Yet again, I was sitting around after midnight bored and with a sweet tooth. I felt like baking! But I didn’t feel like going to the store. I realized I had some green apples in the fridge and some chopped pecans in the cupboard. After an extensive search for some kind of apple cake that didn’t involve sour cream, applesauce, or any other ingredients I happen to be out of, I found a recipe here. And while that looks just dandy, it didn’t seem quite right. Apple cake with cinnamon but no brown sugar? Really? That makes no sense at all! So I played around with the recipe a bit, added WAY more cinnamon (of course), and came up with this slightly different version.
They say on the site to use a wooden spoon to mix it but give no real reason other than tradition. Use a plastic spoon if you want, but I promise this batter will snap it right in two. And who doesn’t love a good wooden spoon anyway? I have several, and they are all a little different. But I love them equally. Well, maybe I love my roux spoon most of all, but don’t tell the other spoons that. This batter is insanely heavy and didn’t pour out of the mixing bowl so much as flop out in a giant lump. You’re going to think you made this wrong–I certainly thought so. It is dense and weird. There’s no way a mixer can work with this stuff. But it came out tasting good, so I don’t mind passing it on at all.
1 ¾ cups sugar
½ cup brown sugar
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups green apple, peeled, cored, and diced
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. One at a time, add the oil, eggs, apple, vanilla, and nuts. Mix well with a spoon. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan. Pour and spread batter into pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.
Once baked, remove from oven and let cool. If you like, sift some powdered sugar and cinnamon over the top. This can also be served warm with vanilla ice cream or vanilla-enhanced whipped cream.
Some notes: I might consider fine-tuning this a bit more, but I’m not sure what to do yet. It needs a deeper flavor–maybe more brown than white sugar? Or maybe some extra spice, like nutmeg? A little more salt to bring out the flavors and offset the sugar? Darker brown sugar? Orange zest? If anyone has any ideas, please pass them on. This cake has great potential! It did, however, come out with the most amazing crust on all sides, very crispy and sugary.
Cooked and out of the oven, with a small piece missing:
With powdered sugar on top and a little more missing:
A piece on the plate, ready to eat: