I have never made a "from scratch" gingerbread before. This cake is densely rich in flavor, yet light and moist in texture. The fresh apple, butter, brandy topping transforms gingerbread to a whole new level of enjoyment! The only thing I changed, was to substitute Macintosh apples for the Granny Smiths and cooked it for 35 minutes. I served this warm, topped with vanilla ice cream. The prep time is under estimated, it takes 30 minutes to prep and cook the apples but the end result is worth it.
I'm giving this four stars for the cake. It's an absolutely delicious cake. I used Mutsu apples. Everyone that tried the cake said they couldn't taste the apples or the brandy so I really didn't think all the work preparing them was worth it. I'm tempted to slice the apples, put them in the bottom of the cake pan, combine the brandy and sugar, pour over the cake then pour the batter over the raw apples and bake.