Edible Berkshires

Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


By Jean Yves, Chef and owner,
Lenox and Great Barrington

Jean Yves, a classically trained pastry chef, started at age 14 in Paris, graduated from Ecole Jean Ferrandi and settled with his wife, Yulia, in 2010 in the Berkshires by way of Long Island. He owned and ran five pastry shops in Long Island and produced desserts for outgoing flights from the JFK airport, including Air France. They are pleased to have left city life for the Berkshires, where they can enjoy all we have to offer.

1½ cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 Berkshire apples, peeled and diced
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°.

Butter and flour an 8-inch round baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 8 dry ingredients (flour through salt.) Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute, then gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating on medium-high speed until well blended and light, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time. Beat well after adding each egg, and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Mix just until blended. Turn off the mixer, add the diced apple and chopped pecan, and stir them in by hand.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is light golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before you frost it.


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until well blended. Increase the speed to high, and beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Frost the top of cake. Be creative with pastry bag and or pecans.