This cake has the most intoxicating smell. It actually drew a neighbor into my yard to ask what it was. The smells of baked apple, warming bourbon, vanilla and cardamom conjure feelings of comfort and joy.
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of cardamom
¾ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
¾ cup of granulated sugar
3 tablespoons of bourbon
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
⅓ cup of buttermilk or yogurt
3 honeycrisp apples
1 stick of butter, melted and cooled plus more for greasing the pan
Confectioners’ sugar to garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cast iron skillet with parchment paper and coat it with a thin layer of butter.
Whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy and whisk in the sugar, bourbon, and vanilla extract. Once combined, whisk in the buttermilk.
Halve, peel, and cube 2 and a half of the apples (be sure to take the core out!). Keep the remaining half an apple, with peel on, and thinly slice to and decorate the top of the cake in a minute.
Fold half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, then the melted butter, then the rest of the flour and melted butter. The batter should be very wet and gooey at this point. Gently fold in the cubed apples. Pour the batter into the lined skillet. Arrange the apple slices in a pattern on top of the batter.
Bake until the cake turns a golden brown color and has * just * set in the center, about 50 minutes. Let the skillet cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve immediately or at room temperature, with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top.