Apple Stack Cake has been a staple dish at my mothers for as long as I can remember! Now mind you, my mother never made anything like this that was nit made from scratch.
If I only had her talents for cooking and baking!! I tell you, she could make or bake anything! She could take whatever stuff she had and figure out a way to make something delicious with it! She was a cook!
She would make Apple Stack Cakes and Molasses Stack Cakes that would melt in your mouth! She would make these and allow them to set overnight and the juices would absorb into the cake and it would be mouth watering good by the time we ate it! I have included a homemade recipe below the easy cake mix one.
I come from a big family and us three boys were like pigs at a trough when we were hungry! Either of us could eat half of a cake at any setting! Probably more if we thought we could get by with it!
But these cakes were special made! Normally it was a holiday such as Thanksgiving, Christmas or a special visitor coming to stay over night or entertaining the preacher and his wife on a Sunday! Whatever the occasion, we boys were glad of it!
In the day and age we are living more and more folks are moving away from cooking from scratch. I know it isn’t because you don’t like foods prepared from scratch, it just takes too much time to do this when you have deadlines to meet.So here we go, an Apple Stack Cake made from Yellow Box Cake. I know some of you will cringe at this but still; there are others who just don’t have the time or means to do it from scratch! This is not as good as my mothers but if you grab a cold glass of milk or hot cup of coffee, I guarantee you are going to thank me for this recipe!
1-Box Yellow Cake Mix, prepared as box instructions.
1 ½ Cup of Chunky Apple Sauce! (We used canned apples from the fall)
½ Cup of packed Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar (Omit if you don’t like it sweet)
1 Tsp Cinnamon
Add all ingredients except Cake mix to a pot and heat until heated through!
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Apply sauce mix to the bottom layer and add the top and apply remaining sauce mix.
Note: I used a butter knife to punch slits in the top of each cake layer so the juices would drain down in the cake. This will get better the longer it sets. If you put this in the fridge and wait until the next day to eat it, you will love it!
Below is a recipe I found online at Splendid Table
Stack cakes like the name suggests, are cakes that resemble thin stacks of pancakes. They are mostly used as alternatives to your normal wedding cake. The couple is considered more popular depending on the number of layers on the stack cake. The friends and family bring the layers of cake and apple preserves, dried apples, or apple butter is applied between each layer by the bride’s family.
The cake layers exist in a varying number of recipes. They can be of the same flavors or different flavors all together. From sponge recipes, fruit, cookie-dough recipes, among others. This practice is most common in the Beaumont Inn of Harrodsburg, Kentucky where it is thought to be originally from. James Harrod, an early settler of the region, is believed to be the pioneer of the stack cake recipe. It is, however, not limited to the area but is also practiced all over Appalachia, United States.
The Appalachian Mountains provide a good climate for the growing of apples since the 1960s. Residents of the region valued apples, evidenced by their presence in most home farms; probably the reason why the people got creative with time-honored apple recipes. In the past, most apples were processed for mainly apple juice and applesauce for local consumption. They had various methods of cooking, canning, distilling, and preserving them.
Nowadays, modern technological advancements have boosted apple production for economic purposes. A significant contributor to this was the rail systems and new roads in the late 19th century which linked the area to outside markets. The area is still considered among the top ten apple-producing states. The apple harvest season falls around late August and early September and they have become among the most lucrative cash crops in the region.
Sometimes, stack cake parties do not involve weddings. It is a great excuse for family and friends to get together, gossip, exchange recipes, and have a great time. The practice has somewhat disappeared in regions outside but in Appalachia, it has become a generational tradition passed on year after years in families. This Appalachian apple stack cake goes by a number of names. Washday cake, dried apple cake, gingerbread cake, etc. The components of the stack cake are mostly the same consisting of dried apples and hearty disks of doughs. The apples are spice, mashed or stewed are spread atop each layer.
Here is one example of a cake layer(s) to make for your apple stack cake.
Note on Apples: You can use fresh apples off the tree or store bought for the apple butter but as is usually the case, the fresh one taste better to us.
Some of this can be made ahead of time and frefigerated until the next day If you need to.
Ecah of these cake layers will be baked individually. This recipe is for 6 layers of cake.
If your oven will hold them, 3 – 9” pans are better for this recipe. 2 pans will work but just takes a little bit longer to put it together.
1 – Cup Granulated sugar
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, add a little more for greasing the pan
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, add a little more for dusting the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups apple butter (see Notes on Apples)
Some Confectioners’ sugar for the garnish
1: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a rack in the middle section of oven.Butter and flour your pans. In a bowl cream the sugar, brown sugar, and butter together at medium speed until quite fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes
In another medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set this aside. In another small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, set this aside.
2: Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix just until combined at medium-low speed. Add half of the buttermilk mixture and mix just until combined. Repeat, adding another third of the flour mixture, then the remaining buttermilk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture.
3: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead four times to bring it all together, then roll into an even cylinder about 18 inches long. Cut the cylinder into six equal parts, 3” for each part then press each part into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a day.
4: On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to a 10-inch circle (use a light sprinkling of flour if it begins to stick). Using a cake pan as your guide, trim the dough into a perfect 9-inch circle, then lay it in a pan to bake.
Repeat with two more pieces of dough. Bake all three, rotating the pans halfway through, until the layers are lightly golden and just beginning to pull away from the sides, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove the layers and set aside.When the pans are cool, butter and flour them once more and repeat the rolling, cutting, and baking with the other three dough rounds.
5: Assemble the cake: Choose your prettiest, smoothest “top” layer and set it aside. Choose your bottom layer and use an offset spatula to spread 1/2 cup apple butter over the top, all the way to the edges. Top with another cake layer and another 1/2 cup topping. Repeat three more times, then top with the prettiest layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours, then sprinkle the top with confectioners’ sugar, cut into thin slices, and serve.
Once assembled, the cake has to sit for two days before being cut. A fascinating thing about this cake is its ability to stay for more than a week without going bad. It is most definitely a labor of love and patience. This classic recipe speaks to the strong culture of the Appalachia people. It is already a staple in so many homes. If you have never tried it, this delicious cake with melt in your mouth and will go great with a cup of hot coffee or cold milk. You also do not have to limit yourself as can play around with different cake recipes or apple forms, and see what works best for you and your family.
Now, if you try this Apple Stack Cake and enjoy it, leave us a comment. If you have other recipes you would like to share with us, drop us a line on our Contact US page. We would love to feature any or your recipes on our blog!
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