The second post for “redo” week was a more recent post. I was going to immortalize my Grandma Lil’s fresh apple cake with a post but neither my mother nor I were sure we had the right recipe. I made the cake but one taste and I knew what I made wasn’t Grandma’s recipe. Close but no cigar. It was good but not memorable like Grandma’s cake. We were stumped.
A few weeks later my mom came through with the correct recipe. She’d kept searching and by luck found the book she’d written it in. The only difference in the recipe I’d used and Grandma’s was vanilla. Grandma’s recipe didn’t call for vanilla!
That simple ingredient made a big difference. As much as I love vanilla and glug away without measuring when a recipe calls for vanilla, it completely changes the flavor profile of the apple cake. Without vanilla the apple flavor is more front and center. I like the cake much more without a vanilla distraction.
So I ran to the kitchen and mixed up a new batch of apple cake ASAP! I still had plenty of the wonderful caramel sauce for drizzling over it (with a heavy hand) and dessert was beyond satisfying for me.
I also want to note that the real name of the cake is fresh apple cake. Raw apple cake sounded wrong to me, like it wasn’t baked or something. Fresh is a more pleasant-sounding name and simply means there are no canned, tinny tasting apples in this cake! Only freshly chopped apples need apply.
Fresh Apple Cake
4 cups apples; peeled, diced (Granny Smith apples are best)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil (I used canola)
1 cup nuts (optional)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I cut to 1 teaspoon as I like less cinnamon)
1 teaspoon salt
Caramel sauce for topping
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or grease a 9 x 13-in baking pan.
Combine apples, sugar, oil, nuts if used and eggs in a large bowl. Stir well.
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and stir well. Slowly add to wet ingredients and stir until evenly mixed.
Spread batter into your prepared baking pan and bake for 1 hour.
Serve warm or room temp topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce.