Still getting over this idea of buying enough for a small army when you purchase things at Costco’s, I stood staring at the hundreds of apples on top of our refrigerator. Okay, so it wasn’t hundreds, but it seemed that way. Shane and I generally eat healthy, and I am even trying to slip in healthier ingredients that are a little new to him, like Greek yogurt, but one area in which we both fall short is eating an apple a day. Personally, I would rather bake with the apples, and since we got them before St Patty’s day, I made a traditional Irish Apple Cake with them that was paired with a creamy custard drizzle.
We were able to share that cake with Shane’s dear grandma and an aunt, and I got to send home a quarter of it with my parents who came to see Riverdance with us St. Patty’s weekend. But after doing this traditional recipe, I was left with many egg whites, which I hated to waste, and a desire to make something new. I had a set of darling, seven inch cake pans from Christmas I hadn’t put to good use yet, so that St Patrick’s Day weekend, with all my dozens of Pink Lady apples, I experimented and came up with a sweet little cake I call my Pink Lady Cake with an Old Fashioned Brown Sugar Icing.
It was that very same weekend we got the call about Scott. Shane’s loving sisters and their kids practically flew in for support, and this little cake that probably would have been shared with the chickens, got eaten up.
The week after we lost Scott, I so wanted to cook and bake. I wanted to make my husband food, Scott’s parent’s food, the sister-in-laws, anyone, as though to show my support and love for them and thanks for them in our lives. I found myself just drained though. Even having bought ingredients, I couldn’t pull together enough energy to do anything outside the routine of the day. In a small way, this little cake was a tiny little blessing hidden among tears.
There were lot’s of little blessings hidden among tears. Little signs people cared, to little signs that God cared. Sometimes we can get so lost in our sorrow, we forget that thing that is asked of us so many times: to give thanks. Even in the most dreary of all situations, there are still reasons to give thanks, and if you can cling to those little glimmers of hope, you will emerge out of the shadows of your valley and see the sun again.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Pink Lady Cake with Old Fashioned Brown Sugar Icing
For the cake:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 pink lady apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 egg whites
For the icing:
- 1 pound brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 7 Tablespoons evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with whisk until stiff peaks form, place in the refrigerator until needed
- In the same mixing bowl eggs were, using the electric mixer beat the softened butter until creamy, about two minutes or until white in appearance
- Add the sugar, beat until fluffy
- Combine the flour, salt and baking soda in separate bowl
- Combine the milk and vanilla in yet another bowl
- Add the flour mixture and milk alternately into the butter and sugar mixture
- Add apples
- Fold in the egg whites to your now chunky batter, mix gently and do not over mix
- Grease four 7 inch cake pans, or two 9 inch pans, and pour the batter evenly into prepared pans of choice
- Bake for 15-17 minutes in the 7 inch pans, or 20-25 minutes in the larger pans, or until the top springs back with a light press
- Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, and continue to let cool on wire racks while making icing
- Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil
- Turn heat down so mixture boils gently, and continue to stir, cook for 7 minutes
- Let cool for 5 minutes
- Beat with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes, it will begin to thicken
- Place bottom layer of cake on cake stand or platter, work quickly to ice and repeat layers before the icing sets up and becomes unworkable
- A knife dipped in hot water can help smooth out icing to a desirable look
Optional, garnish with apple slices.
It was very moist, and was very sweet with that brown sugar icing. I thought through many types of icing that could be paired with the apple cake, but the caramel flavor of the brown sugar icing reminded me of summer. This was a fun cake to bake.
Don’t shy away from the folding in of the egg whites. It feels like you are ruining a whipped creation you spent minutes spinning up, but it is necessary.
At a certain point, your batter will look smooth again, besides the chunks of apples.
I had been with my mom when she got me my 7 inch pans from T.J. Maxx. Their scalloped edge was adorable, so she got them for me for Christmas on the promise I would act surprised when I opened them. You definitely don’t need to search out 7 inch pans, two 9 inch would work, but the four layers on this cake was really playful.
My biggest hiccup in this whole process was the fact that in our new home I am back to an electric oven. One of my pans of batter apparently wasn’t getting the same amount of heat as the rest so I had to leave it in the oven much longer. Oh, how I miss my gas oven.