Eplekake (Apple Cake)

September 14, 2016
Eplekake (Apple Cake)

Eplekake (Apple Cake) Eplekake (Apple Cake)Apple trees across the valley hang a little heavier these days, their branches full of the fruit which has been growing and ripening over the past few weeks. The ground beneath them is dotted with hues of red and green and yellow as if it were merely a reflection of the tree itself covered in the same hues. The branches hang low and graze the grass, having given way to gravity and appearing in need of having their seasonal burden lifted. And so, kids and adults alike grab baskets and bowls and pluck the fruit from the low branches and climb on ladders to reach those on the very top. It’s a joyous time, when nature’s bounty can be harvested and enjoyed.

Apples have been a part of Norway and Northern Europe for quite some time, stretching back to the Stone Age and possibly beyond. Linguistically, the word eple is common in Northern European languages. Findings from the Viking Ship, the Oseberg, revealed 54 well-preserved wild apples, which are just slightly smaller than the wild apples we have today. Much of the apples in Norway have been cultivated and have derived from the practice of grafting, or taking a branch from one tree and attaching it to a different tree so that it may heal quickly and become part of that tree. The art of grafting was quite common among monasteries in Norway following the introduction of Christianity in the 1000’s. Nursery catalogs from 1895-1902 talk about wild stems which were sold by the thousands for grafting purposes, leaving the question of just how ‘wild’ are the wild apples in Norway today.

Eplekake (Apple Cake) Eplekake (Apple Cake) It is no surprise apples are an important commodity in Norway. When apple season peaks, an array of fresh and local apples and their products appear. From freshly pressed juices to soups to desserts and jams. Quite arguably, one of the most common and iconic apple dishes made during this season is eplekake, or apple cake. It seems everyone has their own recipe for eplekake, but overall Norwegian eplekake is presented as a simple sponge cake topped with slices of fresh apples and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and possibly nuts. It is served with ice cream, vanilla cream or whipped cream. Oh, and coffee of course.

My version of a straightforward eplekake is simple, tasty and perfect to serve right out of the oven. The sweetness of the sponge cake is complimented with the tanginess of the apples and you get just a hint of cinnamon and a bit of texture from the brown sugar and almonds. Enjoying a slice of eplekake in the garden, in the height of autumn, is just one of life’s great pleasures.

Eplekake (Apple Cake) Eplekake (Apple Cake)Eplekake (Apple Cake)

Eplekake

(Makes 1 cake, 8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 dl ( 1 1/4 cup) sugar
  • 150g (2/3 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 dl (1 3/4 cup) flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 dl (∼1/2 cup) milk
  • 3-4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices

Topping

  • 2 Tb brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 Tb cinnamon
  • Couple dabs of butter (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180° C /350°F. Grease an 8-inch/20cm springform pan.

In a bowl, blend together the flour and the baking powder.

In a large bowl or kitchen mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture and blend together. Slowly add in the milk until everything is well blended.

Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan. Top the mixture with the apple slices, laying them tightly next to each other and pressing them into the batter slightly as you go along. After you have covered the batter with the apples, sprinkle them with the brown sugar, sliced almonds, and cinnamon. For a little indulgence, take just a couple small dabs of butter and place them around the cake, so they will melt into the cake as it bakes.

Place in the oven and bake for around 1 hour. The top should be golden brown and you can check the cake with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for a truly luxurious dessert.


Historical sources: Digital Museum, Wiki, Skog og Lanskap

Eplekake (Apple Cake)

 

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9 Comments

  • Reply Brooke September 15, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    What type of a pan is best for this? A regular cake pan or a springform pan? Lovely photos, I cannot wait to make this with all of our Pacific Northwest (Seattle) Fall apples!

    • Reply nevada September 15, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Hi Brooke! I find that a springform works really well, just make sure to butter it beforehand. I hope you enjoy the cake and all your many wonderful apples!!

  • Reply Morten October 1, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Super blogg. Congrat

    • Reply nevada October 2, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you discovered my blog 🙂

  • Reply Denitsa October 3, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Yummy! Looks really good! I like your recipe and I think I will give it a try very soon 🙂

    • Reply nevada October 4, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Let me know if you do! 🙂

  • Reply Alma October 25, 2016 at 3:40 am

    Finally got around to trying this cake and WOW is the crumb light and the recipe was easy to make! I did add a small amount of cinnamon to the cake batter – I couldn’t resist the temptation of doing this. A winner recipe and one that will be made again! I think that I will place the apple slices on their edge into the batter as that might allow them when not overlapping to cook quicker. The center of the cake was not quite as done as the rest of it was and I think that the change in insertion of the apple slices might help this. I will have to try it first and then put a note back on whether this worked well. 🙂 I did slice them very thin and I used 2 larger apples and one smaller apple which might have been too much apple for all of them to cook the same.

    • Reply nevada October 25, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      Hi Alma! I’m so glad you liked the recipe! It is a really easy cake to make. I also really enjoy cinnamon, so putting some in the batter will make for a nice addition. Did you lay the apple slices on their side? I may not have made that very clear in the instructions. But do let me know when you try your second round to see if there are any differences in how you place the apple slices. 🙂

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