No two ways about it

Apple cake is coming.

But first:

My kids have been fighting constantly.

I’m up to my eyeballs in chains and smashed coins. An etsy shop is happening.

Tried twice to start the fire. It wouldn’t.

Not really into Thanksgiving so it’s good we’re going to my parents. I think there will be pulled pork and … squid. I’m making a cheesecake.

My room is trashed. The terrain is hilly, thanks to socks, gloves, the kids’ too-small clothes, random shoes, and magazines.

My oldest daughter is staging a Class A revolt against the lowly legume.

My daughters have declared World War III … against each other. I’m ready to put them both in the state penitentiary. Or at least their rooms. Oh wait. They already are in their rooms.

I Love Lucy is my saving grace.

I took a picture of the full moon.

Taking pictures is hard. I want lessons.

I cleaned out my bathroom cupboards.

It’s amazing how a cleaned out cupboard frees up my brain space.

Wish it would rain already.

I need a bigger blanket to cover the giant hole in my leather sofa. Or else a seamstress who wants to indebt herself to me.

There is a bushel of broccoli on my kitchen table.

And now, for cake. I discovered a new apple cake and made it three times.

I think this was the apple cake I was looking for when I embarked on last year’s apple cake quest. Next year there will be no searching for I have found the perfect apple cake.

What is a perfect apple cake? It’s an apple cake that uses lots of apples, not just a wimpy cup or two. The cake must taste of apple, lots and lots of apple. There must be no doubt that you are indeed eating a cake made out of apples.

Apples apples apples apples.

Have I made myself clear?

This cake is an apple cake all right. With 4 cups of apple to a 3/4 cup of flour, there ain’t no two ways around it.

Apple Rum Cake
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s blog

I changed the title from “French Apple Cake” to “Apple Rum Cake” since the boozy flavor is deliciously distinct. But not so distinct that the kids fussed. To the contrary, they acted like it was the best cake I’d ever served them.

They (“they” being Frenchified foodies, I presume) say that using a variety of apples is key. I used Golden Delicious, Fuji, York, and Stayman.

One time I added fresh cranberries and some chopped nuts. The cranberries were nice; the nuts were not. Another time I used ½ cup maple sugar plus 1/4 cup regular white sugar. It had a nice flavor, but wasn’t noticeable enough to warrant using up my precious maple sugar.

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons rum
½ teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
½ cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
4 apples, a variety, peeled and chopped (about four cups)

Beat the eggs till frothy. Add the sugar and beat till well combined. Beat in the rum and vanilla.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stirring gently, add the dry ingredients alternately with the melted butter. Fold in the apples.

Pour the batter into a heavily greased 9-inch springform pan, using a spatula to smooth out the top. Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool the cake for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the pan and removing the sides. (I was dumping my cake upside down every single time—and having mighty problems, too—and just now re-read Lebovitz’s instructions and realized that was not a part of them.)

Serve slices of cake warm, or at room temperature, with whipped cream. Cover leftovers with plastic and store at room temperature.

This same time, years previous: feminism, part II


  • Anonymous

    I made just made this last week.
    I used dark, spicy rum.
    My daughter had one piece. When it was half eaten I thought I'd better give the rest to my other daughter before I ate it all. Unfortunately, she wasn't home and the cake came back with me…:>]

  • Jennifer Jo

    Flower Patch Farmgirl, I'm not in any way OPPOSED to Thanksgiving—it's just that I wasn't into all the cooking and prep work and feeling very festive. It didn't occupy very many of my brain cells.

    Just like I'm not into white Christmas lights and votives and cookies….yet. I will gear up for Christmas, but it takes so much energy and right now I'm more content to just putter along doing the things I do each day, no extra glitter necessary.

    Make sense?

  • Shannan Martin

    1. I must know more about why you are "not into" Thanksgiving??? Highly intriguing, that tidbit!

    2. I'm SO on this apple cake. YuM!

  • Jennifer Jo

    Ellie, Your changes sound quite yummy. Way to be creative!

    Bonoca, I think the original called for dark rum but I only have light (I think). Both work, in my book.

    Amber, that recipe sounds lush!

    Margo, I actually LOVE Thanksgiving flavors but we were going to Mom's and she was in charge of the feast—I guess we're not very traditionally inclined. (I do have a turkey in the freezer that will probably get roasted some day soon, so don't worry, we will get our bird.) And yes, we had squid, the day after Thanksgiving. Just a taste. My brother made it.

  • Margo

    maybe I'll try this. So far, I like the apple cake in Simply in Season. But in my mind, better yet, is an apple pie (Mennonite Community).

    Your grinching and grouching makes me laugh (and ob in a blog photo – heeee). And I can't believe you don't like Thanksgiving flavors! I do variations on that theme all winter long. Truly, are you having squid?

  • Anonymous

    Here is my favorite apple cake recipe. (I'm salivating as I type.)


    1 1/2 C. SUGAR
    2 EGGS
    1 t. VANILLA
    1 t. CINNAMON
    1/4 t. SALT

    Beat wet ingredients together. Stir in dry ingredients. Add apples and stir. Spread in 9 x 13 pan. 350 degrees for 35 minutes.


    3/4 c. BUTTER
    3/4 c. BROWN SUGAR
    3 t. MILK

    Heat all ingredients to boiling in 2-qt. saucepan. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over cake. This is what makes this cake. If omitting this glaze, then just omit the recipe from your collection.


  • Bonoca

    I've got light rum and gold rum but no dark rum in the house. Do you think it makes a difference in taste? Would this cake do well made ahead and frozen? I've got lots of holiday baking to do and didn't know if you thought if the apples would get mushy after being frozen….Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Ellies Wonder

    Awesome cake!! I just baked it. 🙂 I changed it a bit though. Since I'm in pie mode I put the cake into a pie crust and topped it with cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. When it came out, the top of it was wonderfully caramelized and the pie crust is a nice shell for it. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Anonymous

    Zoe, just make Grandma Baer's apple cake. There is no other. I double the apples. and halve the topping. The sugar just falls off anyway.

    JJ, I just cleaned out our room It was a 6 week long process. Whenever the kids don't want something in their room it gets put in our room. Well they really cleaned house. Furniture included. You could hardly walk to the back door.

    I wanted to craigslist and ebay the stuff. Well I finally learned how and it's happening even as I type. I just sold Grandma's B's dress form. Sob. It was so cool but so in the way.

    Now that the room is nearly cleaned out I periodically run up to bask in the emptiness.

    Aunt V.

  • Zoë

    Amber, bring your apple cake recipe along on Thanksgiving! I want to try it.

    JJ, I am going to try the cake with double the vanilla. After I get some apples, that is. I have to say, I haven't baked in almost a week and this post got me back in the mood. So I mixed up a batch of fudge nut cookies. Not that they have anything to do with apples, but still! The dough is now chilling and will be baked tomorrow morning. Mmm, can't wait.

  • Jennifer Jo

    Amber, Might I have the rum-less apple cake recipe, too? I'm all into learning more "totally delish" recipes… (Plan B: you can omit the rum and double the vanilla, if you like.)

  • Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig

    My room is trashed, too…everything I cleared out of the kids' rooms ended up in MY room…and now I don't know where to put it!

    And your nice clean closet has inspired me…tomorrow, the linen closet or bust!

  • Zoë

    Shucks. Wish I had apples. And rum. Could run to the neighbor's farm stand for the apples. Don't want to buy rum. Guess I won't get apple cake.

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