Apple Butter Cake

Somebody told me that this was, indeed, the very dessert the pilgrims served to the Indians that first Franksgiving on Plymouth Rock. And who am I to dispute that? I mean, when you combine apple butter, unsalted butter, and fresh sour cream, what you end up with is a cake so moist and flavorful it stands proudly without a hint of icing!

1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup apple butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole bran cereal
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs beaten

First off, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

While the oven is coming up to temperature, spray or grease one 9x13-inch pan. Then prepare the topping by mixing together the brown sugar, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, and the chopped pecans. Take time to do this step properly it's the top and the middle of the cake.

When the topping is perfect, combine the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt and sift everything through a fine sieve. The original recipe calls for only one sifting I prefer two. I find that the texture of the cake is much better when the flour mixture is sifted twice.

Next, blend together the butter and the sugar. Then add in the eggs and whip everything well. At this point a rubber spatula should be substituted for the wire whip because it's time to fold in the apple butter, the vanilla, and the bran cereal. All that's left is to add the sifted dry ingredients, alternately with the sour cream. By the way, the mix should be blended thoroughly after each addition.

Finally, pour one half of the batter into the pan. Then sprinkle one half of the topping over the batter. Then pour in the remaining batter and top the entire creation with whatever topping remains.

The cake is ready for the Franksgiving table after it bakes on the center rack of the oven for 40-45 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).