I love fall baking; all the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger scents that fill the kitchen are just tantalizing to me. I go from baking with summer fruits and berries to the more traditional autumn produce of apples and pears. This cake comes from Paula Deen and it's name intrigued me. I never could find out why it's called what it is. However, in researching the origins of the cake it seems that this cake, and others similar to it, are very common in the deep south. This California girl had never heard of it! What makes it unusual is the butter-buttermilk sauce that soaks into the cake after baking. Trust me when I say this cake is very moist! It's also rich and sugary, and great with a hot cup of coffee or tea. It needs no frosting or glaze, is not the prettiest cake, but it makes a great addition to my fall baking repertoire.
Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake from Georgia
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans **
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease a tube or bundt pan.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, orange juice, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract; mix well. Fold the apples, coconut, and pecans into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.
Shortly before the cake is done, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda, and bring to a good rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minutes. Pour the sauce over the hot cake in the pan as soon as you remove it from the oven (I did this over a cookie sheet as there was spillage). Let stand 1 hour, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
** Pecans are pricey in California and walnuts are more plentiful. I have clients who give me walnuts each year so I substituted using them.
Slowly pouring the sauce onto the cake and letting it sit for an hour allows all the buttery goodness to permeate the cake. The cake is very moist and stays moist after cutting.