Teddie’s Apple Cake

IMG_5073It’s Fall. It’s apple season. It’s getting cold. I’m already fighting packing on the pounds from baking more. Applesauce, Apple Rhubarb Crisp, and now this cake.

I’m not ready for winter.

I found this cake years ago when I did the 30 day trial subscription to NYT Cooking. Despite the fact that some of the recipes were pretty complicated and required ingredients one could only find if one lives in a huge multicultural metropolitan area, I actually loved the recipes. Enter Amazon Prime.

Blessed be those of us who live in the boondocks.

Now NYT Cooking wants me to pay. I don’t NYT Cooking any more.

I lie. I still do like them, and occasionally some weird gap in the cyberworld opens and I can get in without paying to get another delicious recipe. Not this time though.

Since I actually couldn’t get into the NYT recipe this go round, I found a few other blogs who’d swiped the recipe, giving it its due creds to NYT Cooking. I kinda have this cake recipe memorized I’ve made it so many times, so I knew what the recipe would look like.

NYT only really talks about using up apples from apple picking, because that’s one of the few agricultural things we can get our hands into any more, but then I stumbled upon this article about Teddie’s Apple Cake from The NYT Magazine in 2007 which talks about the origins of the cake. Bonus, there’s another, slightly more complicated recipe which is a spin off of this apple cake, because the chi-chi chef in CA decided this cake was too one-dimensional and simple. I like that the author of the article agreed to disagree with the chef.


Things I like about the information on this cake:

    • cookies are the time suck.
    • The most lovable [cakes]… even cool in their pans and require no icing.
    • 30 or more years ago, when most people cooked every day, there were many more cake recipes.
    • Cake was something you whipped up every couple of days, after the previous one vanished to crumbs.
    • Teddie’s apple cake, which appeared in The Times in 1973, is a typical standby of the period. None of the ingredients are difficult to find — most are probably already in your pantry — and the cake is designed to stay fresh for no more than a few days.
  • [the cake’s] light, airy crumb that’s delicious while it lasts, with walnuts, raisins and slivers of apple threading the cinnamon-scented dough. There is no icing, and no need for one.

This cake is virtually indestructible. Swap up the raisins with cranberries. Don’t add nuts. Add different nuts. Use olive oil. Use whole wheat. I’ve accidentally added all the ingredients at once, forgotten some ingredients. It came out amazing.

Make this cake yours. Just MAKE IT. 

Things I dislike about chi-chi chefs: they discredit the roots of most food. Food that is honest and simple. Food that is hearty and filling. Food that evokes memories of time in Grandma’s house.

Simple does not mean boring. Simple does not mean one-dimensional. Hell, if we all went back to a more simple time, like 1973, wouldn’t things just be…simpler? I dunno. I was only 1 year old in 1973. Maybe we were just as whacked as a country and people then.

I will say this, this recipe is worthy of printing. Worthy of keeping. Worthy of tweeking and making your own. Because I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t swoon over this cake.

It’s a perfect grab and go cake for breakfast with coffee or tea. A perfect snack. Make a batch of homemade whipped cream or a bourbon caramel sauce and this is a divine, elegant dessert.

Teddie's Apple Cake

Simple, yet divine. Packed with easy ingredients that are right in your pantry, this cake won't stick around long.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, apple picking, apples, cakes, dessert, fall baking, old fashioned
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 956 kcal
Author NYT Cooking and Jean Hewitt


  • Butter for greasing pan
  • 3 cups flour plus more for dusting pan
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups peeled cored and thickly sliced tart apples, like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Vanilla ice cream optional


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.

  2. 2. Sift together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add the vanilla, apples, walnuts and raisins and stir until combined.

  3. 3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before turning out. Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Don't skimp on the mixing time of the sugar and the oil. They need to mix well, and the solid needs to melt into the fat.

I'll adapt this recipe for how I do this, but I wanted you to have the original, which is wonderful as is.

1. I spray the tube pan (you can use a bundt, but spray it VERY WELL) with Wilton's Bake Easy. Cakes comes out like a charm every time.

2. I rough chop the apples. I didn't like how slices came out the 1st time I baked this cake.

3. I only add 1 1/2 cups sugar. To a point, sugar is a personal preference. But this is a dessert and is meant to be sweet. If you cut back on the sugar, it will be more like a bread.

4. I only use 1 1/4 cup oil and substitute 1/4 cup applesauce or yogurt. Try a maple yogurt. Do whole milk if possible. Think moistness. Buttermilk would probably work as a 1/4 cup substitute, as well.

5. In addition to the cinnamon, I also add between 1/2 -3/4 tsp each of the following spices: cardamom, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Add more of less of whatever is to your liking. I like a spice cake idea, personally.

6. Sprinkle 1/2 - 1 tbsp turbinado sugar on top of the cake batter for a nice crunch.

From a reader on of the blogs:

4 (6x3x2-in.) mini-loaf pans
1 12-muffins tin (2 1/2x1 ¼-in. ea. muffin)
2 (8x4-in.) loaf pans
1 (9x5-in.) loaf pan
1 (10-in.) springform pan
1 (10-in.) tube, kugelhopf, or Bundt pan
1 (9x13-in.) baking pan
2 (8x8-in.) baking pans
1 (10-in.) fluted deep quiche pan
2 (8x12-in.) fluted baking pans

I've only ever done the tube pan and 12 cup bundt pan. Let me know if you try one of the other options here.


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