Spiced loaf cake features a fragrant orange scented cake. It is topped with chopped Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples stewed in a buttery maple syrup spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla.
Cooler weather and falling leaves signal apple picking time! What to do with the abundance of fresh apples you’ve harvested?
Bake up a batch of brown butter apple cider donuts or mix together some apple cider sangria.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at this delicious apple cider layer cake.
Or, for a less is more approach, make this simple spiced loaf cake topped with stewed apples!
Loaf Cake with Stewed Apples
This isn’t is a traditional pound cake. There isn’t nearly enough sugar, butter, and eggs to call it so.
The term “loaf cake” encompasses all cakes that are baked in a loaf pan.
As such, you can call quick breads such banana bread and pumpkin bread loaf cakes.
This spiced loaf cake is loosely based on pound cake.
It’s a bit lighter and softer in texture. It is definitely not as rich and dense as traditional pound cake.
The cake is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and finely grated orange zest. It’s a great canvas that can work with a variety of autumn fruits such as persimmon, pears, figs, or pomegranates.
Rather than mix apples into the cake batter, I opted to top the cake slices with spiced apples. The baked cake is topped with cooked apples.
I used a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. Feel free to use your favorite cooking apples.
Chop the apples into large bite-sized pieces. Keep the skin on to give the cooked apples some color and more texture.
Stew the apple in a mixture of melted and maple syrup. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, green cardamom, and vanilla bean for warm autumn flavors.
I used half a vanilla bean. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the filling. Add the bean and filling to the cooking apple mixture.
No vanilla bean? Substitute in vanilla paste, or add about 2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract at the end of cooking.
What to do with extra stewed apple mixture?
This spiced apple mixture is a welcome topping for a variety of dishes.
Spoon it over oatmeal, yogurt, or ice cream!
The spiced loaf cake is not very sweet by itself. The addition of the the spiced apple topping really rounds out and completes the dessert.
Storage & Leftovers
Spiced loaf cake may be left at room temperature up to three days.
Cool to room temperature. Then, transfer to an airtight container or tightly cover with plastic wrap.
Store leftover stewed apple mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Enjoy chilled, bring to room temperature, or gently reheat in the microwave.
Spiced Loaf Cake with Stewed Apples
Spiced Loaf Cake:
- 1 ¾ cup (230 grams) cake flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter room temp
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 large eggs room temp
- ¾ cup (170 grams) whole milk
- ⅓ cup (75 grams) sour cream
- 3 medium apples* (400 grams) cored and chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh squeeze lemon juice
- ½ cup (156 grams) maple syrup
- 6 Tbsp (85 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 pieces whole cloves
- 3 pieces whole green cardamom
- ½ vanilla bean split and insides scraped
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (starch)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter and flour 9×5-inch loaf pan. Tap out any excess flour and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), beat butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- With the mixer running on low, add eggs one at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl to ensure thorough mixing.
- Mix together milk and sour cream. Set aside.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture. Add ⅓ of flour mixture. Mix on low speed. Add half of milk mixture. Mix until combined. Repeat adding dry and wet, finishing with the last ⅓ of flour mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Mix until just combined and there are no longer any dry streaks of flour.
- Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Spread into an even layer. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from tin and cool to room temperature on wire rack.
- Core apples. Chopped into large bite-size pieces. Toss in lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, combine butter and maple syrup. Set over medium heat and melt butter.
- Add lemon apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and vanilla bean. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until apples have softened to desired consistency. Add salt.
- In a small bowl, mix together arrowroot powder with 1 teaspoon water until smooth. Pour into hot apple mixture and stir until distributed. Cook for another minute. Remove from heat and cool.*
- Strain out vanilla bean, cloves, and cardamom before serving.
- Slice cooled loaf cake. Top with spiced apples. Spiced apples can be served warm, room temperature, or chilled.
- Loaf cake can also be garnished with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- I used a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. Listed weight refers to chopped apples.
- Speed up cooling process by placing cooked apples in the fridge or freezer.