Fresh Apple Cake With Black Walnuts

Summer or winter, this cake is time-tested and popular. A specimen of fine mountain baking, Fresh Apple Cakes are delicious, filling, scrumptious, unencumbered, sweet, black walnut-flavored, brownie-like in texture, crunchy on the outside, and moist on the inside. Go for it.

About Fresh Apple Cakes:
Like prune cakes, carrot cakes, or pumpkin cakes, we make fresh apple cakes with either oil or margarine. Some add cinnamon, allspice, raisins, coconut, and butterscotch chips. You may also vary the cake by reducing the flour by a cup and adding a cup of rolled oats. Try the basic cake, and then try one of the variations.

Difficulty and Yield:
Moderate. With 10 ingredients and one baking step, I rate this recipe moderate in difficulty. The time-consuming parts of making this cake are getting the butter soft and preparing the apples. Yield: 12 servings.

1 cup Country Crock (stick-style, not soft spreadable) margarine at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 cups chopped raw apples
1 cup (1/2-inch-size) black walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Select, grease, and flour a 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Peel, core, and dice the apples into 3/4 inch pieces. Cream the margarine and sugar, and when they are well-mixed and a bit white, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Mix and sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir this into the butter mixture. The batter will be thick.

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the apples and walnuts. Spread and scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes or until it has browned across the top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 1/2 hour and cut into 12 pieces.

Healthy Choice Alternative:
Try, if you can, to eat just half a piece of this cake. Replace the margarine with canola oil. If that is not enough, change the cake by replacing half of the oil with applesauce, and if salt is the problem, omit it.

My first choice is to serve this cake like I would serve a brownie, without glaze, topping, or ice cream. Alternatively, you can serve it with a generous topping of vanilla ice cream, hot sorghum, and black walnuts. Try it with Country Whipped Cream or Buttermilk Glaze.