Ever since I was a little girl, my mother would make this cake come apple season, and now I do the same. Why is this cake a “delight?” One taste of my mother’s recipe for this moist cake studded with sweet apples will tell you why.
I kissed my son goodnight with a tinge of sadness. He turned a year older today, and in another blink of an eye, I said goodbye to one more piece of his childhood. Seven years, and it flew by so fast. Too fast. Seven years of getting to know this little man, understanding his little heart of gold. I have found a sensitive soul, a thoughtful boy who surprises me with notes that read, “Hop you fell bettr” minutes after I tell him I woke up not feeling too well. A philosophical boy who compares Santa to angels. A compassionate child who thinks of my mom and says, If I could meet your mom, I would love her the same amount as you. Because I imagine she’s the same kind of niceness.
Well, my dear boy, I know she would love you, too.
The kids have been asking lots of questions lately about her. They yearn to know her better, to understand how she battled cancer, and who took care of us children. I told them how she loved to dance and joke around, how she was silly, and pretty cool to hang out with. I see a lot of my children in her. He has her heart of gold, she has her spirit and spunk. It seemed like a good time to make Apple Walnut Delight Cake again.
I’ve made it for you before, but I thought I would dig it from the archives. It’s always good, and even better when shared with friends. We packaged some up and walked some down the street, to our neighbors. I know she would have done the same.
Note: This post first appeared October 6, 2012, and the recipe first shared on January 26, 2011. The recipe has been updated from the archives with improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation, and updated photographs. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.
Apple Walnut Delight Cake
Ever since I was a little girl, my mother would make this cake come apple season, and now I do the same. I always wonder why “delight” is in the recipe title, but after the first bite, I understand why.
If you have any allergies or aversions to nuts, by all means, omit the walnut, as I have here. The cake is just as wonderful without them.
For the cake:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar (I like to use 1 cup white granulated and 1 cup brown sugar)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups peeled and 1/2-inch chopped apples (Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, SweeTango all work well. I love a combination of Gala/Honeycrisp/SweeTango!)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (omit if desired, and increase apple quantity to 4 cups), plus more for garnishing
For the glaze:
- 1-2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter and flour a 10-inch fluted cake pan or tube pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; add gradually to sugar, butter and egg mixture until incorporated. Do not over mix.
Stir in apples and walnuts.
Spoon into prepared cake pan. Bake at 325° for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Release the cake onto a plate and let it cool while you make the glaze.
Combine confectioners sugar with lemon juice and milk and whisk well until smooth. Use 1 cup of sugar for a thin glaze or 2 cups for a thick glaze, depending on your preference.
Drizzle the glaze over the cake and garnish with chopped walnuts, if you wish!
This recipe for Apple Walnut Delight first appeared here on January 26, 2011.