Almost one month after my computer died, it’s back and I’m ready to hit the blogging world again, just in time for my favorite season (and with a new blog address!).  Most see fall as a time of dying back, of slowing down, of slowly moving towards the cold.  I see it as a time of rejuvenation though.  After the long summer here in the South, when the first ripples of cool filter through the trees, when the sky turns a bit bluer, we feel like we can breathe again.  Our fall colors may not be as spectacular as up north, but one thing’s for sure, our autumns last a lot longer.

This past Sunday I gathered a crew of good friends to picnic in a large park at my university.  The temperatures were in the low seventies, the sky was overcast (in a delightful way), and we munched on hummus, some orzo dish, bread, guacamole and talked about books and the weather and books and the weather.  (Seriously, cooler weather is beyond exciting to us!)  I brought along an apple cake as an homage to autumn and everyone swears they loved it.  I brought my camera along and forgot to take pictures.  Oh well.

I wish I could say the recipe is my genius, but it was given to a good friend of mine by the baker at Rainbow Natural Foods, a co-op up the street from me.  I’ve never eaten Rainbow’s version, but with a few little changes, I’m a personal fan of mine.  (smile)  I tend to make 1.5 recipes of the cake batter and use the extra half-recipe for the top layer.  If you’re using a smaller pan, then you probably won’t need to do that.

Autumn Apple Cake

2.5 cups All-purpose flour
1.5 cups Sugar
1 tbsp Baking powder
1.5 tsp Baking soda
1.5 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1/4 lb Earth Balance, melted
1 cup Soy milk
1/2 cup Water
2 tbsp Vanilla extract

6 Granny Smith apples, diced
1/2 cup Sugar
4 tbsp Earth Balance
2 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the apple cider vinegar in the soy milk and let sit for 10 minutes.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

In a mixing bowl, combine the soy milk, water, melted Earth Balance, and vanilla.  Add the sugar, then mix.  Next, add the flour mixture and combine with a whisk or electric mixture until smooth (~2-3 minutes).

Spray a 9×13″ pan with vegetable oil and flour the sides.  Pour half the batter into the pan and bake for 10-15 minutes until the surface is firm.  DO NOT worry about baking all the way through–if you do, it will be overbaked!

Meanwhile, melt the 4 tbsp of Earth Balance in a large sauce pan on the stove.  Add the diced apples, sugar, and cinnamon, and saute until the apples soften.

When the top of the cake is firm, remove it from the oven and spread the apples over the cake.

Spread the remaining cake batter over the apples and bake for 20-30 minutes or until an inserted knife/cake tester comes out clean.  Be careful not to overbake or the cake will be dry.

Allow the cake to cool while preparing the cinnamon glaze.

For the glaze (from VCTOTW):

1/2 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
1 tbsp soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add the Earth Balance, soy milk, and vanilla.  Stir with a fork until smooth.

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