My first fresh apple cake

Made from three Gravenstein apples.


Shall I bring coffee?


Looks great! I love apple cake.
When my wife makes one, I can’t stop eating it.


Well, for my first apple cake I made plenty of mistakes. If you look real close at the picture you should spot at least one mistake.

But anyway it was a nice diversion from canning which I am sick of. My neighbor gave the recipe which specified using an angel food pan which I did not have nor had never even heard of.


Angel food cakes are made in a special pan that has a hollow tube in the center of it. Also used for other cakes that rely on whipped egg whites to raise the cake (sponge cake and chiffon cakes too). The pan is normally inverted (upside down) on a glass bottle while the cake cools. although these days it is hard to find a glass bottle so newer angel food cake pans have metal bars at top of pan so pan can be inverted on counter while cake cools (no bottle needed).

Did your apple cake recipe call for lots of whipped egg whites for leavening? If not, then you should be fine with the pan you show in the photo.

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Well, here is the recipe copied from a sheet of notebook paper written in longhand. Not written real legible but I think I got most of it right. I followed the recipe as close as I could but I did not have pure vanilla. I just had the imitation stuff. Can’t figure out why these recipes won’t let us use the imitation stuff. But I forgot it anyway. I used too large of a pan as you can see in my picture. Think that I used too much oil in trying to grease my pan. So my cake ended up tasting a little oily. And of course I switched up the apples by using Gravenstein apples. Another mistake I made was that I burnt my finger in removing the cake from oven. Oh well…

                 **Fresh Apple Cake**
  • 3 cups raw, peeled chopped apple, I like Granny Smith
  • 1-1/2 cups Crisco oil
  • 3 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup English walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour (plain)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix by hand, until well blended, I use wooded spatula.

Add apples and nuts, again mix very well. Pour into a greased and floured angel food pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Just before cake is ready make the glaze.

Apple cake glaze:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick real butter
  • 1/4 cup milk

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Pour glaze over warm cake. Let sit to 2 hours before removing from pan.

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Ok so it is leavened with baking powder. Not sure why recipe calls for angel food pan except someone must have thought it would be pretty in one. The recipe should work fine in a regular cake pan or loaf pan. This recipe sort of reminds me of some I have for zucchini bread or carrot cake. I will presume it will make a very moist cake.


Some cakes just won’t bake in the center without overbaking the edges. So a pan with a center tube solves the problem!

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Yes, I see what you mean when you say “Some cakes just won’t bake in the center”. I baked an apple cake this morning in a 9"x9" pan that sunk in the middle. Guess that I will just have to spend the money on an angel food pan to fix that.

Another problem is that these cakes are far too sweet for me. I wonder if I could get away with reducing by half the sugar used in both the cake and glaze without any adverse effects?

Short answer: YES!! It just amazes me how much sugar is in our recipes. You can almost certainly cut it to 1/2 or even 1/3 and get excellent results. And if you make a batch that isn’t sweet enough you can spread jam on it …

Another nice thing is that without all that sugar the cake might not fall in the middle in a standard 9x9 pan. Sugar is a net drag on rising; it’s weight that the cake’s skeleton has to carry. Flour and eggs together make up the structural framework that do the actual work.

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It depends. To quote a professional baker “Sugar does a lot of things in a cake, the least important of which is provide sweetness.”

Expect cutting sugar to make the cake more dense and less browned, but how much is hard to say. Sugar tends to hold on to water, which turns to vapor during baking and causes more rise.