The Way I Was

My Signature Apple-Nut Cake

Homestyle Goodness, with a bit of wholesome thrown in for good measure.
Homestyle Goodness, with a bit of wholesome thrown in for good measure.

To meet my signature requirements a dessert must:

  • Have fruit;
  • Be easily put-together from ingredients I always have on hand;
  • Not need an electric mixer or any other whiny-noisy appliance;
  • Be requested by family members so often I almost get tired of making it;
  • Induce guests to ask for the recipe;
  • Be amenable to my sneaking in 30-40% whole wheat flour without anyone noticing that I’ve healthied up our dessert.

This Apple-Nut Cake serves 10

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and diced (any variety, preferably local, and if possible, one sweet and one tart)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts, or pecans, or almonds, or butternuts, or even peanuts), preferably whatever is local to your area, or whatever has been recently on sale
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  3. Stir together apples, sugars, butter and egg in a large bowl to blend.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine flours, cinnamon and baking soda. Sift over apple mixture, add nuts and mix thoroughly (I like to use a sturdy fork).
  5. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and smooth out with a spatula. Bake for 40 minutes until brown and crusty on top. Cool cake in pan on rack.
  6. Slice and serve (with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel topping if the occasion or mood calls for something extra-decadent).
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29 thoughts on “My Signature Apple-Nut Cake”

    1. My favorite, too. We used to have three apple trees, and every year I had a plethora of apples to sauce and pie and cake with. We sold that property, so now I have to get my apples from the local orchard. I just stocked up, day before yesterday. Saucing today!

    1. Lovely–and we have a lot in common, taste-wise.

      Since meeting you, I’m cooking much more regularly with Indian-style spices. Last night, for instance. You’ve taught me how to put together an exotic-tasting meal without needing exotic-long preparations. My husband thanks you!

  1. I’m not that keen on cake as it’s a bit starchy and sugary but yes I am partial to apple cake, because it tastes a bit more real/less of a sugar rush. The picture is making me hungry.

    1. I’m with you, Denise. I don’t generally like cake. If I were making this only for myself, I’d use 100% whole wheat (and I have). But even with the 40% whole grain, it still tastes like food instead of like candy (probably because of the good amount of apples and nuts).

  2. Delicious, I’ll bet, and healthy too! Not being a big dessert or cake lover for some strange reason, I do love the sound of this apple cake with the nuts (walnuts for me!) and it seems very autumnal to me, lovely. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    1. For most of my life, Sherri, I was indifferent about dessert–and I still never order it in a restaurant or eat it at a party. But I have recently developed a fondness for a little something sweet, IF it incorporates real food into it and isn’t just a bomb of refined sugar, refined flour, and crisco.

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