Stack up a sweet holiday tradition

Robin McDaniel
The old-fashion stack cake is a family tradition for many.

The old-fashion stack cake is a family tradition for many.

Make a family memory with a old-fashion stack cake.

An apple stack cake is a traditional Southern food. Like many Southern foods, the stack cake is rich in history and tradition. Studies have shown that the stack cake got its name when Appalachian families would celebrate a wedding and the stack cake served as a wedding cake. Each guest would bring a layer. The hostess would stack the cakes on top of each other, using dried apples as the filling. The higher the cake, the more popular the bride!

Today you won’t find many stack cakes as wedding cakes, but you will find them as a traditional holiday food. This apple stack cake is the recipe my grandmother Hazel Rogers always used, and my sister Gail and I have not changed one single ingredient. We believe our grandmother may have gotten this recipe from her neighbor at the time, “Aunt Bunch” Anderson. Aunt Bunch, who was actually my dad’s aunt and our great-aunt, would swap recipes with our grandmother on a regular basis.

These recipes are what I consider priceless. A lot of family traditions and memories start from old recipes.

When sweetening the apple filling, the amount will depend on what kind of dried apples you use. Our preference is a Winesap apple, which only takes about 1 cup of sugar to sweeten. You do not want your filling to be too sweet.

Whatever kind of apples you use, it is best to add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time and then, “taste” until it is exactly the way you like it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Old Fashion Stack Cake

1 qt. cooked apples, with 1 tsp. Allspice and sweetened to taste

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 sticks butter or margarine, softened (Gail and I prefer to use butter)

3 eggs

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

Dash of cloves

1 Tablespoon vanilla

4 cups self-rising flour

Combine all ingredients except apples, adding flour last. You may need to add just a little more flour to keep the dough from becoming sticky. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.

Roll out in large circles so that each circle will fit into a greased and floured 9-inch round pan. Leave 1/2 inch space between the dough and cake pan, as the cake will expand and bake to the edge. They will be thin.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 9 minutes. Cool all 6 layers after baking. Save the prettiest layer for the top. Spread apple mixture between each layer. Refrigerate, if desired. This cake also freezes well.

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