Old-Fashioned Apple Cake
This recipe comes from Cheryl Strasser, the founder and head chef at Cowbell Kitchen, a local pastry, soup and sandwich company where I work as a pastry assistant. Sourcing its butter, eggs and dairy from South Mountain Creamery, a local farm in Middletown, Maryland, as well as all of its produce from the farmers market, Cowbell Kitchen nourishes the local food shed and bakes all its pastries from scratch. Come stop by Cowbell Kitchen at various DC area farmers markets and say hi!
Cheryl recommends using a mix of apples here, but any will work.
- 3 apples, cored and coarsely chopped into cubes
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Raw turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Vanilla ice cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cake pan with parchment paper and spray the pan with nonstick spray, making sure to go up all the way on the sides. Spread out the nuts on a tray and toast them in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes until fragrant. In a large bowl, whisk together the dark brown sugar, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract until it forms one smooth consistency and there are no more clumps. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Gently pour the flour mixture into the large bowl with the wet ingredients and use a spatula to mix in the flour until it is completely incorporated. Mix in the apples until combined, and pour the mixture into the pan. Top with the toasted nuts and sprinkle the raw sugar on top all over the cake. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Vanilla ice cream is optional, but strongly encouraged!