Prep 24 hrs
Cook 30 mins
Recipe by Andrea Hall Puyallup, Wash. The article reads ... This eight-layer cake, an Appalachian specialty, is known by various names, including apple stack cake, pioneer stack cake, and washday stack cake. The last name refers to how the cookie-like layers were often baked on washday and then layered with apple butter and left to sit for a day or two before being served. As the cake sits, the cookie-like layers soak up moisture from the apple butter and soften, becoming tender and cake-like in the process.
- 3 (6 ounce) bags dried apples
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- For the filling:
- Bring the apples and water to cover to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until the apples are completely softened, about 10 minutes.
- Drain the apples and let cool until just warm, about 15 minutes.
- Puree the apples in a food processor until smooth.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. (The filling can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.).
- For the layers:
- Adjust two oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in a large measuring cup.
- With an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- Add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in two batches, beating after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed until combined. (The dough will be thick.).
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.
- Working with 2 portions at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll each out into a 10-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick.
- Using a 9-inch cake pan as a template, trim away the excess dough to form 2 perfectly round 9-inch disks.
- Transfer the disks to the prepared baking sheets and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating and switching the baking sheets halfway through the baking time.
- Transfer the disks to a rack and cool completely, at least 1 hour.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. (The layers can be wrapped tightly in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.).
- To assemble the cake:
- Place one layer on a serving plate and spread with 1 cup filling.
- Repeat 6 times.
- Top with the final layer, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until the layers soften, at least 24 hours or up to 2 days.
- Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve. (The fully assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.).
- Be sure to let the cake sit at least 24 hours, as the moisture from the filling transforms the texture of the cookie-like layers into a tender apple-flavored cake.