15 October 2015

For a couple of days

Here I am again, back with something old. From the same place! From the years before computers and the Internet. It's another cake unearthed from a 1970s Times issue compiled into the Essential NYT cookbook. In her introduction about this cake, Amanda Hesser writes, that people seem to think making cake is a big deal, but that back when people cooked more everyday, there were a lot of cakes. "It's cookies that are the real time suck," she writes. I had to laugh. "Cake was a staple that you whipped up every couple of days when the last one vanished to crumbs." Cake is something you leave covered on the counter or kitchen table, for the convenience of slicing. For it to be something that's there.

This is Teddie's apple cake, and though Teddie remains unknown, it's a cake perfect for apple season. Faintly scented with cinnamon, the crumb is moist and the apples--the apples--there's a reason they're sliced thickly--it's because they meld into the batter to become long, opaque pockets of baked apple--kind of like in a pie. The top has a crackly quality from the oil and sugar-based batter. But the best thing is the staying quality. There's cake on your table when you wake up, there's cake wrapped on your table when turn off the the kitchen lights, run the dishwasher and go to sleep. There's cake if someone hungry needs a nosh. For a couple of days, it stays.

Of course, I had to hack it. I cut the recipe in half, similarly to what Jess did, and baked it in a 9x9 inch pan. This is of course, way different from the original big bundt, but large quantities of batter tend to psych me out when I've never made a recipe before. Two medium apples picked from the orchard get sliced "thickly"--and this is a good thing--and raisins and walnuts get speckled in if you please. I swapped in a little whole wheat flour, and baked it for less time than the bigger bundt version. I'm quite happy with our flat little cake, which is still plenty, and that can be cut into squares.

Teddie's Apple Cake

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
scant ¾ c. vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
scant 1 c. sugar
2 medium eggs (or 1 1/2 large--about 80 grams)
½ tsp. vanilla
2 c. peeled, cored, and thickly sliced apples (I used half a large honey crisp and a medium cortland)
½ c. walnuts, toasted chopped
1/4 c raisins

Raw + Confectioner's sugar (optional)

Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch square or round cake pan. Turn oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flours, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a medium bowl. 

In a stand mixer, beat oil and sugar together with the paddle attachment. After five minutes, add the eggs and vanilla  and continue beating until creamy.

Add dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir by hand until just combined. 

Fold in apples, raisins and walnuts. This now looks like a lot of apple and not enough batter, but it is ok! Batter is thick.

Transfer to prepared pan, sprinkle with a pinch raw sugar if you'd like, bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. 

Cool in the pan before turning out. Then cool completely before slicing. And sift a small spoonful powdered sugar on top if you'd like. 


  1. i love cakes like this! and it's true; cookies truly are a time sucker (i might need to get into those huge pan-sized cookies that you break off while amongst other cookie fiends).

  2. Oh that sounds good : ) I have a really good Kamut Shortbread from Alice Medrich on here that is just baked and scored in the pan. And there's always brownies : )