Apple Cake Lorraine

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I know, I know… this is the second Apple Cake I’ve made in three weeks. I normally wouldn’t have spaced them so close, but there’s a story behind this one that I couldn’t pass up. Let me explain…

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I was preparing my version of a vintage Betty Crocker Applesauce Cake, just minding my own business, when my Dad decided to tell me that he remembers his Aunt Lorraine making a fantastic apple cake that he hadn’t had in years. Cue needle scratch. WHERE WERE YOU ALL WEEK WHILE I WAS POURING THROUGH OLD COOKBOOKS TRYING TO FIND A VINTAGE APPLE CAKE RECIPE? (Sorry for yelling.) Since I was already up to my elbows in applesauce, I had to commit to the cake I was already making though I definitely started to stray a little by daydreaming about this recipe. I’m flighty like that.

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Cake number one turned out great, it really did. But how could I not prefer this family recipe? I’m a sucker for sentimentality. Also, it’s truly delicious which doesn’t hurt its cause.

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The only thing I changed from my great aunt’s recipe (I’m not blasphemous, after all) is the pan. The recipe card that my Dad sourced from his cousin says to bake the cake in a  9 x 13 pan, but I used a bundt because I just got it and it’s pretty.

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The batter for this cake is incredibly dense and sticky. So much so that I thought I forgot to add an ingredient (like a gallon of water). But alas, the cake turned out to be incredibly moist, flavor, and, yeah okay, a little dense but perfect for slicing off small slivers for snacking which is why I think it works so well in the bundt variation. The lemon extract really brightens up the heavy, warm flavors and elevates the cake to slightly-addicting status.

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Try it for yourself, see what I mean.

Apple Cake Lorraine

Apple Cake Lorraine

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups thinly sliced apples (about 2 large apples)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.* In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and oil. Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract and beat until lightened in color and texture. In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly add dry ingredients to mixer. Fold in apples and walnuts. (Because the batter is so thick, I did this step in the mixer on slow which breaks up the apples a little but that’s okay).

Scoop out batter into pan and use a spoon to even it out. Bake for 60-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes. Use a small knife to gently separate the sides of the cake from the pan. Invert pan onto baking rack and let cool completely.

Make glaze by whisking together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Once cake is completely cool, drizzle glaze over top of cake.

* I used a bundt pan, but you could use a standard 9 x 13 cake pan or round pans. Adjust baking time accordingly

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