Chunky Apple Walnut Cake

  in Desserts, Recipes

Recipe by Sharon Flesher

This has been a family favorite at my house for two decades. It is adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook, which was the first cookbook I purchased as a college student in the mid-1980s. It has since been joined on my shelves by dozens of cookbooks, and its dog-eared and spotted appearance is testimony to its value. This is by far the recipe in the book that I have cooked the most.

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups natural cane sugar
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 1/4 cups coarse chunks of peeled tart apples
3 tablespoons Calvados brandy or other apple brandy or apple cider

For the glaze:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons natural cane sugar
3 tablespoons Calvados
4 tablespoons sweet cider
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, beat oil and sugar until thick and opaque. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Combine flours, spices, soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add to oil and egg mixture and mix well. Add walnuts, apples and Calvados to batter and stir until evenly distributed.
  3. Pour batter into greased and floured 10-inch cake pan (a bundt works well) and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the glaze by melting butter in a small saucepan and adding the sugars, then the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  5. Let cake rest for 10 minutes, then unmold and pour glaze over.