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I think I did a good thing here. A hankering for gingerbread and an urge to use my newly-discovered sorghum syrup ignited the creative impulse that led to this apple-ginger cake. It’s based on a fresh ginger cake I love from A Homemade Life; my version welcomes in apples, because apples and ginger work nicely together and because I am still working through my case of Honeycrisps. If you don’t have sorghum, don’t worry, just substitute an equal amount of molasses (not blackstrap); that’s what is used in the original cake. But… if you can find sorghum, try it here! The flavor is lighter than molasses but bolder than honey and it helps create such a moist, dense crumb. The cake comes out tasting a little like gingerbread, a little like apple cake.

My only note has to do with cooking time. The apple-ginger cake is dense and very moist and it can be tricky to tell when it’s done. (It doesn’t help things that my oven tends to be finicky, flighty or just plain wrong.) Use the time range I have given as an educated guess and start checking after 35 mins. so you don’t dry it out. Okay, actually I have two notes: though delicious warm, alone or with a tiny dollop of whipped cream, maybe some vanilla ice cream, this cake is ten times better the next morning. I mean day. No, I mean morning– a slice with my coffee made a dreary day so much better. You can eat your cake whenever you want and I won’t tell a soul.

Apple-Ginger Cake (inspired by A Homemade Life)

  • 6 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 generous cup of diced apple (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. sorghum syrup
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and set aside.

In a skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the apples and increase the heat slightly; you are not browning them so much as softening them in butter. (Yum.) After about 4 mins., sprinkle the apples with salt and brown sugar and cook for another 2-3 mins., until the brown sugar has dissolved completely into the butter. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool for about 10 mins.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, sorghum syrup and ginger; whisk in the egg. Carefully fold in the cooled apple mixture. In a small bowl, sift together flour and baking soda and add to the batter; fold the dry ingredients in until combined but don’t overmix. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35-50 mins. (check for doneness every 5 mins. after 35 mins.) until golden brown and cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature.