A Southern Grace: safe but scrumptious

November 30, 2016

safe but scrumptious


I usually like to go all-out on the desserts I contribute to our holiday celebrations--I strive to make something decadent and rich and new and exciting.

This year, I wasn't feeling super ambitious for some reason, so I decided to go with an always easy, always delicious apple bundt cake. I spruced it up a little bit by adding toasted pecans and a caramel apple cider glaze, which contributed to some fantastic textures and flavors.

Interestingly (to me, anyway), I was flipping through an old cookbook of my grandma's from 1963 and I came across an "apple chip cake" which she had noted in the margins as "good." (I also found some "fair" recipes, as well as a couple of "awful" ones...) It was this recipe, almost to the letter! Guess the truly good ones stick around.

This cake is supremely moist, yet it doesn't disintegrate through the tines of your fork, which is a pretty important feature in my eyes. It's a perfect balance. For the record, my favorite bites (which I always save for last) are the area on the top of the slice that has absorbed the most glaze and the bottom corner that soaks up whatever glaze sank into the center of the bundt--utterly divine. I agree with Grandma--this cake is good.

Always Appropriate Apple Cake (with a Super Cider Glaze)
(printable recipe)
Serves 10-12
Pool o' glaze in the center!
  • 1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3 cups tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • Pinch salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan.
In a large bowl, beat vegetable oil, orange juice, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until thick and opaque.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cloves.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well blended.
Stir in pecans and apples until pieces are evenly distributed.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 80-90 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the glaze:
Pour apple cider into sauce pan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half; this takes about 15-20 minutes.
Add remaining caramel ingredients to sauce pan and return to a boil.
Reduce heat slightly and cook until thick enough to use as a glaze, about 10 minutes.
If the glaze doesn't get thick enough for your purposes, you can add some sifted powdered sugar, up to 1/2 cup (lest it get too sweet).
Remove from heat and cool slightly--it will thicken more as it cools. Pour over the cooled cake.
This cake is even better the next day!


Angie's Recipes said...

The bundt cake looks splendid, Grace. I love that apple cider glaze.

Pam said...

It looks perfectly baked and beautiful. Love that cider glaze!

Królowa Karo said...

I have to try it! It looks so delicious!

lisa is cooking said...

That's so cool to find a similar recipe from your grandma's cookbook! This cake was clearing meant to be the dessert of choice this year. Looks delicious!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Grace, this apple cake with the super cider glaze looks amazing, sounds like you and your grandma have similar taste, how funny.....Happy Holidays!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

The cake sounds so good, but then with that glaze? Oh my!! Outstanding!

Food Gal said...

I love discovering family-favorite old recipes like that. When you bake it, and take a taste, it's like sharing a special memory that connects you to loved ones. And that's what holidays are all about. ;)

Marjie said...

I'm glad to learn I'm not the only one who writes in her cookbooks! This sounds like a wonderful cake, Grace. It will have to find its way to my table soon.

Gingi said...

Oh man, WHY must you tempt me with such delicious looking foods??!? lol! - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Barbara said...

Gosh, that looks amazing, Grace. Love the cider in the glaze, what a super idea. Three cheers for grandmas and how recipes seem to come in a perfect circle. My favorite recipes were my grandma's.

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

Bundt cakes are totally my thing right now so I was so excited to see this delicious recipe! Adding to the yummy must make list!

Beth said...

Forget "good" - this cake looks "wonderful"! I'd try it in a heartbeat!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I was just thinking there should be more apple cakes in this world! Perfect!