Firecracker Apple Cake

Okay, as promised! This cake is for those who like desserts that bite back, but I promise you it is FABULOUS.

The recipe is from Bon Appetit, the Dec. 2007 issue, and Bon Appetit notes that they got it from the Firefly Grill in Nashville. The actual recipe also includes spiced pecans to scatter on the top of the cake, which I have never made.


1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon (I use 1 tsp because cinnamon is not my favorite)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger (I use a heaping 1/2 tsp because ginger IS my favorite
1/4 tsp cayenne
3/4 C veg. oil (I think this seems like a lot and I subtracted 2 Tbsp last time I made the cake and will try using just 1/2 C next time.
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 3/4 C cubed apple (the recipe specifies 1/3″ cubes, I just zip the apples in a food processor and call it good. This is about 1 large or 2 small apples).


2/3 C packed brown sugar
6 Tbsp light cream
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 large egg yolks
1/2 generous tsp cayenne

Make the glaze:

Put all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat four about four minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. If you make this ahead, you will need to warm it to pourable consistency before you use it.

Make the cake:

Grease and four a Bundt pan. Combine all the dry ingredients and set aside. Whisk together the oil, brown sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and fold together to blend. Fold in apple. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes and turn out onto plate. Glaze warm cake with half the warm glaze. Pass the rest of the glaze with the cake as you serve it.

The recipe suggests vanilla ice cream, but I never use it because I love the glaze and don’t think the cake needs anything else. In fact, I can eat the glaze out of a jar with a spoon. Mmmmm.

Please Feel Free to Share:


4 thoughts on “Firecracker Apple Cake”

  1. This looks AMAZING. I need to get a Bundt pan sometime soon…and figure out an occasion to make it!

    If you’re worried about the amount of oil, unsweetened applesauce makes an excellent substitute in most baked goods.

  2. It certainly does, and I may try that. It’d make a double apple cake, wouldn’t it?

    This year my mother experimented with using cooked pureed summer squash to replace the oil in cakes and that worked, too. She was using cake mixes and she substituted squash puree for 100% of the oil and the cake was fine. I don’t usually use mixes, but I need to try that on a from-scratch cake one of these days.

  3. In my experience substituting apple (or squash or carrot puree) for oil works fine for a cake that is going to be completely eaten fresh. But if you have leftovers, the texture goes kind of odd. Rubbery, IIRC. Keeping some oil helps avoid that.

    If I had two Bundt pans I’d make that cake this weekend for my sister, though. As it is the Bundt pan is already spoken for, for the Tunnel of Fudge birthday cake. My sister avoids chocolate, so I need something else for her…. Maybe I could cut the recipe in half and make it in a normal pan – I love apple dishes.

  4. “Eaten fresh” for me means “All but the first piece frozen”. Probably this helps prevent the rubbery texture from developing.

    This is not a large cake and when you put it in a Bundt pan, you think it is not enough batter. Though it looks okay when you turn it out, probably it would fit in a fairly small sheet pan. You might try an 8 x 8 plus a couple of muffins if that looks necessary.

    Mmm . . . Tunnel of Fudge cake . . . I won’t say being forced to avoid chocolate is a fate worse than death, but it’s close.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top