Grandmother’s Apple Cake

F all 2009 Recipe

Contributed by Edible Communities


Adapted from a recipe handed down by a favorite grandmother, this moist cake filled with apples and accented with warm spices takes advantage of one of Vermont’s best stored fruits. Prepare it without the glaze for a wonderful addition to a brunch menu or an indulgent breakfast, with the glaze when you want to impress.


Makes 12 servings


For Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup grapeseed or other vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 or 5 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (to make 4 cups)

For Caramel Glaze (Optional):

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9-inch tube pan. Dust with flour, shaking out excess; set aside.


2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; set aside.


3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until well blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in one-half of the dry ingredients until just blended. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients. Fold in the apples. The batter will be very thick and sticky.


4. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Using the back of a metal spoon, smooth the surface. Bake until dark golden brown and very firm (not springy) to the touch, 65 to 70 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Turn out the cake onto a flat plate. Invert onto the rack so the cake is top side up. (If using the glaze, immediately drizzle the hot glaze over the warm cake. See instructions below.) Let the cake cool completely before serving.


To Make Glaze (Optional):

While the cake is cooling after removal from the oven, in a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream and vanilla. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside.


To Glaze Cake (Optional):

Immediately after removing the cake from the pan and inverting, place a sheet of waxed or parchment paper underneath the rack to catch drips. Drizzle the hot glaze over the warm cake. Let the cake cool completely before serving.

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