Honeycrisp Apple Cake with Candied Bacon


I’ll be the first to admit that desserts bore me. My palate gravitates toward savory and spicy rather than sweet. A good dessert should have a salty, spicy, and/or savory component. Around Thanksgiving, apple season is dwindling, but there are still some left. Snatch up some Michigan apples (any variety would work in this recipe) and give this super moist cake a shot. Although the recipe is adapted, the addition of sage, brown butter, and bacon are mine – if you don’t like those ingredients just make the cake. You’ll love it, I’m sure.

Recipe (Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book): 


3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 Honeycrisp apples (peeled, cored, and cut into ¼ inch pieces)

Brown Butter, Brown Sugar, & Sage Glaze:

½ cup packed (3 ½ ounces) light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick) browned (How to brown butter)

2 tablespoons milk

5-6 leaves fresh sage (bruised)

Candied Bacon:

12 slices bacon (about ¼ inch thick)

fresh cracked black pepper

1/3 cup light brown sugar

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan.
  2. Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla together with an electric mixer on medium speed until thick and glossy, about 2 minutes, Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly beat in the flour in 3 additions, until just incorporated. Stir in apples.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Gently tap the pan to settle the batter. Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (50 to 60 minutes), rotate the pan halfway through baking.
  4. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, then flip it out onto a wire rack. Turn the cake right side up and let it cool completely (about 2 hours).
  5. GLAZE: Brown butter according to link above (if adding sage, include while browning butter). Once browned, add light brown sugar and milk. Boil together until thick and syrupy (1 to 2 minutes). Drizzle the thick glaze over the cake. Let glaze set for at least 25 minutes.
  6. BACON: Follow Alex Guarnaschelli’s recipe from FoodNetwork.com.
  7. Dice bacon and top cake with as much as you want. Enjoy immediately. 


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