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Author Notes: I found this delicious recipe in P. Allen Smith's debut cookbook. Smith says his friend, Kent, came up with this great recipe, and the name says it all--it really is a "to die for" apple cake! I have made this recipe in a 10-cup Nordic Ware Bundt pan (perfect) and in the full size 12-cup classic Bundt pan, and have also divided the batter between two 6-cup Nordic Ware Bundt pans. I have prepared it almost entirely in a food processor, as well as by hand. No matter what I do, this cake is always delectable. The recipe doesn't specify how finely to chop the apples, but I like to place my peeled apples (cut into eighths) in the food processor and pulse them down to a fine chop, say 1/8-inch pieces, being careful to stop before they become a puree. I also chop the nuts rather finely as well. I cook the single cake for 1 1/4 hours and the 2 smaller ones for just 1 hour. There is nothing to stop you from chopping your apples more coarsely if that is your preference. I like it raisin-free. The recipe seems to be very flexible, so try your own variation, and make it your own. —JohnL
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
- 4 cups chopped peeled tart apples (such as Granny Smith)
- Melted butter or whipped cream for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a tube pan or Bundt pan, or spray the pan with a flour-based baking spray such as Baker's Joy, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar and brown sugar with the vegetable oil. Then stir in the eggs and vanilla. Sift the flour into a separate bowl, and add the baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add this to the wet mixture. Fold in the nuts, raisins (if using), and apples. The batter will be thick.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tube pan, and bake for 75 to 90 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate. Top with drizzled butter or whipped cream, if you like, and serve.
- This cake keeps well, covered at room temp, for at least 5 days. I think it improves with each passing day. I like it with vanilla ice cream, too. Warm up a slice for 30 seconds in the microwave if you like. It's wonderful no matter how you serve it!