Last weekend, I took a trip to the suburbs of Chicago to visit a pumpkin patch which is one of my all time favorite fall activities! This particular pumpkin patch had a lovely little shop with all the fall grocery items – donuts, pies, ciders, breads, all the squashes, APPLES and more. I came home with pecan pie, cinnamon-apple donuts, cider, squash and a bushel of apples.
Typically when I think of using apples in a Croatian dessert, it’s for my grandmothers apple strudel recipe which is to die for and is a bit different from traditional strudel. However this year I wanted to try something new – a Croatian Apple Cake! Croatian Apple Cake is less like a traditional cake, and more like a layered bar dessert. I don’t know what it is about us Croatians, but apparently we love a layered bar dessert because that’s what most of our desserts are LOL! The “cake” part is like a combination of a dough and a cake batter which creates a lovely soft texture around the apple filling.
This week my husband and I along with our best bud Joe, got together for our annual pumpkin carving night which also happened to be on my husband, Aaron’s, 36th birthday. I think this was our 5th year carving pumpkins together, and we just have so much fun doing so! Before we jumped into pumpkin carving we enjoyed dinner, followed by Hot-Spiced (and spiked) Apple Cider with our Croatian Apple Cake and it was the best combination ever. This dessert is so lovely guys, I think it became my new favorite fall apple dessert!
Prep Time: 20 minutes // Inactive Time: 1 hour // Cook Time: 20 minutes // Yield: 24
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 11 tbs unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup pure cane sugar
- 2 eggs (reserve 1 egg to be whisked for egg wash)
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tbs rum
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Confectioners sugar for dusting *optional
Apple Filling Ingredients:
- 4 medium-sized apples of your choice, grated
- 1 cup pure cane sugar
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tbs rum
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Grate the apples and place overtop a dish towel or paper towels to absorb excess moisture, then set aside.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add 1 egg, the lemon zest and rum, mixing together until well-combined. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet as to not over-mix until dough forms.
- Pat the dough into a disc form, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- In the meantime, place the apples and sugar into a sauce pan on medium heat. After a few minutes, add the lemon juice, rum and cinnamon and mix ingredients together until well-combined. After ~5 minutes, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 and line a 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and place overtop a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and set one half aside. Roll the other half out into a rectangle shape to fit the pan. Place the rolled out dough into the pan and lightly prick with a fork throughout.
- Place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and place the apple filling overtop – evenly spreading it over the layer of dough.
- Roll out the second half of the dough to the same shape and size, then place overtop the apple filling. Lightly prick with a fork.
- Take the 1 whisked egg and lightly wash the egg overtop the second layer of dough, then place back into the oven to cook for 15-20 more minutes until the dough is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and dust with confectioners sugar if you’d like. May be served warm or cool!
P.S. Check out our pumpkins! Mine is the middle one (Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. Lol, I just love that movie – even if I am 30 years old).
Follow me on Instagram for more adventures in yummy goodness @bakingwithsoul