Apple Cake Recipe with a Rum Glaze
Autumn is my favourite time of year for a number of reasons:
- Weather turns cooler, leaving the exhausting heat of summer behind.
- Trees display gorgeous fall colours, turning hillsides into wonderful paintings.
- Apples are ready for harvest!
I love apples - in smooth sauces, piping hot pies, delicious juices and of course, they make the best dessert and tea cakes!
This apple bundt is as gorgeous as it is tasty. With plump, rum-soaked sultanas, packed with juice apple pieces and smothered with a rich rum glaze, soaking into the cake while still warm, it is one of my favorites.
With the apple harvest continuing into winter, the rum glaze makes this a festive and tasty Christmas treat for people who don't like dense fruit cakes.
Any rum-soaked dried fruit works well, with cranberries and sultanas being my favorite.
For a spicy, gingery flavor, use chop up glace ginger, but don't soak it in the rum.
If you have a fussy eater who doesn't like dried fruit, simply leave it out - the apples are wonderful by themselves.
Bundt tins make any cake look super special. High and decorative, they are perfect for birthdays or other celebrations.
They do require a longer cooking time, to ensure that the thickest sections are cooked through. Check with a wooden skewer a few minutes before the suggested cooking time.
They are easy to ice with a brushed or poured on glaze or melted chocolate when hot. I find a silicone brush works best to apply the glaze evenly.
Their shape is useful when making interesting cake decorations - a ballroom skirt on a doll, a round hobbit hole, a fiery volcano or an animal's watering hole.
You can even buy more decorative bundt and kugelhopf tins:
- a grove of trees for a Christmas feel
- a beautiful swirl
- a rose
- a decorative heart
- wreaths for all seasons
- fleur de lis
- and even a castle!
Nordic Ware has a great line of specialty bundt tins.
- Soak the sultanas in the rum.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and cinnamon together.
- Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
- Mix the flour and the sour cream into the wet ingredients in three batches, alternating flour then sour cream.
- Drain the sultanas (keep the rum for the glaze). Fold the sultanas and apples into the cake batter.
- Butter and flour a large (10 cup) bundt tin, spoon in the batter, then bake at 180C (350F) for 50-60 minutes.
- Melt the butter and sugar with the water for the glaze in a small saucepan, then add the rum.
- When the cake is ready, remove from the oven, and while still in the tin, poke some holes in the base. Spoon or brush 1/4 - 1/3 of the glaze over the cake's base.
- Wait 5 minutes, then invert onto a cake rack or serving plate. Spoon or brush the rest of the glaze over the top of the cake while it is still warm.
- 375g (3 cups) plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 250g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 100g (½ cup) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla essence or paste
- 175ml (½ cup) sour cream or buttermilk
- 70g (a handful) sultanas, or other dried fruit
- 125ml (½ cup) rum, (or 75ml / ¼ cup of 80-proof!)
- 2-3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 200g (1 cup) sugar, (glaze)
- 1 Tablespoon butter, (glaze)
- 75ml (¼ cup) water, (glaze)
Alcohol free? Easy!
Use clear apple juice instead of rum for the sultana soaking liquid and in the glaze for an extra apple kick.
- Dairy free - use dairy free margarine instead of butter.
- Gluten free - use gluten free flour and baking powder.
Unfortunately, fructose free is impossible with this cake!
Detailed instructions with photos
1. In a covered bowl or cup, soak the sultanas in the rum for at least a few hours. Soaking overnight will give you the plumpest, juiciest sultanas.
2. Prepare the bundt tin - butter and lightly flour so that the tin is evenly coated.
3. In a large bowl, whip the butter until it is light and creamy with an electric beater or cake mixer. Add the sugar to the whipped butter and continue to whip for about 3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, whipping for 30 seconds are each addition. Then add the vanilla essence. Vanilla paste or the seeds from whole vanilla beans will give your cake a more luxurious look and taste - warmer than vanilla essence.
5. Add the flour and sour cream in batches - 1 cup of flour, mix to blend well, ⅓ of the sour cream, mix to blend well, and repeat until all the flour and sour cream has been mixed in.
7. Peel and core the apples, then dice. Any juicy baking apple that keeps its form works well in this cake. My personal favorite are Granny Smiths because I love their tartness, but other apple varieties work well.
Tip: to stop the apple pieces from browning, sprinkle them with lemon juice to stop the oxidation process.
6. Drain the sultanas from the rum with a fork. Fold the sultanas and apple pieces into the cake batter well. It will be quite a stiff batter.
7. Drop large spoonfuls of the cake mixture into the prepared bundt tin. Push the batter down to even out the top before baking.
8. Bake in a moderate oven, 180°C (350°F) oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out cleanly.
9. Prepare the rum glaze before you remove the cake from the oven. Heat the water, sugar, butter in a small saucepan, stirring continuously. Add the rum when everything has melted and remove from the heat.
10. Remove the cake from the oven, and while it is still in the tin, poke holes in the base, then sprinkle several spoonfuls of the rum glaze over the surface. The more holes you poke, the better the glaze will soak into the middle of the cake.
11. Rest in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire cake rack. Put the rack over an oven tray or large bowl and gradually ladle or brush the rest of the rum glaze over the cake.
Serve warm or cool
This cake is most delicious when fresh, either warm or cool. It is incredibly moist, with plump sultanas and juicy apple pieces.
In my opinion it is most wonderful warm, with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!
It will keep at room temperature for a couple of days, if it lasts that long!
What is your favorite apple or apple dish?
Let us know in the comments below!