Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fresh Apple Cake

This is a great cake. It is really simple, full of sugar and diced apples and screams “autumn”.

This was the week to make it because David had already requested this for his “October Goody of the Month” and we went apple picking last weekend in East Tennessee. (Which is very fun although the farmer told us that actually September is prime picking month, so we were a bit late this year).

In 1996, the summer after I got married, Dave and I worked at a camp in East Tennessee. We lived on a college campus and ate cafeteria food all summer. The camp was a great experience, however, the food was lacking significantly. One of the weeks, a leader from the camp organization, Joe, came to visit with his wife, Freda, because one of their daughters was on our team that year. Freda, knowing the treat that it would be to bring us a baked good, arrived with A Fresh Apple Cake in hand. Well, I thought I would eat the entire cake! It was so moist and cinnamony with a crusty top and a moist inside. It seemed coffee cake-like. I asked Freda for the recipe so that when I returned to normal life with my kitchen, I could make it. She told me to grab a piece of paper and proceeded to quote the recipe. I think she has made it a time or two. I have been making it ever since!

My only gripe about this cake (other than it is full of calories and fat...like most great cakes) is that it chronically sticks to the pan! What a pain! The good thing is that it is forgiving. I am always able to dig out the stuck part and smush it on the cake. I have tried greasing and flouring various ways- Baker’s Joy, Crisco, butter, cooking spray, etc. I have resorted to loaf pans when I have felt discouraged. I even thought it might be my cheap-o bundt pan so I used Birthday money one year to buy a real, Bundt brand, high dollar pan at Williams Sonoma. But alas, it stuck. Nevertheless, I am loyal to this cake and think it is exceptional. So... I make it, hold my breath and prepare for surgery. It is worth it.



Fresh Apple Cake
4 cups fresh tart apples, peeled and diced
¾ cup oil
1 Tbsp vanilla

Mix together in a bowl
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. (or more) cinnamon

Stir dry ingredients together in another bowl.
Add the dry mixture with the apple mixture.



In a separate bowl (you can re-use the one from earlier) mix together:
2 eggs
3 cups sugar





Combine all ingredients together and stir until evenly blended. It will be chunky and thick.

Place in a well-greased and floured bundt pan (if you dare).


Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 15 min- 1 hour 30 minutes. It is tricky to know when it is done because the top puffs and forms a crunchy exterior and the inside is moist.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cake plate.

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My friend had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and asked what kitchen tools I thought should be on her wish-list. It was fun to think of “essential tools”. So, when I was baking this week I thought of a couple of cooking tools that I think are of great value in the kitchen that I wanted to mention to you. When peeling and cutting apples, a good knife is essential. It is certainly the most taxing part of the recipe and if you have a good knife it helps. My favorite knives are Cutco. They are easy to handle, sharp, effective knives with a lifetime guarantee. If you don’t have a good knife I suggest you add it to your birthday or Christmas list.

Also, I love a batter bowl. You can see in the photo my new plastic batter bowl. I have always had glass ones (1 quart and 2 quart) and use them all the time. The handle makes them so easy to use and stir, and the spout comes in handy when pouring batter is required. So, I have to confess that I am kind of a wild cook. I am messy in the kitchen (which I deem as an indicator of my creative chef-ness, when teased and criticized about this quality). And I have a lot going on in my life, and in the kitchen, and in my fridge. Because of these variables, I have shattered BOTH of my batter bowls in the past few months. My mother graciously replaced the large one for me and decided plastic would be a safer route this time. She knows me pretty well.

6 comments:

  1. Oh, Julie! The recipe you gave ME has the apples "chunked, with peeling on!" I have several other apple cake recipes, but when I make yours, I leave the peeling on. Guessing you can make it either way, huh! I do recommend this cake! It's great, and you can smush the "remnants" back in place pretty easily. You also originally suggested dusting with 1 or more Tbsp. cinnamon or cinnamon sugar on top to hide any imperfections.

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  2. All these things are true that my mom, Elaine, has said in her comment! I think originally I found that the apple skin wasn't obvious or intrusive when I left them on so why go to the trouble? But when i was having the trouble with the cake sticking to the pan, I started peeling them to see if maybe that was the problem. So, do what you want...I usually peel them but not too perfectly, since the skin melds into the cake. Try it both ways and let me know what you think. I may make one tonight with peelings on. I still recommend a good knife for cutting and coring the apples!

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  3. Hi, Julie! I stumbled onto your blog yesterday. It's lovely! Today, my husband called on his way home from class to ask if I needed anything. I requested 5 apples. 3 hours later, I just took my first bite of this delicious cake! It is delightful!!! My husband is out playing with our dog, Cooper, but when he gets home there will be a large slice with his name on it. Please, keep blogging and posting pictures!!

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  5. HI Julie, My name is Sarah and I was fortunate enough to have dinner at your mom's house earlier this week. She fixed an amazing meal and I can tell the apple didn't fall far from the tree ;) I can't wait to try this cake! Yumm. I'll be back to read your blog often as I am always looking for inspiration in the kitchen. There are a couple cooking blogs I look at that I thought you might like as well(if you don't already know all about them), one is the Pioneer Woman (http://thepioneerwoman.com/) and the other is The Smitten Kitchen(http://smittenkitchen.com/). Enjoy your weekend!

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  6. Kristin, I love your story- you were motivated! I am so glad you liked the cake and hope your husband did too. And Sarah, so glad you and mom are sharing meals together. She is a wise and talented woman. The two blogs you mentioned are two of my favorites! Thanks for commenting.

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