Penance French apple cake

I spent Sunday afternoon crouched over the kitchen sink at my parents' house doing penance.  Penance for what exactly?  For not listening to my gut.  For being a long-suffering softie who knows better but never ultimately acts on that knowledge.  Or maybe it was for letting things get out of the bounds of good sense and reason.  We all have our emotional moments but mine tend to erupt like Vesuvius with equally devastating results, although typically only to me.  In either case, if you're ever looking to do penance, sit yourself down (or stand if you're feeling extra cruel) and peel yourself some vegetables, fruit, and gourds.  Along with half a dozen fuji apples, I also peeled one impossible acorn squash and an absurdly large butternut squash.  Luckily, the penance that I inflict upon myself results in tasty treats for others and a fall recipe that is good enough to share with you all.  So here you have it, Rooth's penance French apple cake...

Penance French Apple Cake
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's recipe


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Fuji apples
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
3/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray inside of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray, like PAM.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.

Peel the apples, cut in quarters, and remove the cores. Slice the apples and cut into one inch chunks.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they are foamy. Add the sugar, rum, vanilla, cardamom, and lemon zest and whisk to blend.  Add in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth batter. Gently fold in the apples and make sure the fruit is well-incorporated. Pour the mix into the pan and smooth out the top with the spatula.

Depending on your oven, bake for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.

Carefully run a paring knife around the edges of the cake to loosen and then open and remove the sides of the springform pan.  Allow the cake to cool, if you have the patience, or just slice hot and eat it right then and there.

Penance sure does taste delicious (and like fall).


  1. I have, at times, felt good after completing some self-imposed penance. But not as good as I would have after eating that cake. Clearly I do not do penance properly. :)

  2. we need to talk!!!

  3. Hope you are doing okay! I actually thought about making apple cake a couple of days ago so I guess I will make the vegan version of this! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Aaaaaaaw....don't be too hard on yourself, Rooth. But I guess, if this is the result of your penance, it's ok then.....:) Better than mental punishment.

  5. Heavens you're hard on yourself, girlie! Peeling acorn squash IS a penance. But gracious, I'm not sure you deserve one. And do you? This recipe doesn't seem like it. ;)

  6. Omg so yum!!!! Fall honestly has the best foods. :)

  7. oh i love the name you gave this recipe. i have never peeled an acorn squash but i'll remember it when and if i ever have to do penance. :)

  8. This looks delicious! On another note, I have a feeling I need to do some penance myself. :(

  9. It looks good Rooth! Don't be so hard on yourself alright? c: Xx

  10. It looks yummy but to me, penance would be eating any sort of fruit pie. They don't sit well with me for some reason. I totally get the Vesuvius thing, it stinks though. Perhaps we both need a good yoga session.

    Didn't you cook the squash before you peeled them? I've never tried to peel a raw squash but the skin basically drops off if you bake it first.

  11. i love acorn squash but i curse myself every time i try to cut one (and hope i don't chop off a finger in the process). this looks and sounds really yummy.

  12. Well I guess I want you to "owe me penance" in the future so I get tasty treats :)

  13. .......I'll take 10 please.

  14. YUM! I'd much rather stay home today, with a slice of this cake, a big cup of tea, and a good book . . . sigh.


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