This is one of those cakes that is so hearty you could actually serve for breakfast, even if the only really nutritious components are really the eggs, apples and pecans. It does contain a lot of sugar. Still, when it comes to baked goods, I take my nutrition where I can get it!
I was inspired to make this by a recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. As usual, I did play with it a bit - especially the spices and the method of mixing - but the recipe is true enough to its original format that I do want to give credit where it is due. I almost gave up on it half way through as when I finished mixing in the apples and pecans the dough was so stiff that I checked the recipe four times to make sure I had not left out any liquid ingredients. I had to dollop it into the cake pan, and I seriously doubted it was going to turn out. I’m glad I persevered though because the juices in the apples gave the cake all the moisture it needed and it cooked into a glorious tender in the middle, caramel-ly crunchy on the outside cake that everyone asked for seconds of. Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook just calls this Apple Cake but as far as I’m concerned, the pecans deserve some recognition too!
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used a generous teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon ground allspice (I used ½ teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar (I did not pack the brown sugar)
1 cup cooking oil (I used mild olive oil)
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups chopped, peeled apples (about 3 or 4)
1 cup pecans, chopped (the original recipe called for toasted pecans, but I didn’t bother to toast them and it was fine)
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel (I used the peel of a whole lemon, and I used 2 teaspoons of the juice as well)
Grease and flour a ten inch tube or Bundt pan. Preheat your oven to 350℉ (I set my fan oven to 150℃).
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
Chop the apples and place in a bowl with the lemon peel and the lemon juice. Mix together with a spoon and add the pecans. Set aside.
Combine the sugars and oil in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat together for two minutes on low speed. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for a minute more.
Add the flour mixture and mix just until blended. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the apple and pecan mixture. Transfer the mixture to the baking pan.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until a skewer, toothpick or piece of dried spaghetti comes out clean. Allow to cool on wire rack for at least twenty minutes before carefully removing from the pan and continuing to cool on wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.