I wanted to share a particular tradition that we have in our family. My mother-In-law Maria, who was pure Napolitana, had to learn about American Thanksgiving and adopted this cake as her signature holiday dessert. When she passed away 6 years ago, I took on the duty of Apple Cake. Both my husband and brother-in-law love this cake and I am expected to produce it for every major holiday.
The original recipe comes from a news clipping in the Washington Post from 1986, here you have it:
Apple Walnut Cake with Apple Cider Glaze
- 1 1/2 Cups vegetable oil
- 2 Cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Cup whole-wheat flour, sifted
- 4 Cups shelled walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/4 Cups coarse chunks of peeled and cored apples
- 3 Tablespoons applejack
- Apple Cider Glaze (recipe below)
Apple Cider Glaze:
- 4 Tablespoons sweet butter
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons applejack or apple brandy
- 4 Tablespoons sweet cider
- 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, beat vegetable oil and sugar until thick and opaque. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together 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. Add walnuts, apple chunks and applejack all at once and stir batter until pieces are evenly distributed.
- Pour batter into a greased 10-inch round cake pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Apple Cider Glaze:
- Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Pour while still warm over warm cake. When cooled, the sugar will crystallize forming a lovely, crunchy and sweet icing.
- Makes 1 1/2 cups glaze.
Serve with either fresh Panna or Vanilla ice cream.
TIP: Make sure you have the correct pan, it really has to be 10 inches. I have tried to make it with a regular cake pan and it doesn't come out the same at all. The pan is the same pan that Maria used to make it, pictured above. It is a magic Apple Cake pan!