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Cake Slice Bakers, September 2010: Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

Autumn is by far my favorite season. So, even though it’s coming a little earlier than I’d like this year, I still welcome it and all of the warm spiciness that it brings. Our final choice from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott, Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze, was the perfect way to say hello to Fall and good-bye to another wonderful cookbook. That’s right. We’re done with the controversial Southern Cakes, and will welcome a new cookbook in October (for the record, I loved Southern Cakes and will continue to bake from it regularly). We’re also accepting new bakers, so if you’re interested, email Katie at appleandspice{at}hotmail{dot}co{dot}uk and put “Cake Slice Member” as the subject. You have until October 20th to sign up. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what the new cookbook is, but if you sign up, Katie will let you know. I think I am safe in telling you, however, that we’re all excited about it, that it won our vote by a fairly wide margin, and that it contains lots of different kinds of cake recipes. So if you’re wary of baking a year’s worth of triple layer cakes, don’t be! The cakes in the new cookbook aren’t scary or overwhelming–just delicious-looking!

Back to the apple cake. I made it for my dad’s birthday and was very worried that it wouldn’t turn out. Before you stir in the apples and nuts, the batter is basically the consistency of modeling clay. Very thick is actually an understatement. But is all works out! The cake has a wonderful, tender interior and a fantastic crust on top. Everyone loved the cake, ate second helpings, and snuck extra forkfuls throughout the remainder of the evening. There is an option to add spices to the batter, but I left it plain so that the apple flavor could really shine. And don’t get me started on the brown sugar glaze. It looked beautiful and tasted amazing. Don’t tell anyone, but when we got back home from the birthday dinner, I scraped every last bit of hardened glaze from the pot and ate it with a spoon. It was absolutely delicious. There was only one problem with the cake: it called for way too much oil. I didn’t really notice it when the cake was fresh, but the few pieces that made it to day 2 seemed to get greasier by the minute. Since I will be making this cake again (and soon!), I plan to decrease the oil to 1 cup and add 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce to the batter. I might even decrease the oil to 3/4 cup and add 3/4 cup applesauce; we’ll see.

This simple, rustic cake is the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of Autumn. And the brown sugar glaze doesn’t exactly hurt.

Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

for the cake:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (or substitute unsweetened applesauce for some of the oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups finely chopped peeled apples
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (I used pecans and they were much loved)
cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs until pale and foamy. Add the oil (and applesauce, if using) and vanilla, and beat well. Add flour mixture and stir until flour just disappears. Add apples and nuts, and fold in. Scrape batter into a greased 9×13″ pan, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool. Glaze while warm, or right out of the oven, as I did.

for the glaze:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons evaporated milk, cream, or half-and-half

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook for 3 to 5 more minutes. Spoon hot glaze over hot cake. Allow cake to cool completely before serving.

10 thoughts on “Cake Slice Bakers, September 2010: Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

  1. I loved this cake, too! I think it was the perfect cake to get me in the mood for Fall! And I have to say, I absolutely loved the Southern Cakes cookbook! Have you tried the Pumpkin-Raisin Cake with Lemon-Cream Cheese Frosting? It is my favorite cake from the book so far! šŸ™‚

  2. Your cake looks wonderful and very moist. I’m sure it made a great birthday cake. I loved it too and kept sneaking back for another forkful to ‘neaten’ up the edges

  3. This cake was delicious, but I did decrease the oil to one cup- no additional applesauce necessary.

    Happy birthday to your Dad! This wa the perfect cake to celebrate with.

  4. I bought this book in Charleston and this is the first recipe I’ve tried from it – I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make & hoe delicious it was! Yours looks great!

  5. I’m surprised at the comments saying it was oily! I thought it was perfect! Thanks for sharing the recipe..:) My only problem was that I forgot the optional nutmeg and cinnamon and threw it in at the end instead of with the dry ingredients..ha! But it was DELISH! I will definitely make it again!

  6. Have you tried this using chunky applesauce in a pinch, instead of the fresh apples? Just wondering if it would ruin it. Looks wonderful! :O)

  7. Hi Jennifer. I haven’t tried using chunky applesauce instead of fresh apples, but I have substituted smooth applesauce for some of the oil, and it tasted great. I would think a nice chunky applesauce would be good too!

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