December is less than two days away and that is why you must try this festive colonial apple cake! The last month of the year not only brings on that little bit of panic as we try to finish all the holiday decorating and shopping in time, it also brings Christmas parties! Many of which are potluck-style. And I don’t know about you, but for a few years there, I felt like my contribution to a holiday potluck was pretty predictable.
Well, if you are in that predictable holiday potluck rut, then you are in luck! This apple cake will get you unstuck, and it will earn you a fan base as well. It is a lovely, simple, rustic (hence “colonial”) Bundt cake, with cinnamon and dates evoking that old-time holiday taste. Shoot, who needs a potluck? Make it and give it to friends as holiday gifts, or just make it for your family to enjoy. You won’t regret it.
And what makes this cake “by Lori” as the title suggests is that once again, I have substituted the oil which the original recipe called for with sour cream. One fourth the calories, tablespoon for tablespoon, says it all for me. Go compare labels for sour cream and canola oil, and you will see for yourself. If I can get the same rich flavor by cutting the calories from fat by a quarter? Shoot, I’ve made my choice!
Let’s see what we need to make the Colonial Apple Cake by Lori
So, I gave away the whole sour cream instead of oil part already. And if you read my post for pumpkin bread you will start to understand that if I can, I will likely do it in every recipe that will tolerate the substitution.
Do you have favorite baking recipes that call for oil where you would like to substitute sour cream for lower calories from fat? Here’s a tip. From the research I’ve done online, there is a method to the substitution madness. You can substitute either sour cream or yogurt for oil, cup for cup. But there is a bit of a kicker. Because canola or vegetable oil is more liquid, the finished product will be denser with sour cream or yogurt. So, you need to add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of substituted dairy fat. That will give your baked good that lift and fluffiness it needs.
I’m fairly new to this replacement of oil thing, so I don’t know whether it will work in every situation. But since the caloric math stands up, I can’t see a reason not to take a risk and adjust a favorite recipe just once and see how it goes.
Let’s look at the steps for making colonial apple cake
Heat your oven, then…
Grease and flour your Bundt pan.
Bundt pans have hills and valleys, right? So, when you grease the pan, don’t use side-to-side motions. Use up and down motions as you work around the pan to hit both the hills and the valleys. This is important because this colonial apple cake is basically served nekid! Meaning, no frosting to cover boo-boos. If you don’t prep your Bundt pan thoroughly, you may get parts of the cake that stick and tear when you turn the cake out of the pan. And then you have gaping holes on the top. That’s NOT pretty. (Although the little sucker will taste just as good, so if you don’t care? Shoot, it’s your cake, do it however you like!)
Clarification moment: “nekid” means naked in some parts of the US, for my South American and European childhood friends who think I’m making up words. The accent of the people from the parts of the country who say nekid instead of naked are sweet and charming. I am paying homage to them. Silent moment of appreciation for our diverse and beautiful nation.
By the way, see how I’ve missed a couple of spots once I floured the greased pan? Those are potential sticking and breaking spots. If you have those, and if you care, tap a little bit of butter into them and flour again. Easy peasy.
Pour all the dry ingredients except the sugar together into a bowl and mix them to distribute. Then set aside.
By the way, we all know that for baking, it is best to let all ingredients come to room temperature before mixing, right? Unless a recipe specifically states otherwise, this is a good rule of thumb to follow.
Then mix all the wet ingredients and the sugar, scraping the sides to make sure it all gets incorporated. It doesn’t need too long. It just needs to be well mixed.
Next, pour your dry ingredients in. I added them all at once. I know some recipes call for you to integrate the dry a little bit at a time. This apple cake recipe is simple and happy. Throw it all in. Caution: If you add the dry ingredients all at once, start the mixer on the lowest speed until you get the dry stuff moistened, or you will have a real messy kitchen.
Finally, add the chopped apples, chopped dates, and lemon zest.
You should use your hands to break apart the chopped dates as you add them. These sweet little suckers are sticky! If you just dump them, they will go in as a clump and it will be difficult to stir them apart.
Fold them in until everything is evenly distributed.
Then pour it into your prepared Bundt pan, and into the oven it goes.
You know how Bundt cakes are. They take a little longer than other cakes, and much depends on your oven. I start checking at an hour, and then five minute intervals after. This baby is done when a wooden skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean. Check frequently at the end, though, because you don’t want to over-cook it.
And then, you get this! Wish you could smell my house when this shot was taken!
Let it cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes then turn it out onto a serving dish.
Chubby little ridged yumminess!
Then powder the top with sugar and serve it warm.
I like it plain. You can add whipped cream with your slices if you want. But I do love it plain (as does Steve).
The sweetness of the dates, the tang of the lemon zest, the holiday warmth of the cinnamon, and the lusciousness of the sour cream. Sweet, comforting, crusty slice of holiday spirit. How can you go wrong? I hope you like it!
Merry Christmas to you all! Thank you for following and being a friend of the blog. And remember, I love your comments! They mean so much to me. Sharing is caring, so share your comments with me on my posts or share the posts on social media. I really appreciate it!
Colonial Apple Cake by Lori
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups chopped granny smith apple chopped
- 1/2 cup dates chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Powdered sugar for dusting on top
- Preheat the oven to 350° F, then grease and flour a Bundt pan.
- Mix the first 5 dry ingredients into a bowl, then set aside.
- Pour the sugar, sour cream, eggs, milk, and vanilla into a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
- Stir in the chopped apple, chopped dates, and lemon zest.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minute, or until wooden skewer comes out clean.
- Check every five minutes after the first hour to avoid drying out.
- Pull out of the oven and let cool in pan for about 10 minutes.
- Turn into serving dish, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.