With a Little Help from my Friends

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Baking is a wonderfully collaborative business.  I seldom leave recipes exactly the way I read them.  Once I’ve tried them, I play around with ingredients and measurements to make them exactly the way I like.  Or, if I’m feeling particularly unselfish, exactly the way my family likes.

Take this recipe.  When I first read the Dorie Greenspan recipe for Double Apple Bundt Cake, I wasn’t interested.  Yes, all of her recipes are wonderful.  But I’m not really a cake person.  And I don’t think I’ve ever baked a bundt cake.

But then I saw Valerie’s blog.  Rather than baking one large cake, she made mini bundts.  I love the idea of individual serving size desserts, and not just because they’re so cute.  They’re ideal if you have a portion control problem; if you can’t leave a dessert alone until it has been eaten; if a dessert sitting in your kitchen sings out to you like the sirens to Odysseus until you have finished the whole thing.  And by “you”, I actually mean “me”.

So mini bundts it was.  Mine were really mini, almost cupcake size, and this recipe made twelve.  If you check out Valerie's results, she got six medium-size bundts.

Then I searched for a perfect way to top off these little cakes, longing for something brown sugary and irresistible.  And I found this wonderful icing recipe that Liz used on her full-size bundt.

If you want to personalize this cake, add the raisins and pecans that I left out (unselfishly baking them the way my family likes them).  And if you make this recipe, let me know what worked for you.  Maybe next time I'll give your variation a try!

Double Apple Mini-Bundt cakes
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my Home to Yours)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
5 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup store-bought apple butter
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and grated

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour mini bundt pan.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt.

Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth, thick and pale.  Add the egg and beat well.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the apple butter.  Don’t worry if it curdles the batter.  Still on low, add the grated apple and mix to completely blend.  Stir in the dry ingredients.  Turn the mixture into mini bundt pan and smooth the top of the batter with the spatula.

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes.  Transfer the mini bundts to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding and frosting.  Cool completely before serving.

Brown Sugar Frosting

5 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp cream
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp maple syrup

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts.  Stir in the cream, and bring the mixture to a boil.  Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.  

After 10 minutes, stir in the icing sugar, vanilla and maple syrup.  Beat well.  If the mixture appears too thin, add more icing sugar; if it’s too thick, add a spoonful of hot water.  Be aware that the icing sets up quickly; pour over the cake while it’s still warm.  (Because it starts setting soon after being poured, one option is to put it in a large Ziploc bag and cut off a corner.  Squeeze icing through the hole to decorate.)

You’ll probably only need half a batch of this frosting as I had quite a lot of leftovers with mine.  Oh, well.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I've died and gone to heaven, these look incredible. Who told you about my portion control problem, though?

I fail to see why we will need only half the batch of frosting, though. What's the problem with having a lot of leftovers? Isn't that one of the primary reasons for baking?

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! I've learned so much and gotten so many great ideas from the TWD bakers. I didn't "get" the mini thing at first, but now minis are my friends!

Beth said...

I agree with you on leftovers, Amie. Sometimes they're the best part!
I'm a convert on minis too, Jill. Can't wait to make them again!

Valerie Gamine said...

Your Mini-mini bundt cakes are adorable, Beth! I love that brown sugar frosting too. Had I used that kind of frosting, I think I would have enjoyed it straight off the spoon. :~D

Sarah said...

Oh my, those look delicious! One of my favorite things about fall is baking with apples and cinnamon. The smell is so heavenly.

Jencrafted said...

I love individually servings of desserts too. Brown sugar and apples and ooh, cinnamon and spices?!. Perfect combination for Fall. These minis look diving; have to add this to my "to try" list.

Jess said...

Oh my goodness, those look FABULOUS! I'll definitely be trying them before the Fall season is over. I don't have a mini bundt pan, so I might have to use a cupcake pan--hope it doesn't affect the outcome (other than in cuteness). Thanks for the recipe :)

Katerina said...

I know exactly what you mean. These mini bundt cakes have the perfect size. They look very elegant.

Lea Ann said...

Well now, don't these look good! I love mini foods...sliders and now these little bundt cakes. I'll have to look for a pan.

Claudia said...

You've convinced me to invest in mini bundt pans - and partly because they are indeed so cute. I love the apple and the maple combined. It sings fall .. which will probably return (I hope) before winter arrives.

shaz said...

Oh so that explains that strange singing from the fridge :P I'm with you on this, which is why I love cupcakes - less guilt inducing and very easy to give away. Your mini-bundts look adorable and I love Liz's blog too. Will check out Valerie's, I love how the bloggerverse expands this way.

Heather said...

I love these minis. They look so cute; I always think a full bundt size is a bit clumsy looking -minis are the way to go.

Joanne said...

I tend to think everything tastes better in mini form. These look especially adorable, especially when doused in that delicious frosting!

cookies and cups said...

Love these...mini is wonderful, because you can eat twice as many, right??

Dana Treat said...

I have somehow ended up with a plethora of mini bundt pans - I'm not sure how that happened but this is a terrific way to use them!

Mimi said...

I love mini's and they are my preferred way to make bundt cakes. I was thinking a penuche icing would be a good choice for this cake, but we ended up eating it with freshly made caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Faith said...

I love those cute beautiful cakes! You've done it beautifully! I am not a good baker but I must say that yours look divine! thanks for sharing this :)

Shandy said...

Your mini apple bundt cakes are adorable and I love your brown sugar frosting!

Jeanne said...

Everything is better in mini bundt form! Ever since I got a mini bundt pan I've been baking cakes and muffins in it instead of regular muffin cups. So much cuter! I'll be trying this recipe soon, especially with the brown sugar frosting.

Reeni said...

Personal sized desserts are so cute! And these look crazy delicious! Love the frosting with the apple and spices - a nice combo.

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Love the tiny cakes and especially the delicious frosting. Your tinkering with the recipe looks perfectly wonderful!

Kristen said...

Those little cakes sound wonderful. Apple cake always deserves a brown gooey frosting.

Susanne K. Fletcher said...

Yummy, If you are in a pinch you could always top it with warm Dulce De Lece! I pulled that rabbit out of the hat this Thanksgiving when my attempt at Apple Crumble pie looked a little dry.

Beth said...

Valerie, I must be honest. I DID enjoy it right off the spoon!
Susanne, I think warm Dulce de Leche sounds perfect. Wish I'd been at your place for Thanksgiving!
Shaz, you will love Valerie's blog. I can't tell you how many wonderful recipes I've found there.

FOODESSA said...

Beth...I rarely ever follow a recipe to the letter.

Great idea to follow the minis on this one...especially since I, unlike yourself...love desserts. It might explain why I have to do over time at the gym ;o)

Ciao for now,

Julie said...

I love the ideas we get from our fellow bloggers! These look delicious.

Catherine said...

Beth these bundt cakes look wonderful! Perfect little treat!

Barbara Bakes said...

I love your mini bundts, especially with that luscious icing! I'm thinking I'd probably try subbing the apple butter for apple sauce to save on cost.

Oh and on your 10 things post - my mom tells me she can't believe her daughter makes spelling mistakes on her posts. And I said well if you'd tell me I'd fix them.

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