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Bourbon Apple Cake

bourbon apple cake

There is nothing like eating apples in season. Due to modern technology, apples can be stored and sold year-round, but freshly picked apples have that something-special quality. There is just something about sunshine and the natural sugars that make an apple sparkle and best of all, crunch. As a chef, I am all about eating produce at its freshest. I source seasonal apples from local farmers markets or supermarkets which purchase produce from local farms.    

Bourbon has apricot, toasty notes which pair really well with apples and rosemary. When this cake is baking, it smells like a sunny fall day. Just delicious!    

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings


  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • ½ cup sugar + 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary (dried rosemary would be too strong here)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Big pinch of kosher or sea salt 
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Garnish: powdered sugar 


1. Grease and flour a 9-inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

2. Heat apple cider and bourbon with cranberries in a small saucepan. When simmering, turn off and allow to steep. 

3. In a small saucepan heat 2 teaspoons oil, 1 tablespoon sugar and apples. Cook over low heat until apples have softened and are beginning to let their juices out. Add rosemary and cool. 

4. Mix flour, baking powder, remaining sugar and salt together. Add apple cider mixture, apples, remaining oil, egg, and lemon zest to the flour mixture. Whisk together and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.