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.


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