Don’t be afraid to go 100% whole grain when it comes to dessert; we use all spelt flour here—no refined all-purpose flour—with amazing results. The nutty-tasting flour amplifies the flavors of the butter, warm spices, and vanilla, unlike all-purpose flour, whose rather bland nature would dilute those flavors. Be sure to measure the flour with precision for the best texture; weighing it is ideal. To keep added sugars in check (many Bundt cake recipes call for up to two times more sugar than ours), we look to shredded apples to provide natural sweetness.
How to Make It
Pour oil into a small skillet or saucepan. Split vanilla pod lengthwise; scrape out seeds. Add seeds and pod to oil. Heat over medium just until pod begins to sizzle, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Discard bean pod.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place softened butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add oil mixture. Increase speed to medium, and beat until combined (mixture will not be smooth); scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Add brown sugar; beat on medium speed until softened and well combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs; beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add apples; beat on low speed just until combined.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add flour mixture and evaporated milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour batter into a 10-cup Bundt pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350°F until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully invert cake onto rack; cool completely.
Stir together powdered sugar, melted butter, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons cider until mixture is smooth. If mixture is too thick, stir in 1/2 tablespoon cider. Drizzle over cake.