Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mama’s Fresh Apple Cake

My Mama's fresh apple cake, made from fresh apples, raisins, nuts, cinnamon, cloves and coffee, drizzled here with a whiskey sauce.
My Mama's fresh apple cake, made from fresh apples, raisins, nuts, cinnamon, cloves and coffee, drizzled here with a whiskey sauce.

Mama’s Fresh Apple Cake

My Mama passed away in December of 1997, but this is the fresh apple cake she used to make at Christmas. She added a little cold coffee to her cake but I actually prefer it without, but with or without, I can tell you one thing. This is a light and tender, yummy cake full of nutty apple goodness!

Mama's notes said that this could be baked in loaf pans or in a tube pan. The pan I use is my Mama's old tube pan and that is what she used to make this cake. I often wonder just how old that pan is because by the looks of it, there's a strong possibility it actually belonged to her mother. I didn't get to know my grandmother on Mama's side too well, because I was still quite young when she passed.

I do have a few distinct memories of her, her house and the things in her kitchen, along with one where I fell down the concrete steps outside of the kitchen, while carrying a china saucer of milk out to the kittens by the kitchen door. A shard from the plate impaled my right cheek, leaving me with a scar I still bear today. Anyway, Mama's pan is one of the light colored, aluminum tube pans - the kind of pan that has a separate tube insert and is most often used to make angel food cake.

It works well for this cake since this is such a tender cake, and also typical non-stick pans that have a darker colored interior tend to produce a very dark and unattractive almost burned look to the outside of this type of cake because of the sugars in the apple. Using this light colored aluminum tube pan produces a much lighter and prettier crust on your cake. I'm not sure that it would turn out in a bundt pan, because it is a very tender cake and so delicate that I'm certain it would fall apart. I also haven't ever tried the loaf pans for this recipe either.

If you have the extra time, toss the cubed apple with the sugar, cover and refrigerate overnight to allow them to macerate the night before you plan to make this cake. It's not a necessary step, but it softens the apples, releases the juices and enhances the sweetness. Be sure to let the cake cool completely for more uniform and easier slicing. I'm always scared to try to turn it off of the tube insert because it's so tender, so I usually just do like my Mama did and slice it right off of the insert and straight to the goodies tray for the Christmas table! Hey, while you're here, be sure to check out my Apple Dapple Cake. Love that one too!

This cake doesn't really need a thing to enhance it, but a drizzle of a plain powdered sugar glaze, a whiskey sauce, custard sauce or a dessert caramel sauce are all good options. Scroll down for the recipe!

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Recipe: Mama’s Fresh Apple Cake

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 10 min
Yield: About 12 to 16 servings

  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup of cold fresh coffee or plain water
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup of walnuts or pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour or spray a 10-inch tube pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour (like Baker's Joy); set aside. Combine the apples and sugar; set aside for 15 minutes to macerate. Cream the shortening and add the eggs one at a time; beat well.

Whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the creamed shortening and eggs, alternating with the water (or coffee if using) and ending with the flour, blending well and stopping to scrape down sides of mixer bowl. Mix on medium low speed for 3 minutes until fluffy. Don't overbeat.

Coat the raisins and nuts very lightly with a bit of additional flour. Add the apple and sugar mixture, raisins and nuts to batter and gently fold in. Pour into the prepared tube pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour or until toothpicks inserted into the middle come out clean. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack. When cool enough to handle, run a knife carefully around the outside edges and around the tube and then gently push the bottom of the tube pan in to separate the insert. Invert over a plate, remove the pan bottom and placing another plate on the bottom, invert again, so that the cake is back right side up.

Cook's Notes: If you have time, toss the cubed apple with the sugar, cover and refrigerate to allow them to macerate overnight, the night before you plan to make this cake. It's not a necessary step, but it helps to soften the apples, releases the juices and enhances the sweetness. Mama added 1/2 cup of fresh cold, mild coffee in her cake, but it does leave a distinct coffee taste. I actually prefer her cake without the coffee and it is excellent without it. I use White Lily flour. Tossing the raisins and nuts in a bit of flour helps to keep them suspended throughout the cake rather than all falling to the bottom.


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©Deep South Dish
A Little Lagniappe

Although not a part of my Mama's original recipe, I thought that a little drizzle of that Whiskey Sauce from my bread pudding would be delicious on this cake. That is what is pictured at the top and gotta say, it certainly is. This powdered sugar glaze, butter pecan glaze or caramel sauce are all great options too.

Powdered Sugar Glaze
  • 1-1/4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk
Whisk powdered sugar to remove lumps; add vanilla and whisk in 2 tablespoons of milk, adding the final tablespoon as needed to reach desired consistency.

Butter Pecan Glaze
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of corn syrup
Melt butter; add pecans & cook over medium heat about 1 minute. Add in the brown sugar, cream and corn syrup and bring to a boil, boiling for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool until thickened and drizzle over the cake. Reserve some to drizzle over individual slices if desired.

Caramel Dessert Sauce
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, half and half or heavy cream, corn syrup and a pinch of salt. Bring to a light boil, then reduce to simmer and allow to cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until mixture thickens, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Set aside to cool, then store in refrigerator.

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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

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Posted by on December 21, 2008

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