A moist and dense bundt cake made with fresh ginger and granny smith apples. All the fall and holiday spices and a nutty aromatic browned butter glaze to make this cake perfect for the holiday table!
As a proud home baker, it can be difficult for me to admit that I cannot make a layered cake. I have tried multiple times, in a variety of flavors. I’ve read probably hundreds of articles on how to keep the cake level and smooth, and watched countless videos that walk me through it.
I can’t do it. All my layer cakes, while delicious, come out crooked with holes in the frosting. Of course we still eat them (who wouldn’t eat a cake?!) but they’re not blog-worthy, or even cell-phone-picture-worthy.
So when I get a cake craving (which happens often) I stick to my tried-and-true cupcake recipes (try my Oreo Cupcakes!) or a classic bundt cake. A bundt cake is the perfect balance of light-and-fluffy and moist-and-dense.
Every holiday season, I buy a big piece of ginger root and use it up on all my holiday treats. And I knew that this year, I’d want to make a big gingerbread cake. Something with some fresh orange and ginger, warm and cozy spices, molasses, brown sugar, and butter.
And this year, I upped the ante by cutting up some Granny Smith apples and folding them into the batter. I was a bit skeptical of folding in the apples – I thought it would be just unpleasant apple chunks that added an odd texture to the overall cake.
The apples kind of caramelized while cooking and added a lovely bite, kind of breaking up all the density of the pound cake with a fresh taste.
What do I need to make Ginger Apple Bundt Cake?
- A bundt pan. Try this heart-shaped pan!
- Granny Smith apples. These are best for baking!
- Room temperature butter. I like to leave it out the night before to make sure it’s as soft as possible. If you forget (or live in a cold place like I do) you can put the butter in the microwave in 10-second intervals.
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar. You will need both. The brown sugar makes this cake extra soft and adds a nice dark caramel flavor.
- Vanilla extract.
- Fresh ginger. This can be replaced with ground ginger, but I think the fresh minced ginger adds a nice strong flavor.
- Orange zest. Just a tiny bit. You will not taste orange. Orange is to ginger as coffee is to chocolate – it just enhances the natural flavors.
- Whole milk.
- Sour cream. To make this extra smooth and fluffy!
- The dry ingredients: All purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Heavy cream, powdered sugar, and any flavoring for your choice of glaze!
Tips and Tricks for Ginger Apple Bundt Cake
- Thoroughly butter and flour the entire bundt pan. Bundt cakes have the tendency to stick, so be sure to rub the entire inside with soft butter and then dust with flour before pouring the batter into the prepared pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and cook for *about* 45 minutes. Take a toothpick and insert down into the center of the cake. The skewer inserted should come out completely clean. Make sure to check deep into the center of the cake – the inside might still be raw!
- Once the cake is done, allow to cool completely on a wire rack, before flipping the pan and presenting on a cake stand.
- This is best done in a large bowl with an electric whisk, or a stand mixing bowl. It can be done by hand with a spatula, but it would take a lot of elbow grease and patience.
- Wipe down all sides of the bowl before adding new ingredients. This will ensure that everything is fully incorporated.
- Keep in an airtight container for no more than 4 days.
- Be very careful to not overmix. This will toughen the cake and dry it out. Do everything slowly and with patience.
Brown Butter Glaze
You can make any glaze you want for this cake. Something like cinnamon, eggnog, or even a classic vanilla would be delicious, but I found that the nutty brown butter was a perfect complement to the sweet and spicy cake.
In a medium saucepan, heat your unsalted butter over medium-low heat. Allow it to melt completely. Once it has melted, whisk occasionally and keep cooking until brown flecks appear. You should also smell a nutty aroma.
Take the butter off the heat and transfer to a bowl. Whisk together with some powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream. Add whipping cream slowly, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake and enjoy!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2-3 Granny Smith apples, cut and diced
Brown Butter Glaze
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, browned
- 1 /2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp heavy cream (more or less depending on desired consistency)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Wipe down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula.
- Add fresh ginger, orange zest, and eggs. Mix until fully incorporated. The mixture might look a little curdled, but that is okay at this point.
- Add molasses and mix until fully incorporated and the mixture is much darker in color.
- Whisk together milk and sour cream.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on the mixers lowest speed. While that is mixing, add 1/2 of the milk mixture. While the milk is mixing in, add another 1/3 of the flour mixture. Slowly add the remaining milk while the mixture is still going. Once all milk is incorporated, add the remaining flour. Slowly fold in most of the flour.
- With a bit of the flour still visible, add the apples. Fold it all together until you can't see any more of the flour and the apples are spread out throughout the batter.
- Transfer to a well-buttered bundt cake pan. Bake for about 45-55 minutes. Check at 40 minutes with a toothpick or skewer. Insert into the deep center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready.
- Let cool on a wire rack. Once the pan is cool to the touch, the cake can be transferred to a serving platter.
- Glaze: Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt completely. Keep it on the heat, whisking occasionally, until brown flecks appear and the butter is very aromatic.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the butter to a bowl. Add powdered sugar and mix together. Slowly add heavy cream, a little bit at a time, until you've reached desired consistency.
- Drizzle glaze over the top of the cake before cutting into it.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 692Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 147mgSodium 244mgCarbohydrates 103gFiber 2gSugar 71gProtein 8g