Finding an interesting alternative to the classic dump cobbler is an on going challenge. Dump cobblers are perfect for dessert around the campfire but what if you wanted to do something different? Here’s my answer to that question: a simple yet elegant spiced apple cake.
6-7 large apples peeled, cored and chopped (firm crisp apples are the best in cakes like this – I used granny smith and honey crisp)
1 lemon, cut in half
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature and beaten until light and creamy
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped pecans (walnuts are a great option as well!)
Prepare a 12″ camp Dutch oven by spraying it liberally with Pam or spread a coat of vegetable oil evenly around the bottom and halfway up the sides of the oven. Place a round of parchment cut to fit the bottom of the oven and place on top of the oil.
In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, warm butter, warm cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until the eggs are combined, creating a yellow and creamy batter. If the cream cheese is still lumpy, that’s ok.
In another large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, folding gently until dry ingredients are just combined with a few streaks of dry still visible. Add the apples and pecans and fold them into the batter, again very gently and with as few strokes as possible to keep the cake light and airy.
Bake at 350 degrees for an hour with 17 hot charcoals on top and 8 underneath or until you can smell the cinnamon and apple aroma and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it.
To avoid a hot spot, rotate the lid clockwise and the bottom counterclockwise ever 15 to 20 minutes. Replace the charcoal after about 30 minutes to maintain proper baking temperature.
Run a kitchen knife around the outside of the cake before cutting and serving the cake.
Serve with ice cream or nothing at all!
Thank you to Bunny’s Warm Oven for the inspiration! I love all of the apples, the hint of spice that makes the apple flavor sing, and the light texture of this delicious cake. Enjoy!!