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Old Fashioned Appalachian Apple Stack Cake

This Apple Stack Cake Recipe is almost like an Applesauce Cake recipe.  It’s from an old-fashioned stack cake recipe that uses sorghum molasses in the batter and it’s frosted with a spiced applesauce mixture. Some believe it’s an Appalachian Apple Stack Cake recipe that’s been passed down over the years.  This Old Fashioned Fresh Apple Cake Recipe is one of our faves.  

old fashioned stack cake, apple cake, applesauce cake
The hubby and I enjoy watching the show “Moonshiners“.   If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch, it’s about several different friends that practice the old Appalachian culture of making moonshine.   They are good old souls that either do it just for the money or a strong sense of continuing a family tradition.  They believe making moonshine is their right and their culture that has been passed down throughout the years and it needs to continue.

I will not get into the legalities of making and selling moonshine.  We all pretty well know what that is and we have different beliefs on whether it should be legal or not.    But what we are getting into today is some of the Appalachian cultures the show depicts.   We are country folks here on the Ranch.  We both grew up as country folks and our roots can be chased back to generations of country folks.  So we can relate to the folks on the show and we have our favorites.

 

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Old Fashioned Fresh Apple Cake Recipe

 

Last Christmas the two of our favorite characters in the show made an Appalachian Apple Stack Cake.  We had never heard of this apple cake.    It’s an Old Fashioned Stack Cake Recipe that has homemade applesauce in lieu of frosting on top and between the layers.    And this Old Fashioned Fresh Apple Cake Recipe has 6 layers but sometimes it can have more.

Rumor has it that each layer was made by a different family for a wedding cake.   When someone was getting married several families contributed to the Appalachian apple stack cake.  Each family made one layer of this apple stack cake recipe using molasses as the sweetener.    When times are poor, people help each other in these hills.   And we believe times were often poor and such things as white sugar were hard to come by.

All the apple cake layers were then stacked with homemade applesauce between each layer and on top.  And at this point, this Old Fashioned stack cake was covered and allowed to rest in a cool place for two days.

 Old Fashioned Fresh Apple Cake Recipe:

Scroll to the Bottom for the printable recipe

To make the Apple mixture for this old fashioned stack cake:

For the apple filling

  • 1 pound (4-5) apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 4 to 5 cups water, divided

 

freshly ground nutmeg with nutmeg spice grater

 

NOTE: Freshly ground nutmeg is always so much flavorful than powdered nutmeg.  It’s easy to keep whole nutmeg and use one of these nutmeg spice graters to grate what is needed.  

Place peeled and chopped apples in a large dutch oven, add brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and freshly ground nutmeg. Gently mix to incorporate the spices throughout the apples.   Add enough water to cover the apple spice mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.   Lower the heat and simmer until the apples are tender and sauce is thick, stirring frequently. (May add more water if needed) .   Remove from heat. Using a potato masher, mash the apples gently just until the end product is in smaller pieces but not until it resembles applesauce.

 

Directions for this apple stack cake recipe:

 
In a large mixing bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, and molasses until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each one.   Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in another large bowl and blend well with a pastry blender
Change to a dough hook on the mixer and add one-third of the flour and half of the buttermilk and mix well. Add another third of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk and mix well. Slowly add the last third of the flour and slowly and gently allow the dough hook to knead the dough. (The mixture should be the consistency of cookie dough)
 

applesauce cake, apple cake

 

Place the dough onto a lightly floured dough board. Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Roll out one piece to slightly less than a 9 inch round.   Place the round in one of the pans and pat evenly into the bottom of the pan/cast iron skillet. Lightly prick the dough all over with a fork. Repeat with a second piece if using two cake pans or skillets.    Bake until firm when lightly pressed, about 15 minutes, it will not rise as it bakes.

 

 

As soon as the first layer is removed from the oven, turn it out on a cake plate and spread 1 cup of the apple mixture on top. Top with the second layer and top with another cup of the apple mixture.  Repeat until all six layers are stacked with the apple mixture between the layers.

 

Appalachian Apple Stack Cake, old fashioned stack cake

 

Top the sixth layer with the remaining apple mixture.   Cover the cake with plastic wrap or an airtight container and let sit at room temperature for 2 days allowing the cake layers to absorb the apple mixture.

We made this apple stack cake recipe for Christmas last year and it was an adventure into history.   We used sorghum molasses for sweetener and we make six layers.    And just a note,  this apple cake batter is more of a dough, it needs to be rolled out and placed into the cake pans.

We served our Appalachian Apple Stack Cake with legally purchased Peach Moonshine at our family Christmas dinner last year.   And it made a fun Christmas dessert and the best apple cake we have ever eaten.   It’s not as gorgeous as some Christmas desserts we have had in the past.  Our layers are little different sizes and it’s not a glamorous cake, but you can’t replace the deep roots of culture with fancy desserts. (Find the show Moonshiners  and even a Moonshine Still on Amazon).

 

Note this is not the moonshiner’s stack cake recipe but it’s our re-creation of the moonshiner’s apple stack cake.   But it is amazingly delicious! 

 

If you enjoyed this Appalachian Apple Stack Cake then try these:

 

Click HERE to save this Old fashioned stack cake to Pinterest

 

Old Fashioned Apple Stack Cake

This Apple Stack Cake Recipe is almost like an Applesauce Cake recipe.  It's from an old-fashioned stack cake recipe that uses sorghum molasses in the batter and it's frosted with a spiced applesauce mixture. Some believe it's an Appalachian Apple Stack Cake recipe that's been passed down over the years.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting Time2 d
Total Time2 d 1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Appalachian Apple Stack Cake, Apple Stack Cake, moonshiners apple stack cake, Old fashioned Stack Cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 550kcal
Author: Evelyn

Ingredients

For the apple filling

For the Cake

Instructions

To Make Apple mixture

  • Place peeled and chopped apples in a large dutch oven, add brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Gently mix to incorporate the spices throughout the apples.
  • Add enough water to cover the apple spice mixture and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Lower the heat and simmer until the apples are tender and sauce is thick, stirring frequently. (May add more water if needed)
  • Remove from heat. Using a potato masher, mash the apples gently just until the end product is in smaller pieces but not until it resembles applesauce.
  • Set aside

To Make the Cake dough

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Spray two or more 9-inch cake pans or a 9 1/2 inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, and molasses until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each one.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in another large bowl and blend well with a pastry blender
  • Change to a dough hook on the mixer and add one-third of the flour and half of the buttermilk and mix well. Add another third of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk and mix well. Slowly add the last third of the flour and slowly and gently allow the dough hook to knead the dough. (The mixture should be the consistency of cookie dough)
  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured dough board. Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Roll out one piece to slightly less than a 9 inch round.
  • Place the round in one of the pans and pat evenly into the bottom of the pan/cast iron skillet. Lightly prick the dough all over with a fork. Repeat with a second piece if using two cake pans or skillets.
  • Bake until firm when lightly pressed, about 15 minutes, it will not rise as it bakes.

To Assemble

  • As soon as the first layer is removed from the oven, turn it out on a cake plate and spread 1 cup of the apple mixture on top. Top with second layer and top with another cup of the apple mixture. Repeat until all six layers are stacked with the apple mixture between the layers. Top the sixth layer with the remaining apple mixture.
  • Cover the cake with plastic wrap or an airtight container and let sit at room temperature for 2 days allowing the cake layers to absorb the apple mixture.
  • Slice and serve. (can also be topped with whipped topping)

Nutrition

Calories: 550kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 602mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 93IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 4mg

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Recipe Rating




Monya

Monday 15th of March 2021

My mom was from Appalachia, and also made apple stack cake. She always used Apple Butter between the layers. Thank you for sharing.

Evelyn

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

How awesome! Thank you for your sweet comment

Harrison

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

I made this cake yesterday as a gift. It is truly a labor of love. I used Honey crisp apples with JD Rader's honey crisp apple moonshine. The apples were delicious on my gluten free toast this morning. Since the cake was a gift, did not taste the end product. Will definitely be baking it again.

Anna

Friday 11th of December 2020

What apples were used in the applesauce recipe?

Evelyn

Friday 11th of December 2020

I don't remember which apples I used but any apples like Red Delicious, Gala, or fuji would work well. I have never made applesauce from green apples so I'm not sure about them