Apple Hazelnut Cake

Life was much easier when Apple and Blackberry were just fruits.
— anonymous

Apple Cake  is acceptable to eat for breakfast when you have it with yogurt, right? The fall beauty is fading slowly here in the Pacific NorthWest but the cooler weather brings warm scarves, apples and fire pits some of my greatest loves.  Trusting in a few cookbook authors to make a guaranteed  delicious cake is not easy.  This Apple Cake from Ina Garten adapts well to our Washington local goods.  Swapping pecans for hazelnuts and apple brandy for rum.  Enjoy every moment of leaf color changes while eating your apple hazelnut cake for breakfast or dessert.


  • 1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup apple brandy
  • 1 cup golden raisins 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed 
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon dried orange peel or 2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose-flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and 1/4-inch-diced (3 to 4 apples)
  • Vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt
  • Salted Caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13x2 inch baking pan.

Place the hazelnuts in saute pan and until toast lighlty.  Set aside. Combine the brandy and raisins in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 60 seconds. Set aside. You can leave the raisins overnight in the brandy.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, and dried orange peel  on medium speed for 3 minutes. Sift the flour, baking powder salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves into a medium bowl. With the mixer on low slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture to the wet mixture, just until until combined. Drain the raisins, and add raisins, hazelnuts and apples into the batter. Spread into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool, cut into squares, and serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or yogurt and a drizzle of warm salted caramel sauce. 

Enjoy your fall walks, and beatiful skies and every bite of your apple cake!


  • cooking time varies by oven make sure to have an oven thermometer
  • bake this in the morning and your house will smell all day of yumminess-no candles needed