Appalachian Fresh Apple Cake
by Sheri Castle in The New Southern Garden Cookbook
Makes 12 servings
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ground mace
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, preferably grapeseed oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 cups peeled, cored, and diced baking apples (I mix varieties)
- 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Mist the inside of a 9-by-13-inch light color and lightweight metal baking pan.
- Sift or thoroughly whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt in a medium-size bowl.
- Beat the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and oil in a large bowl with a mixer set to high speed until the sugar no longer looks grainy and the mixture is smooth, about 4 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl with a spatula.
- Add the flour mixture in thirds, beating on low speed only until it disappears into the batter. Quickly beat in the vanilla. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to make sure all of the flour mixture is incorporated. The batter will be thick.
- Use the spatula to fold the apples and walnuts into the batter. Transfer into the prepared pan.
- Bake in the center of the oven until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let the cake cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack.
- For the glaze: Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Stir until smooth and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, bring to a boil, and cook until the glaze thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Use a chopstick or skewer to poke holes about 2 inches apart all over the cake.
- Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, letting it seep down into the holes. Let sit until the glaze sets up a bit, at least 10 minutes, before cutting.