The Famous Silver Palate Apple Cake Recipe

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The Famous Silver Palate Apple Cake Recipe ~ Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso are the dynamic duo that wrote the definitive cookbook of the 1980s, The Silver Palate.  The Silver Palate Apple Cake is one of the most beloved recipes from the book, and it just screams Fall.

Picture this: it’s 1982, Michael Jackson has just released Thriller, the first cd player is sold, Olivia Newton-John tops the charts, Cheers airs for the first time, E.T. is a box office hit, a gallon of gas costs 90 cents, and conversations revolve around Cabbage Patch dolls, Princess Di, and that newfangled invention, the computer.  It’s the same year that Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso publish The Silver Palate cookbook, named after their successful gourmet shop in New York City.  It’s destined to become the Joy of Cooking for a new generation.  If you didn’t already have this cookbook in the early 80s, someone was bound to give you a copy. 1982 was also the year I got married, and so I definitely had a copy on my kitchen shelf.

The Famous Silver Palate Apple Cake

The Famous Silver Palate Apple Cake

Cakes topped with warm glazes were popular in the 80s.  But be warned, it makes for a very moist, almost wet interior. In this case it has a kind of apple pie effect.

This is a a lovely cake.  It smelled heavenly every step of the way.  I would be proud to serve it to guests, and it’s big enough for a crowd.  The thing I’m taking away from this recipe is the wonderful combo of apples and brandy—I’m filing it away for the next time I’m baking with apples!

 If you love apple desserts, be sure to try my Maple Frosted Apple Blondies, or my Irish Apple Cake.

The Silver Palate Apple Cake
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  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mace (I used nutmeg)
  • 1 1/4 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. Calvados (I used brandy because they didn't have one of those cute tiny bottles of Calvados at the liquor store)
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour, sifted
  • 3 1/4 c. coarse chunks of peeled apple
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Calvados or brandy
  • 1/4 cup sweet cider
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream.


  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Grease a 10 inch round cake pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the vegetable oil and sugar until thick and opaque. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Sift together all-purpose flour, cloves, cinnamon, mace, baking soda, and salt, then stir in whole wheat flour.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the oil mixture and blend. Stir in walnuts, apple chunks, and apple brandy. Stir to distribute pieces evenly.
  6. Pour into a greased 10 inch round cake pan. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake rest for 10 minutes, then unmold and pour glaze over warm cake or cut cake and pour glaze over slices. (note: I used a 9 inch spring-form pan and cooked it almost 10 minutes longer)
  7. To make the glaze, mix the ingredients together in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and cook 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour while still warm over warm cake.

 Don’t forget to pin this Silver Palate Apple Cake recipe!

The Silver Palate Apple Cake, made famous in the 80s and has been a beloved fall dessert recipe ever since! #cake #apples #falldessert #dessert #Thesilverpalaterecipe


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Leave a Reply


  • Reply
    Sandy Niglio
    December 10, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    This is my “go to” recipe for apple cake. I have probably made this 20 times throughout the past years. I don’t bother to peel the apples. It’s simple, delicious and just gets better with age when refrigerated. It’s rare when I’m not asked for the recipe. I have one baking in the oven right now.

    • Reply
      December 10, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      Wish I could smell it!

  • Reply
    Sweet Tooth
    September 1, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    How does it turn out without the glaze? Thanks!

  • Reply
    LaVonne Ray
    October 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I have made this cake twice! It is absolutely fabulous! I have begun using 2 tsp. of cinnamon, an extra cup of chopped apples, and more walnuts, & cut the sugar back a bit. It takes longer to bake to get the middle done. I like making small loaves to give as gifts.

    • Reply
      October 2, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      I’m so glad, and while I can’t take credit for the recipe, I’m thrilled that it worked out for you LaVonne :)

  • Reply
    October 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    PS, I use an angel food cake pan as the inner part of the cake is a bit too moist as stated. This sort of aids in that respect giving the inside a bit more of a heat injection so not as “wet”.

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