Tasty Tuesday: Dried Apple Stack Cake aka Appalachian Wedding Cake

Often times you know your heritage just by the kind of foods that are made in your home and passed on from one generation to another. Every year, for my Grandpa Walton’s birthday his mom would make him a Dried Apple Stack Cake. After she passed on, someone else in the family took over and eventually the task was passed on to me. Now that he has passed on and I have a family of my own, I am excited to pass on a recipe that has been in my family for generations.

Old Fashioned Apple Stack Cake

This multi-layer cake is a heavy and moist, but not exceptionally sweet. The layers are thin and biscuit like, and the filling is sweet, spiced apples.

Some of my family migrated west from South Carolina into Tennessee. Tradition tells us that during pioneer times, wedding cakes were quite expensive (um, now too!), so guests would bring a layer of cake and the family would provide the apple filling. You could tell how popular a bride was by how many layers her cake was. I just like making the cake to remind me of home.

Apple Filling:
1 lb. dried apples
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tea. cinnamon
1/2 tea. cloves
1/2 tea. allspice
 
Cover the apples with water and cook until tender over medium low heat. This may take a while, so check back often, stir and add more water if necessary. When done, mash thoroughly with a potato masher. You are going for an apple butter consistency.
 
Cake:
3 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
4 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea baking soda
1 tea. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 tea vanilla
 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Generously grease a few 8-9″ cake pans. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients in order given. Mix quickly into soft dough. Divide into about 6 parts. Use some flour to keep you from sticking and pat down one of the parts into a cake pan. You could also roll out the layers, but I always found it easier just to pat them right into the pans. Bake each layer until lightly browned (about 8 – 10 minutes). Do this with each layer. As you take the cake out of the oven, spread each layer with the apple mixture. Don’t put the apples on the top layer. Put in covered container (or cover with plastic wrap) and let sit at least 12 hours before cutting (this seals in the moisture!).
 
While perhaps not the most lovely cake in the world, it does hold its own on taste. It is the perfect compliment to a nice cup of tea or coffee….and on your second attempt at making the cake, you may have trouble waiting the 12 hours to partake!
 
Slice and Enjoy!
 
~ Abbie
 

 

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