Apple Cinnamon Cake with Raisins and Walnuts

apple cake tastefood

~ Apple Cinnamon Cake with Raisins and Walnuts ~

When things get busy and stressful, I head to the kitchen. Mind you, I’m normally in my kitchen anyway, developing and testing recipes, preparing meals for clients, and always making a dinner of some sort. But that’s not what I’m talking about. My to-do list is seemingly endless right now, and this weekend I needed a break. So I put aside my oil splotched recipe notes, shopping lists and white board (yes, I have a white board in my kitchen) and closed my laptop. I  asked my son what I should bake – something sweet, something frivolous, something unplanned. He instantly asked for an apple cinnamon cake I used to bake, and I knew exactly which one he meant. It’s a simple crusty-topped cake studded with fruit and nuts that my kids love and I used to make for afternoon coffee and tea – when I actually used to have afternoon coffee and tea in another life we lived in Europe.

The recipe I used back then was from an old Gourmet magazine and sadly long misplaced or packed. But I remembered seeing a recipe over at Food52 for a classic, popular cake they loved which closely resembled my memory of this cake. That I could find, and here it is:

Apple Cake with Raisins and Walnuts

adapted from Food52 and a distant family memory

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, such as grape seed
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tart apples, peeled, cored, cut in coarse chunks
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins

Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 by 12-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment.
Beat the oil and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add to the batter and mix to combine. Stir in the apples, walnuts and raisins. Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature. (The flavors will develop once the cake has cooled).
Cut in pieces and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.

9 thoughts on “Apple Cinnamon Cake with Raisins and Walnuts

  1. Life can be so hectic, I know all about long lists for the weekend… But, I am glad you got to bake something your son requested, better than any client, better than anything! 😉

  2. Yes, I too know about all the busy that encompasses our modern lives! I have always been one to advocate that busy hands coax the mind into relaxing. Preparing a sweet treat frosted in family memories is a certain cure to slow the pace and enjoy the moment! A lovely Apple Cinnamon Cake!

  3. Bookmarking for September when all I think about is the smell of baked apples. And, I have a white board in my kitchen too!

  4. I think I know which Food52 recipe you mean – I’ve had my eye on it for some time. I love this, and will be making it this fall. It looks perfect – I love the kind that has that crusty top. I did cookie therapy today, BTW, so I totally get cake therapy 🙂

  5. There is something very comforting about apple cake. Between the aromas while it is baking and the sweet tartness of the apples when enjoying a piece of it…it is a favorite in the fall when our orchard is ready to be picked.

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