Apple Pumpkin Cake and a Fantastic Book Giveaway

Apple Pumpkin Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend BARB!!!!

Every year at this time I make apple cakes, many of them. It is our traditional dessert during Rosh Hashanah** and just simply delicious for any occasion. This year I tried a new recipe from Robin Asbell’s latest book on Whole Grains. It gets its richness from pumpkin puree, a layer of sauteed apples and then the whole thing is topped with spiced struesel. This cake is so amazing, I had to bake two. The first one my family ate before I could photograph it for this post, so I made another, it’s gone too. Because the cake is made with whole wheat flour, apples and pumpkin I feel great about satisfying my boys’ requests to eat it for breakfast, a snack and dessert.

To win the book

I have had such a wonderful time cooking and baking through Robin’s book, The New Whole Grain Cookbook: Terrific Recipes Using Farro, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Barley, and Many Other Delicious and Nutritious Grains.  It is full of amazing recipes using grains I am just now getting to know like Farro, Job’s tears and Teff, along with some I’ve known of but had no idea how to use. I love the chart in the beginning of the book that gives the grain to water ratio and cooking times. I am constantly having to look all over for that information and she figured out to put it all in one spot. I asked Robin if she would sign a copy I could share with you.  Thankfully she agreed and I now have one to give away. I will draw a name on October 5th from one of the comments below. Enjoy this cake and happy whole grain cooking to the winner!

Apples and a Pumpkin | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In Robin’s recipe she calls for canned pumpkin so you can make this cake any time of the year, but since it is pie pumpkin season I decided to use puree from a pumpkin I roasted. The apples are aplenty right now as well so chose some that are local. You can mix and match baking apples such as Macintosh, Cortland, Haralson and/or Granny Smith. I have yet to get to an orchard to pick my own apples. But, I had the great fortune of receiving a bag of apples from Jerry Carlson, my friend Jen’s father, who picked the fruit from a tree in his back yard. They are tart, but sweet and have a pink tint to their flesh. Absolutely gorgeous! I mixed them with some Granny Smith, as Robin recommends in her recipe.

Sauteed apples:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 large Granny Smith apples (or a combination of your favorite baking apples), peeled and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Streusel topping and Cake (they are made together and then divided)

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh roasted)

1/3 cup sour cream

2 large eggs

Apple chips:

1 apple (very thinly sliced on a Mandoline Slicer, it is really hard to get them thin enough with a knife)

1/2 cup simple syrup

To start:

Butter and flour (I forgot the flour and it was just fine!) an 8-Inch Springform Pan

Preheat oven to 350°

Sautéing apples in butter | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Saute the apples in the butter on medium heat, just until they start to soften. Remove from heat and add the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Combining flour, brown sugar and salt in a mixer flour | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a stand mixer combine the flour, brown sugar and salt. Add the 1/2 cup butter and blend well.

Apple Pumpkin Cake Mixture | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Measure out 2/3 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl to make the streusel. Add the 3 tablespoons sugar and pumpkin spices to this separate bowl, blend and set aside.

Apple Pumpkin Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add the baking soda, pumpkin, sour cream and eggs to the flour mixture left remaining in your mixer.

Apple Pumpkin Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Apple Pumpkin Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Layer the cake batter, then the sauteed apples and finally sprinkle the streusel over the top.

Apple Pumpkin Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Allow to cool in the pan and then remove the springform. Serve with Vanilla ice cream and an apple chip.

To make the apple chips. dip the apple slices in the simple syrup. Drain the excess syrup off and lay them flat on a Silpat Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat. Turn off the oven from the cake and put the sheet of apples in the hot, but turned off oven. Allow the apples to dry out for about an hour before opening the door.

**For those of you who may want a parve caramel apple cake for their Rosh Hashanah dinner they can either adapt this recipe or use the recipe I have that has no dairy. For those just looking for an incredible cake to make use of all those amazing apples and a roasted pumpkin this is the one for you!

Leave a note below and win The New Whole Grain Cookbook: Terrific Recipes Using Farro, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Barley, and Many Other Delicious and Nutritious Grains!

Come Twitter with me! Zoebakes

213 thoughts to “Apple Pumpkin Cake and a Fantastic Book Giveaway”

  1. This cake looks perfect–streusel topping, moist cake with sour cream and pumpkin, apples (I always have lots to use up). I think I’ll try maple syrup with the apple chips. I can’t wait.

  2. Hi Sheri,

    I really don’t get a strong pumpkin flavor, it just adds lots and lots of moisture. If you really can’t do pumpkin, you could probably substitute applesauce.

    Thanks, Zoë

  3. Hello from Finland! The issue with whole grain is very popular also here. Much healthier – but also a little bit trickier to bake. At least my experiments with bread doughs have not given any good results – yet!

  4. Hi TiV,

    You may want to try adding a couple tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to your whole wheat bread recipes. This allows more rise and better crumb. Is it available in Finland?

    Thanks, Zoë

  5. That looks so delicious…reminds me of when people describe themselves as a waiter/actor/writer. This might be sourcream streusel coffeecake/apple tart/pumpkin pie!

  6. Zoe, I am so glad that you posted this recipe! I was waiting for a yummy apple cake to be shown up here. I love whole grain baking but besides the King Arthur book I have, there aren’t alot of resources that I trust. I’m thinking the book you reviewed is another keeper. What other recipes are in there?

  7. Hi Amanda,

    The Peruvian Quinoa Shrimp Chicharrones is next on my list of recipes to make from the book. Very exotic, but it looks simple to make. Also the French Lamb and Rye Berry Braise!

    The blueberry pie with whole wheat crust is amazing, as is the wild rice and hazelnut stuffing with apples.

    One more that is intriguing, but I haven’t tried yet is the coconut-lemongrass black rice pudding.

    Enjoy! Zoë

  8. Oh, yummy! I sent this recipe to my mom and she thinks it sounds good too. I agreed to bring it to Thnksgiving Dinner. LOL! Thnks for the great cake recipe and would love to win this book.

  9. This looks amazing! After a big trip apple picking in New England, I’m looking for any and all recipes that call for apples and this one suits the bill! Surely it’ll put a dent in my massive apple supply 🙂

  10. Thanks for your kind advice Zoe! After long and desperate search I found wheat gluten from the neighbourhood bakery…and it was cheap too. The webshops from abroad were not allowed to send it here and I was getting desperate. But now I have it and will try. How about adding it to the 100% whole wheat bread dough in your recipe? Have you tried adding it?

  11. Hi TiV,

    Yes, it will really help with the 100% whole wheat breads. The whole grains wreak havoc on the ability for the protein to form gluten, so it tends to be dense. The vital wheat gluten really helps.

    Enjoy that bread!

    Zoë

  12. Great looking recipe! I just happen to have a fridge full of apples and a can of pumpkin in the cupboard. Love anything whole grain!

  13. OMG! Robin’s book is the best thing since sliced bread. Whole grains don’t need to taste like cardboard anymore. I served recipes from her book at a party I had last Sunday and people were raving. They had never heard of Quinoa. Honestly, you don’t miss meat with the recipes in this book.

  14. Hi OCD,

    She has a chart at the back of the book that translate from US to metric. It looks like it is mostly for liquids, not flour.

    I got 4 1/2 ounces per 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

    I’ll email her and ask if that matches her measurement.

    Thanks! Zoë

  15. I’m always looking for inspiration to using a variety of grains in cooking. This looks like just the book for me. Thanks for the opportunity!

  16. Hello, everyone, thanks for all the kind words.
    I weighed a cup of whole wheat pastry and it was 4.5 ounces. I probably tend to go heavy, since I use (Shirley Corriher’s recommended) scoop and level method, rather than sifting. It’s her assertion that nobody sifts before measuring, so we should all get on board and just scoop, so our readers will have the same results.
    I hope that is helpful.

  17. Do you think Gravensteins would work in this cake? I’m baking my way through a box of them and this recipe looks like the perfect way to help use some of those apples up. I love using whole wheat flour…it makes my pie crusts taste a little like cookies.

  18. You mentioned a parve caramel apple cake for Rosh Hashanah dinner – are you referring to your caramel apple cake but without the caramel glaze, which has butter?
    Also – can you suggest a good honey cake for Rosh Hashanah?

  19. pumpkin AND whole grains? i love autumn and its bounty–

    think i may try this recipe for my Thanksgiving spread with homemade cinnamon whipped cream, thanks, Z!

  20. One more question – is there a big difference between whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour? Can one be substituted for the other?

  21. Hi Lady Di,

    Yes the caramel cake is amazing too and you can substitute either margarine or earth balance for the butter to make it parve.

    Whole wheat pastry flour has less protein so it ends up with a lighter texture. I ran low on the second cake I made and ended up using mostly white whole wheat flour and it was still fantastic!

    I have a great honey cake but it has butter. You could again use the earth balance butter substitute in its place. http://zoebakes.com/?p=674

    Happy New Year! Enjoy. Zoë

  22. Thank you – the blueberry honey cake looks fabulous too! Now I have 3 cakes to try before I start my diet – lol!
    Happy New Year to you, too!Dianne

  23. This reminds me of a pie I had my freshman year in college. I was in a traveling singing group and we sang at a chili cookoff in the middle of nowhere. One of the “covered dishes” was a Dutch Apple Pumpkin pie–basically a dutch apple pie (with streusel topping) and a pumpkin pie all in one. It was glorious and I braved my fear of talking to strangers to hunt down the baker and ask her to mail me the recipe (this was before any of us had email). I have no idea what happened to the recipe but I made it for Thanksgiving that year and it was the perfect combination!

  24. Here was I resisting the idea to buy one of those gigantic pumpkins, thinking “oh well it’s a little too much for one person” – here is a more than decent recipe to indulge in a real pumpkin extravaganza!!

  25. Pumpkin and apple, perfect because that’s what’s in my garden right now!
    Now pass me a fork please.
    Great looking photo too.

  26. Hi Colloquial Cook,

    I’ve always found that the smaller “pie” or “sugar” pumpkins have more flavor than the big ones.

    Enjoy!

    Zoë

  27. I love the thickness and density of it, very lovely. I have a whole bunch of apples that I was wondering what to do with, this is going on the list!

  28. I absolutely adore apple cakes and anything pumpkin so now you’ve got me drooling! Since I don’t live in a place where I can cook (just a little while longer!) I’m going to be bugging my friends to borrow their kitchens. Mmmm.

  29. I’ve been looking for a good whole grains cookbook for awhile now and that one seems perfect! And I can’t wait to try the cake–gives me an excuse to buy another bag of apples from the farmer’s market. 🙂

  30. Ok, I’m game since I have some wonderful looking white longneck pumpkins in the garden and a friend that is an apple grower. Fall is calling for this recipe to be tested!!Thanks.!

  31. This looks delicious. It will be perfect for taking to hosted teacher luncheons and other fall events as not only are the flavors perfect for the fall season it is easy to transport and will still look good when it arrives (DH sometimes delivers items to school for me and I always worry if it will arrive looking the same way it did when I packed it).

  32. This cake looks wonderful- I have recently switched over to using only whole grains, so this will be perfect for the holidays. I can’t wait to check out the book as well. Looks like a great resource for my new way of cooking.

  33. Looks great! My kids just returned from an apple orchard field trip and this will be better than the usual apple pie (already made one this season). Bonus they will think they are getting away with something when I let them eat it for breakfast. Sneaky!

  34. The book sounds fantastic – as does the apple/pumpkin cake. I’m always looking for ways to make whole grains more appealing to my family!

  35. This looks deliciouus. I really want to get into whole grain cooking and would love to explore this cookbook more thoroughly.

  36. Oh that looks great! I was just about to give up on incorporating an apple dessert into thanksgiving as pumpkin and pecan were demanded; this way, maybe i’ll get both apple and pumpkin in one!

  37. With seasonal apples and pumpkin together in one great cake, I’d have to call this the “Ultimate Fall Cake.”

  38. I have been baking with summer fruits and it is really only in the last couple days that I’ve been thinking autumn. This looks perfect. Thanks for sharing the recipe! (also thanks for your blog…I tried the devil’s food cupcakes this weekend to rave reviews)

  39. Oh gosh that looks delicious…I have a whole box of apples sitting downstairs right now and I’m trying to find ways to use them up, ad this could be the perfect solution…:)

    By the way, the recipe didn’t say how to make the apple chips? How long do you bake those for?

  40. The area of whole grains is certainly an area where I can use more input and ideas…

    I am so looking forward to the next “Artisan Breads in 5 minutes” style book, when will we be able to see it available?

  41. I should have also added that we roast our pumpkins. Sometimes we put nutmeg on the pumpkins before we roast them. Or we make Pumpkin soup. It is one of our favourite soups. Lots of onions, pumpkin, sea salt and pepper, butter and sometimes a little curry. When it is all cooked wizz it together. Very nice.

  42. Hi Sam,

    If you go all the way to the bottom of the post you will see a very short description of how to prepare the apple chips. They are delicious!

    Zoë

  43. Hi Jenny,

    Our next book which is dedicated to whole grains and healthy breads should be out around October 2009. Fingers Crossed.

    Thanks, Zoë

  44. I decided to wait for october before starting to cook with pumpkin… but now I have so many recipes to try, I fear I wont finish them all until april!
    This looks wonderful

  45. This sounds so delicious! I’ll have to bake one with the apples I bought at the Farmers Market today and serve it up with a batch of homemade pumpkin ice cream!

  46. My house is full of pumpkin fans, I can’t wait to try this. I’ve already had to make 2 pumpkin pies this week for the ravenous family! I love using whole grains in my baking so I’ll be on the lookout for this book (and I’m also looking forward to your new whole grain book Zoe!)

  47. I will try this recipe over the weekend. It looks really good! We have tons of apple’s at the farmers markets just waiting to bein some yummy dessert.

  48. I would love to try this with a sweet, nutty, roasted heirloom squash, or even roasted sweet potato. Thanks for sharing – this looks like a keeper!

  49. Zoe-
    Both the cake and the book look fantastic. I plan to try my hand at the cake and if I am not the lucky winner I will hope my local library has the book. Thanks again for posting fun and interesting recipes. I look forward to your next book.

  50. What a wonderful way to combine two harvest favorites. My flower garden sprouted a “volunteer” varietal pumpkin from last year’s mulched remains . . . so I think I’ll try this cake!

  51. This cake looks great. I’m in the mood for fall cakes since it just snowed yesterday for the first time this year. Can’t wait to try it. The cookbook also looks wonderful.

  52. After baking with the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I have now found a great book for desserts. Can’t wait to get started!

  53. I just discovered your blog and I’m obsessed. This post is amazing and I can’t wait to read more. You just got me into fall spirit!

  54. This must be the latest thing, mixing pumpkin and with other untraditional pairings. I’ve heard raves about a pumpkin/chocolate cake. Thanks for the easy to follow directions and photos!

  55. Thanks for all the great comments on the cake- it’s an example of my practice of balancing the stronger flavor of whole grain flour with more intense flavors, so that everything gets to shine.
    Congrats to the winner of the book!

  56. Ohhhhh! That apple pumpkin cake speaks to me! It’s cold and rainy and I need an excuse to stay in and bake! Steph

  57. Absolutely delicious! Made it for a dinner party and it was hit. So simple to make and the flavors and texture were perfect. Thanks a keeper recipe!

  58. Wow this looks amazing! And I absolutely adore pumpkin — all kinds of squash, actually, but especially pumpkin puree — so this looks like just my kind of cake!

  59. I did that post on apples the other day. As you know the recipes had to have been posted in the last week, but I think I’m really going to make this because I have all those apples plus I have leftover pumpkin from my last Tuesdays With Dorie challenge.

    I have one question, do you have any suggestions for a substitution for the whole wheat pastry flour. I doubt I’ll be able to find that locally and I’d still like to try and make this. Is there some way to make whole wheat pastry flour using regular whole wheat flour and something else? I know you can create regular pastry flour using a mixture of all purpose flour and cake flour. I was wondering if you can do the same with the whole wheat.

    Thanks for the comment and thanks for creating such a great blog! I’ll have to keep checking back here. Good stuff!

  60. Hi Aimee,

    I’ve made this cake several times now and the last time I had run out of whole wheat pastry flour and substituted whole whole wheat. It came out just as good! If you can find that you will be all set. If not I think you would be fine to make a 60:40 mixture of whole wheat and all purpose flours.

    Let me know how it comes out!

    Thanks, Zoë

  61. I made this to take over to my mom’s for a family dinner and everyone just loved it!!! my mom loved it so much she asked me to make it again for a thanksgiving dinner at my aunts (even though i couldn’t be there) and yet again it got rave reviews! thanks for the delicious recipe!

  62. This is the yummiest cake I have ever made ( and I’ve made aloooot of cakes!) It is dense and smooth and spicy and the very definition of “fall comfort food”. Thank you Zoe!

  63. Wow – I’ve looked at three of your posts and had to add a link to my links page so that I don’t forget to come back! Looking forward to the fall when I’ll get apples in my CSA box again and can try this one out. Looks delish.

  64. I love love baking with whole grains and this cake is really wonderful. I plan to bake one gain in a couple of weeks for my son’s visit. Thanks for the great recipe.

  65. Zoe, going to bake this up this weekend and can’t wait, the apples are so good right now that it’s a must (though I probably will be using canned pumpkin, lame). In your pictures the top looks kinda purplish and though I realize that is probably just the lighting, I was wondering if the addition of rhubarb would just follow along the same lines of softening the apples with cooking it and if it would add some good color to the top? Any suggestions?

  66. Hi Nick,

    Where, oh where did you find rhubarb this time of year? Did you think to freeze it? I always say I’m going to and then end up using it all. I never think to put rhubarb and apples together because they are rarely available at the same time, but I bet they would be lovely together. I think the cake is plenty sweet enough to handle it. If the rhubarb is from later in the season, you may need to cook it for a moment to soften it. If it was from early in the summer it may be tender enough to bake straight. Frozen rhubarb tends to break up anyway so cooking it may not be at all necessary! Do tell me how it goes!

    Thanks, Zoë

  67. I needed a great fall dessert for a party I’m going to and this looks like the right choice.
    I love the apple chips idea not only for the dessert but I will also add them to my fall salad.
    Mixed greens, pecans, cranberries and some goat cheese
    Yum!

  68. This cake is amazing! Made it yesterday–filled the house with the most heavenly aroma! My only comment is that the apples gave off so much liquid, that I had to bake it longer than the hour called for, but once it was done, pure delight–this is what fall cooking is all about!!

  69. Hi Zoe! I made this apple pumpkin cake and featured it on my blog. I made sure to link back to your post for the recipe. It was a wonderful cake! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  70. zoe, I made this cake tonight. It is amazing, and I have guest over right now enjoying it as I write this. Do you mind if I put this link on my blog? I must share this recipe! So wonderful and tastes like fall.

  71. btw, last October my son HAD to have this for his 3rd birthday. We made it, apple chips included. He lOVED it. We’ve also been baking w/ the HBin5 group. Made some of the chard bread (one you posted last summer) the other day and added shredded carrots and cheddar cheese in a cinnamon roll style bun. Party buns we called them b/c they looked so festive. Thanks for all the wonderful food you bring to our family!

    1. Hi Bridgit,

      Wow, your bread sounds amazing! I’m thrilled that you are baking in the HBin5 group, sounds like so much fun.

      Your son has amazing taste in cakes, I love it! 🙂

      Thanks, Zoë

  72. Zoe, let me say first of all that I loved the red velvet cake recipe. I made the cake with a homemade cream cheese icing and a basic decorating job — I aspire to be able to make fancy decorations like yours, but I’m still learning. 😛 I successfully halved it because I was making it for Vday and it was just the two of us, and we loved it! Thank you for sharing it with us!

    Anyway, I’m going to make this for a friend next weekend. I have two questions:
    1) I have a food processing with a thin (4 mm) and a thick (6 mm) slicing disk. Do you think that would be sufficient substitute for a mandoline slicer? I looked at the one you recommended, and it looks cool, but scary sharp. I’m afraid of cutting myself on it.
    2) I went to Fry’s (Kroger) to look for pumpkin puree and they haven’t had any since Thanksgiving. I’ll look around, but if I had to make a substitute, what would you suggest?

    Thank you for your help! I love your site — I want to make at least one thing from it every month, starting with all of the “Basics” articles. 🙂 And I love your bread cookbook too, my family adore the master recipe. 🙂

  73. Hi Zoe,
    What a great, great, great cake. We live on an apple farm and also grow pumpkins – this time of year we have so much of both that I am always looking for recipes. This cake turned out SOOOOO good that I am going to make it for all the holiday gatherings. (It may just become my “signature” contribution to every potluck I go to). Thank you so much!

  74. Just made this cake last night! So easy and was DELISH! I’m thinking of making it again..because it’s already all gone! 🙁

  75. Just made this and it’s in the oven now. I can already tell it is going to be absolutely amazing! The pictures and directions were very clear and very helpful. Thanks so much!!

  76. I love pumpkin and apples. There are very few desserts that I can eat and enjoy and know that the choice is a healthy one. I am excited about finding this recipe! I’m going to try it this weekend. I think it’s going to be a winner and that I can take this to the family gathering for Thanksgiving. I am so glad that I found your website!!!!

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