A Glorious Apple Cake

It is Wednesday and tomorrow is the big annual Thanksgiving Feast for which I expect many of you are too busy cooking to even read this column. So when your turkey is all carved up and there are only fragments of pie left, but you still have holiday guests poking around looking for a bit of a snack, here is a gorgeous cake to make to keep them fueled for the trip home.

Last week we asked for a recipe Carol Taylor in Frankfort inquired about, “in hopes that you or your readership might be able to help me out with a particular recipe called Apple Pie Cake.” I hunted on the internet where I found a few recipes and then Ruth Thurston in Machias sent along one for an apple cake she found in the King Arthur Flour company catalog which sounded a lot like some of the internet recipes. I gave it a try, and what a cake it made.

I varied the recipe on a couple of points. First, it called for organge juice which is an awfully good idea, but I didn’t have any oranges or juice and since it needed only a quarter cup, I substituted apple cider. If you have breakfast juice or an orange to squeeze by all means use it because it’s a desirable flavor to add.

Then, since I think all apple pies need some nutmeg, I added nutmeg to the dry ingredient list. The recipe also instructed us to use a tube pan but most of the internet recipes showed a round cake so I made mine in a nine-inch spring form pan. It is a pretty cake, especially if you take the trouble to lay the apple slices neatly in a ring around the top.

Give it plenty of time to bake. Figure on checking on it after an hour, and expecting another fifteen to twenty or minutes to be done.

The recipe says, “serves 20.” Boy, I’ll say. It is a big cake.

It may not be quite what Carol was looking for, but it is delicious, and should one of you come up with a real apple pie cake, let us hear from you.

Meanwhile, my very best Thanksgiving wishes to you all!

Apple Cake
Serves: 20
  • Batter
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Apple Filling
  • 6 cups apple slices
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a ten-inch tube pan or a nine to ten-inch cake pan.
  3. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer for about two minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating continuously.
  5. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and add half of it to the egg and sugar mixture and combine well.
  6. Add the orange juice and vanilla, and combine that, then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix completely.
  7. Pour half of the batter into the baking pan, then top with half of the apples, and sprinkle on half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  8. Add the rest of the batter, and arrange the rest of the apples on top and sprinkle that with the remaining sugar and cinnamon mix.
  9. Bake for an hour and fifteen or twenty minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
  10. Cool and remove from pan.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.