By Viper Allan
The holidays are fast approaching, and being a college student, chances are you’re low on time and money. So now’s the time to get cooking!
There are few things like handmade baked goods, made from ingredients that are relatively cheap and easily accessible, there are no gift receipts to hassle with, and it’s easier to tailor your gift to the recipient (besides, asking “do you like apples?” is a lot less obvious and intrusive than “what’s your favorite bag from the Coach winter collection?”).
Apple cider is a flavor that defines both fall and winter, both a party feeling and a “cozy up by yourself in a blanket” feeling, and both holidays and the average morning. Combining apple cider and comfort food like cake can fulfill almost any gift request on your list, from the rich aunt who has everything to the painfully picky child you babysit for to your parents.
This apple cider cake recipe was adapted from food blogger Jessica Hunt’s apple pie breakfast cake and makes one small cider cake to feed 1-2 people, but is easily doubled for a party or for a family gift.
You will need:
-2 tbsp butter or light butter (cut calories by using a light butter like Land O Lakes Light Butter with Canola Oil, which has 50 calories per tablespoon as opposed to conventional butter’s 100-120!)
-2 tbsp plus ½ tsp brown sugar
-1/2 egg (you can mix up the egg and use half of it for a richer flavor, or cut more calories by using just the egg white!)
-1/6 cup Greek yogurt (plain works well, but cherry, orange, or apple cinnamon flavors all add more dimension to the end product!)
-1/6 cup whole wheat flour
-2 tbsp white/all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/8 tsp salt
-1 tsp cinnamon (not cinnamon sugar! Pure cinnamon is important to get the spiced apple cider flavor!)
-1/2 tsp ground cloves
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/2 tsp cardamom (this one is optional. It adds a little chai spice to the cake, but it’s also expensive and difficult to find.)
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1 tsp orange zest (if you don’t have the time and patience to zest, substitute 1 tbsp orange juice. It’ll flatten the flavor, though, so use the zest for a more authentic cider taste!)
-1/2 a medium-sized apple of your choice, peeled and diced as small as you like
-1 6-inch pie tin (not a premade crust, just the tin!)
Mix the butter (softened if you like, not melted!) and sugar together until it has a “whipped” consistency. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and yogurt until well-combined. In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together evenly, and pour over the wet mixture. Don’t overmix; undermix if anything, and add diced apples, folding them in.
Pour batter into the pie tin. There may be some left over depending on the size of apple you used; consider making a tiny tart as well!
Put into a 350*F oven for 30-40 minutes. It’s done when the toothpick comes out clean.
You can create a glaze by using 3/4 powdered sugar to 1/4 strong-brewed apple chai tea or apple cider.