This past week, I was lucky to experience fall in all its glory in Michigan. All the stores had their fall decorations out on display, the leaves were turning bright fall colors, and almost every meal involved squash, pumpkin or apple. So naturally it made sense to learn some fall recipes from Grandma, like this delicious ground apple cake. As a big fan of apple pie, I was excited to learn about a new apple dessert. You know it’s a good recipe when the recipe card looks like this.
Now that is a well-loved recipe card. But before we get into the details of this cake, you should know that the apples for this cake came from a trip apple picking at the family farm. That’s right, none of that commercial farm business. No, no, this apple picking involves four apple trees in the front yard that haven’t been touched with any kind of pesticide and no one is really is totally sure what variety they are. Doesn’t really matter what kind they were though, because we picked half a bushel (love being able to say that!) and they were beautiful! Just look at them.
Really, sometimes you can’t even find that nice of an apple at the store. And guess what? They were perfect for our cake! Ripe, crisp and free of worms (for the most part – we had to toss a few!) I love it when a plan comes together. So, now onto this delicious cake that I got to eat this week. It turns out that ground apple cake is a lot like carrot cake (which is a great thing for us, we loooove carrot cake). The chopped apple pieces make the cake crumbly and soft with a natural apple flavor.
What I love the most about this cake is that the sugar doesn’t overwhelm you the way that it does with apple pie. Instead, the apples are the highlight of the cake. So if you’re looking for a more natural and less sugary version of a pie for your fall sweet tooth, I definitely recommend this recipe. In fact, if you could find a way to substitute in something else for the butter, this recipe would even be vegan! Even better, you can throw in extra add-ins like dried sour cherries (for more sweetness) and pecans (for more crunch) like we did! It’s also pretty delicious when topped with ice cream. But that seems kind of obvious.
- 4 – 4 1/2 cups ground or chopped raw apples with the skins on
- 1 cup white sugar (or can substitute in 3/4 cup honey & 1/4 cup sugar)
- 1/2 cup regular flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (adjust flour based on moistness of apples)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- If unsalted butter or margarine, it’s recommended to add a 1/4 tsp of salt
- Add-in options: raisins, dried sour cherries or nuts – in this version, we used dried sour cherries (1/2 cup) and pecans (1/2 cup chopped)
- Hand chop apples into 1/4ths with skin on, scoop out core and seeds
- Blend apple pieces in a food processor until chopped until small pieces
- Mix remaining ingredients with apple
- Pour into greased 8 x 8 glass pan – we baked it in a larger pan and it was still delicious, but it would be a little more fluffy in a 8 x 8 pan!
- Bake at 350 for 45 minutes
What about you guys – do you have a favorite fall recipe that I should try?