Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chunky Apple Walnut Cake

Ever since Puddy mentioned Rosh Hashanah and apple cake to Jesse, I've been on the lookout for just the right recipe. I think I've found it in the famed "Silver Palate Cookbook" by Julee Russo & Sheila Lukins. And since I share a birthday with Johnny Appleseed, how could I not post an apple recipe in September?

Dark, moist and chunky, with a dream of a glaze.

1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 c. unbleached flour, sifted
1/8 t. ground cloves
1 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground mace
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1 c. whole wheat flour, sifted
1 1/4 c. shelled walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 1/4 c. coarse chunks of peeled and cored Rome Beauty apples
3 T. Calvados or applejack
Apple Cider Glaze (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. In a large bowl, beat vegetable oil and sugar until thick and opaque. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift together unbleached white flour, cloves, cinnamon, mace, baking soda and salt, then stir in whole wheat flour. Add to oil and egg mixture and mix until well blended.
4. Add walnuts, apple chunks and Calvados all at once and stir batter until pieces are evenly distributed.
5. Pour batter into a greased 10 inch round cake pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Let cake rest for 10 minutes, then unmold and pour glaze over warm cake, or cut cake and pour glaze over slices.
One 10 inch cake, 10 to 12 portions

4 T. butter
2 T. brown sugar
6 T. granulated sugar
3 T. Calvados or applejack
4 T. sweet cider
2 T. fresh orange juice
2 T. heavy cream

1. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in both sugars.
2. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook for 4 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour while still warm over warm cake.
1 1/2 cups glaze


  1. I wasn't ready to invest in Calvados so I left it out. Instead I used brown sugar in the cake and added 1 1/2 t. vanilla. I also used the apples I'd bought a week ago: Combination of Granny Smith and Red Delicious. Don't try to get away with a smaller pan. I used a 9X9 inch SQUARE pan and it just barely fit. Also I used 2c. whole wheat flour and 1 c. white instead of the other way around. I didn't sift anything and this cake was DELICIOUS! I can imagine what a special dessert it would be as written and with the glaze on top. The plain version makes a wonderful quick breakfast or snacking cake. You guys need to try this!

  2. wow this looks so good. maybe i can make cupcakes using this recipe too?

  3. I don't see why not. I would maybe change one thing though: Since the cupcakes would bake much more quickly, I think it would be a good idea to cut the apples much smaller. Big chunks might not cook in 20 minutes. I've noticed most of my muffin recipes call for 20 minutes at 375.

  4. This looks so good Sue - I am going to try it!

  5. I made this yesterday for a dinner party at our house. It turned out really well. I used some of Jesse's brandy in lieu of Calvados. It tasted even better the next day.

  6. we made it again. this time slightly increased the apple (2 big apples), walnuts (1 3/4 c) and brandy (4+4T), and reduced the sugar (1 1/2c). the cake is more moist and not as sweet and it is starting to taste boozy. i like it better but na likes the first one better

  7. This experimentation was good. Now we know what increase in brandy does to the cake. It makes it more bitter. We're gonna get so fat.

  8. I like that idea of reducing the sugar and increasing the brandy. I also tried it again after purchasing some middle of the line Calvados and thought it could've used a bit more brandy as well. The extra apples and nuts sounds like it is getting close to a fruit cake but I like that idea too. Did you use Rome Beauty like she calls for? I'm wondering if that will make a difference. I still had leftover Granny Smith and Red Delicious so stuck with that. Did you make the glaze? I still have not tried that. How did your guests like the cake?