Soooo it’s been a good minute since I’ve posted to the blog (over a month to be exact!). I’m excited to share this delicious autumn-inspired cake with you all. This Apple Brandy Honeysuckle Tea Cake is an Italian sponge cake variation, which is part sponge cake, part pound cake. It’s light and airy like a sponge cake but moist and soft like a pound cake. It is such a delicious recipe! The apples are cooked down in cinnamon, honeysuckle tea and brandy making for a warm, spiced treat under the layer of delicious cake. Have it for afternoon tea or for brunch on a chilly autumn morning.
Apple Brandy Honeysuckle Tea Cake
Recipe adapted from Hortus Natural Cooking
5 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ¼ inch thickness
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup brewed honeysuckle tea, slightly cooled
1 tablespoon brandy
1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, divided
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup + 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large skillet, toss together the prepared apples, honey, cinnamon, honeysuckle tea, and brandy. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture becomes syrupy and the apples become slightly tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. If you have the time, you could transfer the mixture to a heatproof container and allow the apples to marinade in the mixture for a couple hours to overnight in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, spices, baking powder, and salt. Set bowl aside until needed. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugars and the egg yolks until the sugar turns pale and thick, noting that the sugar will not dissolve completely. Add in the vanilla and vegetable oil and mix well.
Drain the cooled apples and measure out the liquid they produce and add enough milk to get ¾ cup worth of liquid. Add this mixture to the batter and mix until combined. Add in the flour mixture and, with the mixer on low, mix until you get a uniformed batter.
In a separate stand mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Working with a third of the egg whites at a time. gently fold them into the batter with a circular motion from the bottom and upward until combined.
Oil and flour the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Add the cooked apples in first, arranging them in an even layer before carefully pouring in the batter over top of the apples. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake will be a deep golden brown and smell amazing! Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, top with a dollop of yogurt or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve immediately.