This is a riff on an old family recipe, from my Great-Grandma Susie. She raised her family in a small home in the Alabama swamps. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to spend much time down South, but from the stories that I hear, it was a rare day when you wouldn't find an apple cake waiting on her sideboard for unexpected company. Her cake recipe makes a rich, smooth cake that keeps moist for over a week (thanks to a generous helping of chopped apples and oil).
Today's version included applesauce in lieu of half of the oil (to lighten it up just a smidge), a little extra brown sugar to make things extra sticky, and a few handfuls of fresh cranberries. Topped with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream, this was a holiday winner! I served this cake after our formal Christmas Eve dinner with family.
Apple Cranberry Bundt Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp lemon juice
3-4 medium apples (cored, sliced and chopped)
2 cups fresh cranberries*
(These can be washed and thrown in whole, or chopped if you prefer your berries to have a little less bite.)
Preheat your oven to 350.
Grease and flour a large bundt cake pan and set aside. (This is an extremely sticky cake - be generous with the greasing and the flouring!)
In a large bowl, whisk together all your dry ingredients.
In a 2 cup measuring cup, measure out your applesauce, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add enough lemon juice to equal 2 cups of liquid, about 3 tbsp.
Add your wet ingredients to your dry ones and stir to combine. This batter is thick, and that is ok. Just mix it up. Fold in your fruit, making sure it is evening distributed.
Spoon your finished batter into your prepare bundt pan, and smooth out the top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, use a spatula to loosen the sides, and carefully flip the cake out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. If you're lucky, the cake will have cleanly slid out of the pan. If you're even more lucky, there will still be a small amount of cake stuck to the inside of the pan. Scoop it out with a rubber scraper, eat the evidence, and sift a generous amount of powdered sugar onto the finished cake before serving. Nobody will ever know the difference!
Top each slice with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.