Madge Prewitt’s Apple Cake

Madge Prewitt died at the age of 90 on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 in Corbin, KY.  Her obituary tells us that she was a member of the First Baptist Church and had been a hostess at the Holiday Inn Restaurant, that she was survived by a daughter and granddaughter, a brother and his wife, a niece and nephew “and a host of great nieces and nephews and many other family members.”

The obituary also notes that “Madge enjoyed cooking and baking. Her favorite recipe for her apple cake was included in a Courier-Journal cookbook.”

Many years ago when we lived in Murray, Kentucky, we subscribed to the Louisville Courier-Journal.  Jerri enjoyed the food column very much and tried many of the recipes.  One of the best was for a moist apple cake contributed by Madge Prewitt.  We had no idea who she was or where she lived but we loved the cake from first bite and Jerri had the good judgment to cut out the recipe from the paper.

A mile away in North Corbin, KY, Harlan Sanders developed his secret recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, while Madge Prewitt published the recipe for her delicious apple cake so all of us can enjoy it free of charge.  Colonel Sanders made a lot of money while Mrs. Prewitt lived a modest life and asked that any memorials be given to the food pantry at her her church.

Once you taste her cake, I think that you will agree with me (to paraphrase Robert Frost) that “One could do worse than be a baker of apple cakes.”

Jerri has been baking this cake for over 35 years, and she has made three small adjustments that we think make a great cake even better and more foolproof.


For the cake:
3 1/2 cups chopped tart apples
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. each cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves
1 cup English walnuts

For the glaze:
1/2 stick melted butter or margarine
1 T hot water
3/4 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar.


Wash and quarter and remove the cores but do not peel the apples.   Chop the apples into a 1/4 inch dice.  Combine the sugar with the apples in a large mixing bowl and set aside.  Sift together the flour, salt, soda and spices. Chop the nuts into 1/4 inch pieces, put them in a small bowl and stir a little of the flour mixture into them.  Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Stir the melted butter into the sugar-apple mixture.  Beat the eggs until lemon yellow and stir them into the mixture.  Blend the dry ingredients into the apple mixture and stir the walnuts in last of all.

Turn the batter into the prepared tube pan and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour.  A toothpick inserted halfway between the tube and the outside of the cake should come out clean.   Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes, then remove the cake to a plate and allow to cool to lukewarm.

To make the glaze, beat the melted butter or margarine and hot water into the sifted sugar and drizzle the glaze on the warm cake.

Mix the cake by hand to preserve the texture of the apples.

NOTES:  Another reason we like this cake is that you do not need to peel the apples.  Mrs. Prewitt’s original recipe called for twice as much glaze.