30 Days of Christmas – Day 18 – Granny Russell’s Apple Stack Cake

Profile_30docJohn and I were going through Christmas decorations and found on of his grandmother’s old recipe books and a folded up newspaper article was in it and had the recipe for “Granny Russell’s Apple Stack Cake.” The article was from the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Unfortunately, I don’t know when it was printed. My great-grandmother used to make an apple stack cake and my dad still makes it. This recipe is pretty close to my mamaw’s.


  • Cake Ingredients
    • 1 cup butter, room temperature
    • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
    • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
    • 1 cup pure molasses
    • 8 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Dried Apple Filling
    • 4 cups dried apples
    • water
    • 1/4 tsp cloves
    • 1/4 tsp allspice
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 cup sugar


  1. Gradually mix butter and brown sugar, stirring until mixture is creamed. Stir eggs and molasses into butter mixture.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves. Stir sifted ingredients into butter and molasses mixture. You may need a little more flour if dough is still sticky. Chill dough, covered, overnight.
  3. Cut seven wax paper circles to fit seven 8-inch cake pans. Grease pans with unsalted solid vegetable shortening. Grease one surface of each wax paper circle with unsalted solid vegetable shortening.
  4. Divide the dough into seven parts formed into flattened rounds. Place each round of dough on a greased wax paper circle. Lightly flour hands and, with a rolling wrist motion, push the dough near to the outside edge of the wax paper. You can do all seven layers on wax paper rounds on the cabinet and let them set while baking two or three at a time – as many cake pans as you have.
  5. Transfer the circle of dough and paper to each of the cake pans (paper side down). Pat the dough to touch the cake pan. Pierce the dough with a fork several times. Bake at 375° until golden, 10-15 minutes, but do not brown. Remove from the pans to cool. Repeat with other circles of dough until all are baked. Peel off wax paper and store at room temperature. Cool layers may be stacked and placed in a brown paper bag or, when completely cool, in a plastic bag until ready to use.
  6. Apple filling may be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated. Filling should be warm to lukewarm when assembling the cake.
  7. Rinse and soak dried apples in water to cover overnight in the refrigerator. Cover bowl or pan.
  8. Next day, drain apples. Place in pot. Barely cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until apples are tender and break up when stirred. You may need to add more water. Continue to cook until liquid is absorbed and apples are thickened. The mixture should be thicker than applesauce; it will bubble into “volcanoes” and pop in the pan. Some types of apples (sweet) will be lumpy and some types (tart) will be smooth in consistency.
  9. Combine cloves, allspice, cinnamon and sugar. Stir into cook apples. Taste. Add more sugar if desired, but do leave a tart taste because the stack cake layers are also sweetened.
  10. Cool the apple filling to lukewarm. Using lukewarm filling on the cooled layers help ripen or mellow the stack cake.
  11. On an aluminum foil-covered round cardboard form, place about 1 tablespoon filling in the center. Place one layer on the filling. This keeps the cake from sliding when being moved or during wrapping for the refrigerator or freezer. This also makes it easier to transfer the cake to a plate for serving.
  12. On top of the first layer, place about 3/4 cup filling. Push filling toward edge of layer with a spoon and cover the top of the layer evenly. Continue stacking layers and filling, but do not put filling on the top layer.
  13. Cover cake with top of metal cake carrier (or large pan or hard plastic top) and let set at room temperature for about 1 hour. Then it can be covered with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator for three days before serving or before wrapping in heavy duty foil and placed in the freezer. The flavor and texture of this cake improves during this time. It keeps under refrigeration up to a week.
  14. The cake is very rich and distinctive in flavor; a small slice is nice – seconds will be available.
  15. Use leftover filling for fried apple pies or between graham crackers for bag lunches.


This entry was posted in 30 Days of Christmas, Christmas, Desserts, Holiday and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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