Author Notes: I never knew Mrs. Schunke, but I understand she employed my mother to clean her house when my family first came to the United States, years before I was born. The only relic I have of her role in my family's life was a stained 3x5 card with a typed recipe for apple kuchen. It was one of those 1,1,1,1 recipes so popular in the 1950's--simple ingredients and a formula that was impossible to forget. Eggs, flour, sugar, butter: make it once and the recipe would be forever imbedded in your mind. My mother would often make this cake on a summer's day, substituting peach slices or halved prune plums for the apples. It's a nice, light dessert or afternoon snack with coffee or tea, but I've also served it as a coffee cake for a weekend breakfast. This cake is best eaten the day it's made, but leftovers will keep for a day or two in a tightly-covered container at room temperature.
I just realized that the old recipe card has different proportions than the card my mother shared with me...rest assured the 4 eggs make for a light, tender cake. —Windischgirl
cups granulated sugar
cup All-purpose flour
cup butter, melted and cooled (1 stick)
apples, cored and cut into thin wedges
Dash ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a rimmed baking pan--I usually use a 1/4-sheet pan (12x18) but you can use a 9x13 baking pan for a greater cake-to-fruit ratio.
- Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature for best results. If the eggs are right out of the fridge, warm them in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes before breaking.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, beat the 4 eggs and the sugar. Start at low speed and gradually increase the speed to 8. Beat for 6 minutes. The eggs will become creamy, fluffy, and opaque, and double to triple in volume.
- Turn off the mixer and switch to the flat beater attachment. With the mixer on lowest speed, add in the flour gradually, a few tablespoonfuls at a time, until just combined. Turn off the mixer, scrape the sides, and mix for another 30 seconds.
- With the mixer on lowest speed, add the melted cooled butter in a stream until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, gently easing the batter into the corners of the pan. The batter will be bubbly.
- Arrange the apples decoratively on the surface of the cake, covering as much of the batter as possible. Dust with cinnamon and bake for 20-25 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Let the cake cool slightly before serving. Cut the cake into 3 inch squares and place on a platter to serve.
- Note: I've also posted a variation of this recipe, 'Mrs Shunke Revisited.' Try both and let me know which you prefer!