NOTE: I ran this post about a year ago on Free at Last Mom and it has always been a favorite post of mine. A couple of weeks ago, on Christmas Eve, Uncle John’s brother posted a video from the early 90’s of his children opening their gifts from Santa and who should be sitting right there – Uncle John! So I spent most of Christmas Eve thinking about my friend and once again ~ a beautiful red cardinal visited me while I sat on my porch.
When I married my husband over 30 years ago, he came into the relationship with his childhood best friend, known to my kids as Uncle John. Uncle John was a confirmed bachelor and over the years became one of my best friends. One of Uncle John’s favorite treats was apple cake – in every shape and size. Each week he would turn up at my house with a new recipe for me to try. He had me trying to re-create an apple cake he loved from his childhood but unfortunately each apple cake was never “just right!” This apple cake making went on for years. Then, a few years back Uncle John passed away quietly in his sleep leaving behind wonderful memories of a dear friend that just wanted to have a piece of apple cake the way he remembered it from his youth. I stopped then making apple cakes, eating apple cakes and looking for apple cake recipes. Suddenly a while back an apple cake recipe appeared in my Facebook news feed. I looked at it and filed it away and then one day thought – “boy does that apple cake recipe look good – I bet Uncle John would have loved it.”
So I set out to make this apple cake and finished baking it through tears while thinking about my friend. It turned out great! I put it on the counter and went to sit on my screen porch to collect myself and sitting on my fence was a red cardinal. Many spiritual people will tell you that a cardinal represents afterlife – a cardinal is a visit from a lost love one. I’m not usually superstitious, but part of me knows that red cardinal was Uncle John telling me I might have gotten it “just right!” this time.
So here is my recipe for Uncle John’s Apple Cake! However, I must give credit where credit is due and tell you that I have found that the recipe can be found in the Betty Crocker Cookbook (who knew all those years all we had to do was look in a cookbook!!)
PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME:
- ¼ cup butter
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cut into ½-inch wedges
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup milk
- Whipped Cream topping
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 9 inch round or square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat until melted. Add the brown sugar. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour into the bottom of the greased pan. Arrange the apples over the brown sugar mixture.
- In a medium size bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Set bowl aside.
- In a large bowl or mixer, beat together 1 cup sugar, and ½ cup butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla.
- Beat in flour mixture alternating with the milk until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples and spread evenly.
- Bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make the whipped topping, beat whipping cream on high until soft peaks start to form. Add in 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Run knife along the edges of the cake and flip upside down on a pan. Serve warm with whipped cream on top.