I haven’t had a decent apple stack cake since I left Knoxville, Tennessee. I don’t make it often because I always go overboard on the layers.
The name stack cake comes from the early mountain settlers. When someone got married everyone would bring a cake layer to the wedding and they’d spread the apple mixture on the layers and stack them on a plate.
It’s MUCH better if you eat the cake the day after you make it though. The layers get to soak up all that apple juicyness.
I got this recipe from White Lily, the flour mill in Knoxville and I think it’s the best one I’ve tried. Sorry this isn’t a photo of beautiful food. A stack cake should be rustic and look “down home” Tennessee cooking, I reckon. Even if I’m eating in in Queensland, Australia.
- 5¼ Cups All purpose flour
- ½ Teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 2½ Cups Firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 Cup Shortening
- 2 Large eggs
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 5 Cups Water
- 1 Lb. Dried apples
- 2 Cups Firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Ground cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- ½ Teaspoon Ground cloves
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Powdered sugar (optional)
- HEAT oven to 425°F. Coat 9-inch round pans with flour no-stick cooking spray.
- TIP This batter holds well and may be baked in several batches depending on oven size and number of pans available.
- COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in large bowl; set aside.
- BEAT brown sugar and shortening in large bowl 5 to 7 minutes or until light using an electric mixer at medium speed. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined.
- DIVIDE dough into seven portions (about ¾ cup each). With floured hands, pat dough into prepared pans.
- BAKE about 10 minutes, or until golden crust forms. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
- APPLE FILLING
- BRING water to a boil in large pan, such as Dutch oven.
- CHOP dried apples (this is easily done in a food processor fitted with metal blade). Add apples to boiling water. Cook uncovered over medium heat until almost all water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- ADD brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- SMOOTH an even amount of hot filling between each cake layer, stacking one layer on top of the last, leaving top layer plain. (Work quickly as filling is easier to spread when hot.)
- LET stand 24 hours before cutting. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake before serving, if desired.
Oh how I love stack cake. All my friends know to invite me when they make it. I’ve never tried on my own because it just seems so daunting. Cook the layers, cook the apples and then the horrible wait for 24 hours before I can eat it. I applaud your ambition! Stack cake is truly orgasmic for me. Well done.
Awww Shann, I had no idea While Lily was gone. I’ve lived in Australia for more than 15 years so I suppose I can’t keep up with everything! I hope you make this recipe because it’s really good and will probably be just like grannies. 🙂
One of the Partons in Sevierville used to work for me at the Knoxville Glove company (THAT Parton family) but I lost it through all the moving. This one is just as good.
Hey from Knoxville! My grandmother used to make a version of dried apple stack cake. Since she’s passed, no one has tried to make it since we can’t find her recipe. I may try this version since it’s a White Lilly recipe. And just FYI, White Lilly isn’t in Knoxville anymore. The factory down in the old city closed a couple years ago. The company was bought by Smuckers (I think) and they moved the production to somewhere in Ohio. We miss it.