This is a cake I remember from many a potluck growing up. Everyone’s mom had a recipe for this dense, not too sweet, “I think I’ll have another piece” cake. While going through Mom’s recipe box, I came across her recipe in her own handwriting, on a recipe card that Dad printed at the printing company he worked for. A true family heirlooom.
Exquisite warm, but just wonderful at room temperature. I took this cake to a party, and was lucky to snag a piece for myself before it was snarfed up!
- 8 medium apples (to end up with 8 cups), peeled, cored, diced
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup chopped nutmeats
For the topping:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 TBSP corn starch
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla (not part of Mom’s recipe, but I thought it needed a little something)
Preheat oven to 350F, butter and flour a 9×13 pan.
Peel, core and dice the apples. I kept the chopped apples in a bowl of water with a bit of lemon juice in it to keep them from browning.
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.
Add the dry ingredients. This will result in a VERY stiff batter. Not to worry, the apples will fix it right up!
Add the apples, 4 cups at a time, and mix until all are combined and your batter has “relaxed.” Stir in the nuts. I left the nuts out this time, because a friend at the party I took the cake to is allergic. No one missed them but me. 🙂
Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.
Bake 40 minutes or until firm and golden.
While cake is cooling, prepare the topping. Melt butter in a small saucepan.
Add brown sugar and stir to combine.
Add cornstarch and stir it in as well.
Add water, stir and continue heating until thickened. Add vanilla.
Pour topping over the cake in an even layer.
Cut a piece and transport yourself back to the Midwest in the 60s and 70s at the potluck of your choice.
Maybe it was at a park, and you got to play on the merry-go-round or teeter-totters with your cousins or the neighbor kids or feed the ducks. Maybe it was at a church craft bazaar during the holidays. Maybe it wasn’t a potluck at all, and your Mom made the cake JUST for your family for Sunday dinner’s dessert. Do you have a nostalgic recipe from your childhood?