I wanted to make something simple today. Something with the apples and bananas I had left on my counter, but didn’t want to get into big, long complicated recipe. I was thumbing through a cookbook I recently received in the mail and found a Dutch Apple Cake that look easily adaptable.
The book is titled The Dead Celebrity Cookbook and in its pages I found a recipe for Gilda Radner’s Dutch Apple Cake. I have fond memories of watching Gilda Radner on Saturday Night Live before her tragic death in 1989. She was one of the original cast members of SNL, known as the Not Ready For Prime Time Players.
I loved her humor and wit, and her characters! Two of my favorites were Emily Litella and Roseanne Roseannadanna. She had me in stitches every week along with her co-stars Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Garrett Morris, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman. So many stars have been born from SNL over the years, so many that became my favorites. Gilda Radner died in 1989 of ovarian cancer. It was a sad and tragic loss for the comedic world.
When I found Gilda’s recipe, I knew I had to make it and couldn’t get Emily Litella’s famous line “Never mind!” out of my head. Ha ha!
Gilda’s recipe called for 2 sticks of butter. I really wanted to use up the bananas I had and knew you could sub them in for butter, so I used 2 bananas for one stick of the butter. Her recipe called for milk, but I was out. I swear we need our own cow in the backyard the way we go through milk! So I used buttermilk and cut the butter in the batter down by one tablespoon. There were no spices in the cake batter at all, and I’m sorry, Gilda fan or not, that just wouldn’t do! I added cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
After you make the batter, you’ll add it to the pan and then line the top of the batter with sliced apples. I used a [amazon_link id=”B001F5RSEK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]mandolin[/amazon_link] to get my apples nice and thin.
Then you’ll sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon brown sugar and dot it with butter before baking in the oven.
This cake is really easy to put together and yields chewy, caramel-like edges with soft chewy apples on top. The spices smell amazing while baking and there’s just the right amount of banana flavor in the cake. Perfect warm on its own, with some whipped cream or if you’re feeling indulgent, some vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored, peeled and sliced thin
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 F and grease or spray a 9-inch square baking pan.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a medium bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
- In a mixer on medium speed, combine the softened butter and bananas. Beat for two minutes, mixture will look curdled. Add vanilla, egg and buttermilk and beat until homogenized.
- With mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixer and meat for a minute or two to combine. Scrape down the sides, stir, then pour into prepared pan.
- Lay sliced apples on their side, overlapping slightly until you preach the other side. Continue with next row and until batter is completely covered.
- Combine brown sugar with cinnamon, mixing well with your fingers. Sprinkle mixture over the apples. Dot with cold butter pieces.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes on a cooling rack before slicing.
- Best enjoyed warm from the oven, but can be heated quickly in the microwave and served with vanilla ice cream.