Huckleberry’s Apple Buckwheat Cake

This cake is one of the most beautiful cakes we serve at Huckleberry, but it is not a cake that flies off the shelves. Honestly, it’s just not for everyone, but if you love the earthy taste of buckwheat, as I do, this buttery cake is sure to become a favorite.

Huckleberry Apple Buckwheat Cake from Zoe Nathan - Photo Credit Matt Armendariz

If buckwheat isn’t your thing, remove it from this recipe and substitute different kinds of flours, like whole-wheat, rye, spelt, quinoa, oat, etc. In terms of swapping out the fruit, I don’t say this often, but I think apples work best with this cake. Other fruits just don’t quite cut the buckwheat in the same way.

Apple Buckwheat Cake
(Makes one 10-in/25-cm cake)

For the cake:
1 cup/225 g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1-2/3 cups/340 g sugar, plus 2 tbsp
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
3 or 4 apples; 1 peeled and grated, and 2 or 3 peeled and sliced 1/8 in/3 mm thick, cores reserved
1-1/2 cups/150 g almond flour
3/4 cup/100 g buckwheat flour
2/3 cup/75 g all-purpose flour
1/3 cup/55 g cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder

For the glaze:
½ cup/100 g sugar
½ cup/120 ml water
Pinch of kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
Apple cores (reserved from making the cake)

Directions:
Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line and grease a 10-in/25-cm round cake pan (see cookbook, below, page 78).

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, 1-2/3 cups/340 g sugar, and salt on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl well between each addition. Add the grated apple and mix. Then add the almond flour, buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not overmix!
  2. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, top with the sliced apples, arranging them in pretty concentric circles, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool for about 15 min­utes in the pan.
  3. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the sugar, water, salt, vanilla bean seeds and pod (if using), and apple cores together in a sauce­pan until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Set aside to infuse.
  4. Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down. Then lift the pan off the cake. Gently pull the parchment from every nook and cranny of the cake, being careful not to break the cake. Rest your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate.
  5. While the cake is still warm, brush the glaze all over the top and sides and garnish with the nonedible vanilla pod.

This cake is best served the day it’s made, but keeps well (tightly wrapped) at room temperature for up to two days.

Find this recipe (along with delicious others) in the newly released cookbook, Huckleberry. You can also find them on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Image courtesy of Huckleberry

Zoe was named one of LA’s top chefs by Los Angeles magazine, has been placed in the running for “Best Pastry Chef” by the James Beard Foundation, and her recipes have been featured in Bon Appètit and Food & Wine, among many other national publications. Zoe is the co-owner with her husband, of the Rustic Canyon family of restaurants including Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry, Milo & Olive, and Sweet Rose Creamery. Having worked at famed spots both on the East and West Coast, Zoe returned to her hometown of Santa Monica and joined the Rustic Canyon team as pastry chef—where she met, fell in love, and married restaurateur Josh Loeb.

1 COMMENT
  • elissa September 26, 2014

    can’t wait to try this recipe!!! is there a specific type of apple that you would suggest with buckwheat? Is this a Granny-Smith-friendly recipe? Or does it work better for Gala/Red Delicious/etc. flavors?

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