I got a lot of interesting responses to my last post, be it concern for my well being, insistence that a food blog isn’t the right platform for discussing such personal feelings, or praise for being honest. I appreciate any and all feedback, even if it’s negative, but I think at the end of the day the subject of anxiety and the like is being discussed, and that’s all that really matters. I’m lucky to have a wonderful support system made up of people that care, from my husband to friends to my parents and in-laws. Not everybody has that, and I can only imagine how difficult things would be without all of those people. Everyone has bad days or weeks, but the way in which you handle it makes a huge difference, and because I have an outlet like this blog and an incredibly understanding and emotionally available husband like Kramer, I’m able to express myself or curl up into a ball, depending on the day, and move forward. The reason that I want to be open about my anxiety is because I’m not necessarily ashamed of it. It’s always been a part of who I am and there’s no world in which I am going to wake up one day and be totally fine. One of my fears, though, as trite as it may sound, is that this blog turns into something that isn’t me. I don’t go to the farmer’s market every day, I don’t spend every waking minute baking cookies or preparing beautiful dinners. I don’t go out for cocktails every night and I’m not eating uni on toasts or pizza from Roberta’s every night. I know sometimes it may seem that way, but I usually only post the best stuff here because that’s way more fun to read than, “Last night I went to the gym, came home, ate leftover chicken and put the laundry away, then scrolled through Tumblr for two hours until Kramer got out of class.” So, yeah, I do a lot of fun, cool stuff because I do live in New York and there are lots of activities to be had, but I also get sad or bored or annoyed, or sometimes my anxiety gets really bad and Kramer has to coach me through leaving the house. We all have our version of normal and I just want to be ~real~ with you guys. I would apologize for making you read that kind of thing on a food blog, where you probably just want the recipe for this three layer apple cider cake, but, you know, sorry not sorry.
Donny took a picture of me taking a picture on our walking tour a few weeks ago.
SO. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I will go ahead and share this cake recipe with you, because it’s awesome. I couldn’t resist grabbing a jug of cider from the Union Square greenmarket (I know, I know, totally contradictory to what I just said above, but hey, I do pass by it most days before or after work), but when I got home I realized that Kramer and I weren’t really the type to pour ourselves a tall glass of sweet apple cider, unless I’ve heated it up and added a little bourbon. It just so happened that I had the cider in the fridge during the snow storm that wasn’t a couple of weeks ago, and since Kramer and I couldn’t get to work due to the subways being shut down, we were stuck inside. That left me free to wander back and forth between my computer and the kitchen, hence this cake. I’m terrible at decorating cakes, so my go-to is to just throw three layers together with frosting sandwiched between each layer, forgoing having to frost the sides because I do think that this way has its own appeal in a rustic sort of way. I added crunchy cinnamon-sugar to each layer, which added a nice texture, and the buttercream was made simply with just a touch of apple cider and cinnamon for good measure. If you’ve got a cake to make, feel free to forgo the usual vanilla or chocolate and go for something a little different. It’s February, after all, and we all need a little pick-me-up! This is almost like the apple cider doughnut of cakes and if that doesn’t sell you on it, I don’t know what will.
Cool guy Kramer.
So, here are your ingredients.
Whisk together your flour mixture.
And make your batter.
Divide your batter among 3 8-inch cake tins and bake until set.
Now get to frosting your cake!
Decorate with roughly chopped pecans and/or sprinkles, if you like, and slice.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup apple cider
- ½ cup milk, room temperature
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons apple cider
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon milk
- roughly chopped pecans, for decoration (optional)
- First, make the cake. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 3 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper cut-outs, or butter the pans very well. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat together your cubed butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar for at least 3 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add in the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg in fully before adding in the next. Add in the vegetable oil and almond extract, beat until combined and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider and milk. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in ⅓ of the flour mixture, mix until combined, then add in ½ of the cider mixture. Repeat once more, finishing with the flour, mixing until just moistened.
- Divide your batter evenly among your 3 pans. Combine your 1 cup of granulated sugar and 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, then sprinkle evenly among the cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until set and a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside until the cakes cool completely (or place in the refrigerator), then run a butter knife around the edges of the cakes to release them.
- Next, make your frosting. Beat together your powdered sugar, unsalted butter, apple cider, cinnamon and milk for a minimum of 5 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
- Place your first cake layer on your chosen plate. Spread ⅓ of your frosting over the top of the cake, smoothing it out towards the edges. Place the next layer on top, press down slightly to secure the next layer, and repeat with the frosting. Top with the last cake layer and finish off with the remaining ⅓ of the frosting. Top with sprinkles and/or chopped pecans, if you like. This cake will keep well covered and at room temperature for up to 1 day, or refrigerated and covered for up to 3 days.