We don't make or eat a lot of sweets. Frank the carnivore, is more of a enchilada or potato chip kind of guy. When I need something sweet to take somewhere, Apple Cake is an easy recipe that is always a hit. One of the things that makes it quick and easy for me is the dehydrated apples I use. It will take a little longer if you choose to peel and chop fresh apples. One day, I hope to be able to use some of our own canned apples in this recipe. That would be really good also. This recipe is one of those keepers that has resided in my recipe box for years.
Since I am using dehydrated apples, the first thing I do is soak them in hot water, and start the oven preheating to 350 degrees.
While that is in the works, I mix up the remaining ingredients. When making sweets I always start with the eggs, sugar and whatever fat the recipe calls for, whether it is butter, oil or shortening. In this case, the recipe calls for:
3/4 c. oil (I use olive oil)
2 c. sugar (The original recipe recommends putting the sugar over the chopped apples and letting them sit while mixing up the rest of the batter. Since I have the dehydrated apples soaking at this point, I just add the sugar to the batter.)
I like to let these three ingredients mix for a few minutes until the mixture of eggs and sugar start to fluff up a bit. Then I start adding the rest of the ingredients, with the apples and nuts being the last things I add.
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans.)
2 cups flour
4 cups thin sliced or chopped apples (if using dehydrated, drain before adding)
When you add the flour the batter will be very thick. Add the apples last. Mix long enough to get them coated well. The first time I did this I didn't think there was enough batter. It seems to barely coat the apples, but it comes out scrumptious, so don't worry about that.
That's it for the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. The time frame is a rough estimate. Adjust it for your climate, altitude and
oven. A toothpick should come out clean when it is finished. A few things I have learned about this cake. Similar to banana bread, it is a very heavy cake. I tried to bake one of these in a bundt pan one time to take over to someone's house. I ran out of time and the middle never did get quite done. It works better in a standard 9 x 13 pan where the batter is not very thick, about 1 1/2" when you pour it in before baking. Otherwise, you will need to adjust your cooking times and make sure a toothpick comes out clean, so the center won't still be gooey.
When the cake is almost done, cook your icing. This is the only icing I make like this. It calls for coconut, which is one of the few items I buy that doesn't fall into the basic foodstuffs category. And this is the only recipe I use it in. The original icing recipe calls for smaller amounts of each ingredient. I like a little more icing so it will soak down into the cake. That is part of the yum factor for me.
Start off by melting 6 tbsp. butter with 1/2 c. milk. To that add 3/4 to 1 cup brown sugar.
Let this cook for a bit until it starts to thicken up a little, then add 1 c. coconut and 1 cup of nuts, I use pecans for this also. Cook this for a few minutes until the nuts and coconut are coated, with some liquid left in the bottom of the pan when you stir it.
All of my measurements for the icing are approximate. If there isn't enough liquid (butter, sugar and milk) left in the bottom of the pan after coating the nuts and coconut, I add a little more milk. This is what soaks into the cake. I have this hot and ready when the cake comes out of the oven.
As soon as the cake is done, pour the hot icing on top making sure to distribute the liquid around on the cake to soak in. Spread out the coconut and nuts evenly across the surface. There you have it.
This cake is okay warm, but we prefer it at room temperature after a few hours or over night. Anywhere you take this cake, it will be a hit. I don't remember where I ran across the original recipe. I know I have adjusted the cinnamon and nutmeg ratio to make it a little stronger to suit our tastes, so feel free to play with some of the ingredients until you get it just right for you and yours.
Today I made two cakes and put them in disposable foil pans to take to a local benefit. I have also made them in small 8 x 8 foil pans and frozen them to have on hand, just in case. It's that time of year when we start to think of the holidays and making good memories for our families and friends. In this time of changes in our world and society, it's good to be able to take some simple ingredients and make something that is comforting to those around us. Be careful, safe and healthy out there.
Until next time - Fern