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.
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!
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Grease a 10 inch round cake pan and set aside.
- 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.
- Sift together all-purpose flour, cloves, cinnamon, mace, baking soda, and salt, then stir in whole wheat flour.
- Add the dry ingredients to the oil mixture and blend. Stir in walnuts, apple chunks, and apple brandy. Stir to distribute pieces evenly.
- 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)
- 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.