This cake was originally a gift, a kind gesture from a new friend during the hardest of times. It was Christmas season and Summer’s husband was in the hospital with an unknown, but seemingly serious illness. She was weary and scared and trying her best to keep things level for her two young children. Bryce Coulton brought Summer this simple, yet beautiful cake, which brought peace, solace and comfort to her family. This is the recipe that she reworked from taste that became a cherished family tradition.
For the Cake
1 ½ cups granulated sugar (divided)
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon (divided)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼-teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
1⁄8-teaspoon ground clove
For the Whipped Cream
¾-cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a spring form pan. In a small bowl combine ¼-cup sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Take half of the mixture and sprinkle the bottom of the buttered pan with it. Save the rest for later. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples so they are ready when you are. In a medium-sized bowl, use a spoon to stir together the remaining 1 ¼ cup of sugar, oil and applesauce. Make sure it’s mixed-in well. Next, add the eggs and extracts, mixing them in thoroughly.
In a smaller bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and clove. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until almost all the dry ingredients have been dampened, but you still see pockets of flour. Add the apples and stir until coated. This step will make or break the texture of the cake. If you over mix, it will be tough. So take your time, fold a little here, stir a little there until everything is coated. Pour it into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture. Pop it in the oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool on the counter for about 15 minutes, before removing from the pan, cutting and serving warm (it’s good at room temp too). If you want to get fancy, loosely whip some heavy cream, add the vanilla and powdered sugar to taste just before soft peaks form and serve a dollop on top of each slice of cake just before serving.