Aunt Sima's Apple Cake

I was going through the little box full of homemade recipes that my family and friends gave to me at my wedding shower 26 years ago (I can't believe I just wrote that--am I that ancient?!!) and found my Aunt Sima's recipe for Apple Cake. Aunt Sima is my dad's sister and like her mother, my Nana, she was a terrific cook and baker. Noodle puddings, stuffed cabbage and mini cheesecakes are foods I always remember gracing the tables at family parties...and this cake. 



Think apples, cinnamon and poundcake all wrapped up together. Till last week, I hadn't made it in years and now I'm kicking myself for it! It's so homey and so easy--and charmingly old-fashioned. There's nothing fancy about it, which is refreshing if you're always looking at complicated pastry recipes, like me.  Plus you get to use a tube pan for this, which doesn't happen that often but is a real treat ( know, I need to get out more). If the speed at which it disappeared among my family can be used as a yardstick for deliciousness, then this ranks high up there.


What I love so much about this cake is that it's just chock full of apples.  Not only is there a thick layer of apples on the top, but you can also find cinnamon sugary apple layers throughout the entire thing. And the cake part is soft inside but delightfully chewy on the outside, making for an enticing texture. The cake bakes for about 2 hours and I think that next time I would put a piece of silver foil on the top after about 1 & 1/2 hours since some of my apples got a little singed.  Not that it didn't taste good--I just think it would be better if they weren't so well done. In any case, returning to this recipe was a good thing and particularly appropriate now that we're heading into fall.  Try it and let me know what you think.  Thanks Aunt Sima!

Aunt Sima's Apple Cake

Serves 12-16 easily, it's a large cake
Prep time:  20-30 minutes
Bake Time:  2 hours
Total Time:  2 1/2 hours


For the cake:

  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

For the apple mixture:

  • 6 apples, peeled and thinly sliced ( I used a mixture of granny smith and braeburn)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoon sugar

The Recipe

1.  Preheat oven to 350º F.

2.  Butter and flour a tube pan.

3.  Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

4.  In a small bowl, combine extra sugar and cinnamon.  Place sliced apples in a large bowl and pour cinnamon sugar mixture over them and toss well to coat.  Set aside.

4.  Using electric mixer, beat together sugar, oil, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. On low speed, add flour mixture and mix well.  Pour a layer of batter into tube pan and top with a layer of the apple mixture. Repeat, making several layers of batter and apples, finishing with apple layer on top.

5.  Bake in middle of oven for approximately 2 hours, covering loosely with a piece of tin foil after 1 1/2 hours or sooner if apples are getting too dark.  Cake is done if tester inserted into center comes out clean (make sure you're testing the cake part--not the apples, since they will be soft and mushy.

6. Let cool on rack to room temperature.  Using knife loosen any apples that may be clinging to sides and remove cake from pan.  Cake keeps well wrapped for about a week.


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