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Author Notes: Though not even approaching being eligible for a beauty contest, this cake seems to be irresistible. It stays fresh and gooey for days (that is if there's any left) and it's really very simple. The recipe originated in a community cookbook that I used regularly for years. The cake was always delicious but, over the years I've changed things--NO nuts--raisins--raisins soaked in Rum--but now I've settled on adding dates soaked in Apple Brandy (or Calvados if you're feeling flush!) Sometimes I substitute brown sugar for half the white sugar. As I say, NOT pretty, but well worth it. - Veronica
Serves 12 to 16
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups chopped dates
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups apple brandy (or Calvados)
- 2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups slightly tart apples: peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup melted sweet butter
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Icing sugar for decoration
- About one hour before starting to bake, place the dates in a small bowl and cover with the apple brandy. Stir from time to time and if they get too "tight", just add more brandy!
- Preheat oven to 325. Using butter, grease a baking pan (approximately 13 x 9 x 2)
- Into a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Add the chopped apples, dates, melted butter and the eggs. This will be a very heavy, thick batter but don't worry -- just be sure to mix it well.
- Spread in the prepared pan, place on a rack in center of the oven and bake for 1 hour. Test with a skewer -- if it comes out still a bit gooey, bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. You'll know when it's done. It will be a nice dark tan color and will spring back to a light touch.
- Remove from oven, let cool a bit. This is delicious hot, warm or cold. As I mentioned, this cake isn't a beauty queen so should be plated in the kitchen! I sprinkle each serving with icing sugar.