They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. When I was in college, I decided to put this to the test.
My mom had made me an apple cake, my absolute favorite fall dessert, to take to school and share with my friends. After we'd had our fill, I decided to take the last piece to this guy who lived on the floor below me who I thought was pretty cute. He thanked me for the cake, and we chatted for a bit, but alas, it was not meant to be with me and Apple Cake Boy. Although, the guy in question did end up dating a girl named Apple. Coincidence?
Mom brought me apple cake to college on more than one occasion, and she said that every time she rode up the elevator to my dorm room with one, she had students clamoring for her to adopt them so they could have apple cake, too.
Apple cake uses the bounty of fall harvest to make a moist, flavorful cake.
Though it's been a while since I was in college, it's not fall in Northeast Ohio without apples. Hartford and Lordstown recently hosted their annual apple festivals, and at B&K Farm Market in Bazetta, they had several varieties of local apples ready to be taken home and eaten.
When I saw that this Tribune Cooks article was going to come out during the last week of September, I knew that I had to use local apples, and I had to make an apple cake.
It's a very straightforward recipe, and the only change I made was to use gluten-free flour and xantham gum. If you're not a fan of nuts, you can easily omit them. Though the recipe suggests serving it warm - and it is delicious that way - it also tastes good a few days after it's been baked.
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups raw, finely chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup soft butter
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9x13" pan. In large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, baking powder and salt. Add apples, nuts, butter and eggs. Beat until just combined (it will be thick). Pour into pan. Bake for one hour or until it springs back when lightly touched. Serve warm in squares.
The result is a moist, flavorful cake that I've been known to have for breakfast on occasion. (Hey, it has apples and walnuts. They're good for you, right?) It makes the whole house smell good when it's baking, and it's perfect for these cooler fall days. I plan on savoring some along with a nice cup of tea and the afghan my mother-in-law crocheted for me.