My son celebrated his birthday in December, and for his party with his friends I made his (new) favorite cake - an apple cake. The recipe originally came from my Great-Grandma Susie. Story is that, should you happen to find yourself in her front room during the autumn or winter, more likely than not you'd find yourself in the company of this particular cake. The secret, I believe, is that the cake is heavy handed on the oil...meaning that you have a cake that is as delicious, squishy and moist on Sunday evening as it was on the Monday before. Brilliant, right? It's almost a cross between a pudding, a bread and a cake.
I found two copies of the recipe - the one I copied from my grandmother's recipe files, and the one that my great-aunt published in their church cookbook 30 years ago. For the first run through, I made the cake as my grandmother taught me. However, with 3 cups of flour, two cups of sugar and 1 1/2 cups of oil...it was a bit of a once-a-year-treat. Since I had already made it that way once (for a party at church), I decided to put a bit of a LoLo spin on it. The results were delicious and, for some of the guests who sampled both cakes, actually preferrable! My version is by no means a diet version, but certainly less oil-some than the original. It is perfect plain, for breakfast, or topped with a dollop of Cool Whip. (I can't break tradition, guys - sorry! It was always Cool Whip at Grandma's house.)
Aunt LoLo's Fresh Apple Cake
3 cups AP flour (unsifted)
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (Saigon, please!)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil
1 cup apple juice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 medium sized apples, cored and chopped. (I used two Granny Smith - tart- and two Cortland - sweet. Peels on, please. No need to be fussy!)
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan well. Really, really, really well. Some of the cake will still stick...but don't let that discourage you. Just do your best!
In a LARGE bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt).
In a 2 cup measuring cup, pour in 1/2 cup oil and then 1 cup apple juice. (You could, of course, do this in two steps - but I'm trying to save you time here!) Pour that into your dry ingredients. In the same cup, crack two eggs and whisk them lightly. Dump them into the flour bowl. Squeeze in your vanilla (one short squeeze is about right) and your lemon juice (one long squeeze). (Just trying to keep it real here!).
Stir that all together. I like using a spatula, so I can make sure all of the flour is mixed in. Fold in your apples.
Give it a taste. Yummy? Great! Now spoon it into your prepared Bundt pan. (Trust me - if you try to pour it, your arm will get tired and fall off, and your cake will end up all over the counter. This is definitely a spooning operation.) (Heh.)
Put your cake into the oven and set a timer for an hour. It won't be done after an hour - it will take closer to an hour and a half - but you really don't want to leave the kitchen for that last half hour, as this is not an exact science. The cake is done when a toothpick stuck into the deepest part comes out batter-free. A few crumbs are ok. You don't want this cake to get dry!
Enjoy with just a dollop of Whipped Cream...or not, as the case may be.