even crumbly texture and there is no more raw flour. Make sure to break down any large clumps of butter. Refrigerate.
- Toss the apple slices with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, along with the milk or cream.
- Spoon the batter in to the pan, and smooth out evenly. Top with the sliced apples, and then the crumble topping.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Lay a loose layer of foil over the top if the crumble is browning too quickly.
- Let cool a bit in the pan before removing the sides. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
- To make the custard sauce bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile whisk the yolks and sugar until pale. Drizzle a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking all the time. Add a little more, while whisking, then transfer that back into the pan and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Don’t overcook or it can curdle. Stir in the vanilla. I like to run the sauce through a strainer to catch any bits of cooked egg or lumps.
- Refrigerate the custard sauce until needed.