YIELD: A 9×13 sheet cake
2 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups peeled, cored, chopped apple, about 1 1/3 pounds whole apples
1 cup diced toasted walnuts or pecans
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla-butternut flavor
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9″ x 13″ pan.
- To make the cake: Mix all of the ingredients except the apples and nuts in a large bowl.
- Beat until well combined; the mixture will be very stiff, and may even be crumbly.
- Add the apples and nuts, and mix until the apples release some of their juice and the stiff mixture becomes a thick batter, somewhere between cookie dough and brownie batter in consistency.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing it with your wet fingers.
- Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few wet crumbs clinging to it.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool completely; don’t remove the cake from the pan.
- To make the frosting: Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts.
- Add the milk, bring to a boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, stir in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. Spread on the cake while frosting is still warm.
Yield: about 2 dozen servings.