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Tommy C. Simmons, An enthusiastic cook
Photograph Tommy C. Simmons

Apple Cake celebrates the season!
According to the many north Georgia orchards’ websites, we have a few weeks before our favorite apple varieties will be ready to pick. We love apple season and almost everything made with apples afterwards.

Last week, I tried an apple sheet-cake recipe from a Texas community cookbook. The cake is an oil-based cake, meaning oil is used as the fat in the recipe in place of butter or solid shortening. Oil cakes stay moist for at least a week and freeze well, too, two qualities important when baking week in and week out for two, not four or more.

I used medium-sized Gala apples in the cake.

Later in October, I hope to find a few Jonagold apples to make the cake. If not, Golden Delicious apples are always tried and true baking apples. One of our favorite north Georgia orchards is Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, GA. If you are in the area during apple season and want to pick apples, visit their website at for hours and variety availability.

Washington Apple Cake
Serves 12.
Home kitchen-tested recipe by Tommy C. Simmons
Recipe is from “The Dining Car” cookbook published by The Service League of Denison, Texas.

3 eggs
1 cup cooking oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla (or rum) extract
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
4 cups chopped, pared apples (can use tart apples, if preferred)
Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs with mixer until thick and light.
2. Combine oil and sugar; pour into eggs while mixing at medium speed.
3. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add to egg mixture along with vanilla. Beat to mix.
4. Stir in nuts and apples. Pour into a greased 9- x 13-inch baking pan.
5. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and spread with Cream Cheese Icing. Refrigerate leftover iced cake.

Testing note: My 9- x 13-inch baking pan was too shallow for the amount of batter the recipe made so I filled my pan 2/3 full as I usually do and poured the remaining batter in a small loaf pan (also greased). The full cake rose and baked beautifully without overflowing the pan and the little cake was a lagniappe cake I wrapped and served later without icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 tbls. butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy.
  2. Gradually add sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Spread on cooled cake. (Iced cake should be refrigerated after serving.)

Posted October 10, 2014

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