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Europeans tend to let the apples do the talking in their recipes, so they don't overload them with cinnamon and spices. I know it sounds strange, but it works. Here, we love our apple pie spice. Extra cinnamon. Nutmeg. And lots of sugar. The apples kind of get lost.
I honestly don't know where I got this recipe, but I make it often. It's like a walk through the woods in the autumn. It's fun to change up. Originally, it called for walnuts; but, when I can find them (afford them!), I do love black walnuts and what they add to any apple recipe.
I avoid cakes made with copious amounts of oils. Seed oils, in case you haven't heard, are bad for you. Very bad. They are greasy and you can often feel it on your tongue. Instead, I half the oil with melted butter. And be sure your oil is fresh, not on the verge of going rancid.
This is a dense cake that reminds me of autumn bark on oak trees. The corners and end pieces are almost like brownies. But that's what I love about it. And the pure, clean layer of apples on the bottom. I rarely frost this ... a light coating of powdered sugar will do. Melty vanilla ice cream is good, too ... or a nice English custardy sauce. I could also see a cinnamon or maple-glaze frosting.
I usually half this. Store leftovers, covered, in fridge, and bring to room temp before devouring ... or nuke a bit to have with your morning cuppa ... People say it freezes well.
The original recipe calls for two cups of sugar, but many find that too sweet and use 1.5 cups. I stick with two cups for that "brownie" effect.
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I use 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup oil)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon (I use apple pie spice)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I like the combo of 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. You do you.)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional. I like black walnuts
- 4 cups peeled, thinly sliced apples (about 5 medium)