Thursday, September 22, 2011

Southern Living Fresh Apple Cake

Sorry for the has been CRAZY busy lately and a head cold didn't help matters much!
Last weekend, we went to see some very dear friends of Don's who helped him through some rough patches earlier in life.  They were visiting other friends in Keller and there was an afternoon pot luck cookout for them (which we enjoyed tremendously!!!  We hadn't see some of these folks for quite some time!). I took a fresh black bean "caviar" and this apple cake (taken from a Southern Living recipe online that had really good reviews), which received raves from everyone.  This is a very moist recipe - for that reason, I really think it's worth working on.  As usual, I would've made some changes, which I will note in the recipe.  I apologize for no picture on this one.

(By the way, the Black Bean caviar was very delicious and we turned it into a tortilla soup that even Don loved!  That recipe will come later...)

Fresh Apple Cake With Choice of Two Toppings

1-1/2 cups chopped pecans     
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar                            
2 large eggs                             
1 t vanilla                                 
2 cups APF (all purpose flour)                                                                  
2 t ground cinnamon  (I would prefer 1 tsp, possibly a bit less)
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2-1/2 lbs. (about 4 large) granny smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4" thick wedges

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Bake pecans in a single layer in shallow pan 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.  Set aside.

Stir together melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until blended.

Combine flour, cinnamon, soda and salt.  Add to batter mixture, stirring just until blended.  Stir in apples and 1 cup pecans.  BATTER WILL BE VERY THICK - LIKE COOKIE DOUGH.  I used my hands to get everything incorporated and spread into a 9"x13"x2" (this is another change I would try to make - the cake comes out pretty thin...I would try baking in a 9 or 10-inch springform pan, as I would like it to be thicker/taller) baking pan sprayed with PAM.

***Please Review Toppng Choices Below Before Continuing!***

Bake at 350*F for 45 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Now For the Toppings.....

The cake I made last Saturday had a Browned Butter Frosting, which everyone asked about, stating they had never tasted anything quite like it and asking for the recipe.  I thought this was pretty good, however it was too sweet for my taste.  Growing up, my wonderful mom made an apple cake with a baked-on topping that I think would've been much better, so here are your choices (maybe it would be good with both?):

#1 Sour Cream Delight Baked-In Topping

1 cup sour cream                             1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs                                      2/3 cup chopped pecans

Combine sour cream and eggs.  Pour and spread evenly over top of cake batter.  Sprinkle evenly with sugar then nuts.  Bake as directed above.  Watch the nuts - if they begin to brown too quickly, cover lightly with foil.

#2 Browned Butter Frosting

1 cup butter                                         1/4 cup milk
1 lb. powdered sugar                           1 t vanilla

Cook butter over medium heat in small saucepan, stirring constantly 6-8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown.  Remove pan from heat immediately and pour butter into small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.

Beat butter on medium speed with electric mixer until fluffy.  Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar.  Beat well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.  Spread over cooled cake.


  1. One of the benefits of ADD is that I would make mom's applesauce cake and incorporate the sour cream topping into the batter, as following directions seemed so bourgeois. (Okay, okay -- it's NOT A.D.D ... I'm a Woody -- some of us are genetically incapable of following a recipe. *o*) I don't remember how I put it all together, but it came out FAB-ulous.

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  3. Okay -- I think I mixed together the sour cream, sugar, eggs and pecans all together and poured it over the top and baked as per the recipe. This sounds like my recipe m.o. -- "of course you mix together this list of ingredients and then when you look back to the recipe to see what to do with them you (oops!) find out they were supposed to be poured on separately." And I'm too cheap to start over with new ingredients. They made a tasty little crust over the top but also soaked into the cake a little bit. Tasty!