Chunky Apple Walnut Snack Cake

I've made a lot of apple cakes over the years, but this one is quite unlike any I've ever baked. Cathy says her Mom got the recipe from a woman she used to work with in downtown Los Angeles over fifty years ago . Nobody seems to know any more history about it than that. Oh, and that it was her dad's favorite, now hers. 
You mix it all by hand....the batter is quite thick, so it takes some muscle. I didn't change much, but made it in a slightly smaller pan (Looked everywhere for my 9 by 13 but since I moved, I've stuck it someplace and now can't find it; I used an 8 by 11), so my slices are a bit higher than Cathy's, which means I also had to bake mine about 10 minutes longer. I also used the Maida Heatter method of greasing the pan....butter, then sprinkled with dry bread crumbs. Also, I think there is too much salt, so cut back on that a bit if you want. 
It has a lovely crunchy top and I found this to be quite a sweet cake, so no frosting needed, but it definitely needs a dollop of whipped cream on top. When you bite into it, you get a mouthful of chunky apples, crunchy walnuts and a lovely hit of cinnamon. Yum!

Note: Leave the apples chunky; it you slice too thin, the cake will be wet. I think Cathy has a photo of the size the apples should be cut on her blog. I peeled, cut in quarters, seeded and then sliced into chunks. Also, my Granny Smith apples were quite big so I only needed 5 to get 4 cups. Another nice thing about this cake: you can cut the recipe and make it in any size pan you like. 9 by 13 makes a lot of cake.

Apple Walnut Snack Cake
From Cathy at Noble Pig

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2  large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups (6-8 apples) Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and diced coarsely
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by spraying it with cooking spray. (See above for the method I always use)
In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl combine eggs, oil and vanilla; add this to the sugar-flour mixture in the large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Batter will be stiff (do not use mixer). 
Add the apples and walnuts. Pour into baking pan and cook for 50-60 minutes or until the middle springs back when touched. 
Serve with whipped cream. Even better the  next day!


Pumpkin Pie Brioche

It's time for a pumpkin recipe, don't you agree? Fall's not officially here yet, but it's never too soon for pumpkin fever! I made these last year so you can save this one for Thanksgiving...but be warned...make plenty because I ate three of them before I realized what I was doing! So tender (I adore brioche of any kind) and these gems turned out so well, so easy, you really must try them for the holidays.

Pumpkin Pie Brioche
From Girl Versus Dough

3¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
? teaspoon cloves
? teaspoon nutmeg
2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) Red Star PLATINUM yeast
½ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup warm water (about 120 to 130 degrees F)
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
2 eggs
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)

This makes a dozen rolls.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1¾ cups flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and yeast. Add pumpkin, warm water, butter and eggs. Stir, adding just enough of remaining 1½ cups flour until a dough forms that pulls away from sides of bowl.
Knead dough with dough hook attachment in stand mixer on medium speed 5 minutes until smooth, soft, elastic and only slightly sticky. (or you can knead by hand) Shape dough into a ball, then place in a large lightly greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm place 1 hour until doubled.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down risen dough, then divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then place on prepared baking sheet spaced at least 2 inches apart. Cover with a tea towel or lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes until doubled.

Just before baking, use scissors to snip tops of rolls about ¼-inch deep. Brush tops and sides of rolls with egg wash. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.


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