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Dried Apple Stack Cake

I was born in East Tennessee in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  The Dried Apple Dried Apple Stack CakeStack Cake is the most "mountain" of all cakes baked and served in Southern Appalachia.  I remember going to family reunions and church suppers as a kid and seeing those stack cakes.  I remember how good they are too.   

My relatives in Tennessee made and loved these old time cakes.   The recipe for these stack cakes have been handed down for generations.  This recipe is probably over 100 years old.  These cakes were traditionally served at weddings, pot lucks and celebrations of all kinds.

This is not a cake you make if you are in a hurry.  The time to make it is usually about 3 hours. and the finished cake should sit at least overnight, or a day or so before it is served, so that  the filling and the cake can meld together.  

It is a wonderful cake to make if you want to taste and share a piece of history.  The flavors cannot be found with short cuts.  You have to make this cake the way it is written.  Make this cake for your next family gathering, they will love it.

This is not the usual cake batter.  It is more of a dough that you roll out or pat out  to fit a cake pan.
So don't be alarmed that this batter is stiffer, more like a pie dough or a shortbread,   it is supposed to be.

Dried Apple Filling.

5 cups water (more if needed)
1 pound dried apples
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring water to boil in Dutch oven. Chop dried apples, using a food processor if you have one. Add apples to water. Cook uncovered over medium heat until all water is absorbed, 20-25 minutes. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently.  The filling should have an apple butter consistency.

Your filling can be cooking while the cakes are baking.
If  you cannot find good dried apples you can substitute apple butter for the filling, but the flavor is not as strong or as rich as the dried apples.

Cake Dough

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1  teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cooked dried apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.  Cream shortening and sugar; add beaten egg, molasses, buttermilk, and vanilla and beat well.

2.  Sift flour, baking powder,soda, salt, allspice and ginger into a big mixing bowl.  Whisk it all together.  Make a hole in center of the dry ingredients and pour in creamed mix, stirring until well blended.

3.  Knead the dough a bit.  It should not be very sticky.  Divide dough into 7 portions.

4.  Pat each portion out to fit a 9-inch cake pan or cast-iron skillet.  Bake layers for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.   You will have to bake in shifts, cooling the layers on a rack.  

5.  When cool, stack the layers with the  spiced, sweetened  dried apple filling. Spread the warm filling thickly between layers and smooth it around the sides and top.

 Prepare this cake at least a day before serving it and put in refrigerator (it will keep several days, if necessary, in a cool place). The flavors need to soak together.   You can dust the top with powdered sugar if you like.

To serve, slice fairly thin, it's rich.  Don't be shocked at how much this cake weighs, it's heavy.