I first had this cake when I was eight years old. How I know my exact age when first trying it is something I’ll get to in a minute – hang on folks, we got a tangent coming on!
When I was a little girl, my dad always bought us season tickets to the UAH Chargers hockey games. Yes, there is Hockey in Alabama. Hard to imagine, I know, but we have always had a great hockey team. In fact, the current “to do” in Charger Hockey right now is that Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell’s son, Wyatt, is now playing for UAH. So there is the dish on Happenings in Huntsville, AL in case any of y’all woke up this morning and were just DYING to know what was going on in my home town…
Where was I? Oh yes, season tickets to Charger Hockey. Daddy bought season tickets for the entire family and we went to every single home game, all five of us. Mama cross stitched, I read books, my sister took barbies to play with, and my brother sat somewhere near my dad, scarfing down nachos and concession stand pizza while waiting for a fight to break out on the ice. Oh, and my dad watched hockey. I guess he was the only one who didn’t have a hobby.
I swear I read every book Judy Blume ever wrote with the sound of hockey in the background. If you’ve never been to a hockey game, you might not understand how well adapted I am to tuning out noise while focusing on a task. I know exactly how old I was because I remember reading Ramona Quimby, Age 8 – and I thought it was so neat that I was age eight at the time.
What does Hockey have to do with this cake? I’m getting to that part. Our season tickets were reserved seats and so were those of Mr. and Mrs. Hiles, who sat directly behind us. Mrs. Hiles was a lovely woman with a heart of pure gold. She was also the first person of the northern persuasion I had ever met and to me her Pennsylvania accent made her seem foreign and exotic.
Each week, as soon as we saw Mrs. Hiles, the first thing we’d ask was “Did you bring your SEWING KIT?”. Our eyes would light up as we searched around where she sat, hoping to spy it. I don’t really know why we even bothered asking, because I can’t remember a single hockey game that she didn’t bring her sewing kit to. Now some of you might be wondering why an eight, seven, and eleven year old would be so excited about seeing a sweet little old lady and her sewing kit but this wasn’t an ordinary sewing kit.
Mrs. Hiles would smile, giggling softly while she opened her kit, pulling out the top layer of thread and fabric, and revealing the bottom – filled with homemade chocolate chip cookies! The civic center didn’t allow outside food so she always baked these fresh and smuggled them in just for us!
She and my mother became fast friends and shared many recipes over the course of countless hockey games. This is my personal favorite from her collection. Serve this cake warm, with homemade whipped cream over the top, and you’re in for a treat unlike any you’ve ever known!
I really enjoy it because it isn’t too sweet. I’m not a big icing person, but give me fresh whipped cream oozing down over warm cake and you got a happy camper on your hands!
For the topping, you’ll need: plain flour, white sugar, margarine, cinnamon, and more chopped pecans.
The original recipe said to “beat the apple pie filling” to break it up a bit but I guess apple pie filling must be sturdier these days than it used to be because the one time I tried to beat it, nothing happened except whole apple slices sloshed around in my mixing bowl for a minute or so.
What I do is just pour it out onto a plate like this and then get a knife and kind of coarsely chop it up a bit.
Until it looks like this.
Now, place all ingredients for the cake into a mixing bowl.
This is your chopped pecans, eggs, cake mix, and apple pie filling.
Mix it up well.
Spray your 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
This is my Fire King 2000 9×13 inch pan which I bought off of eBay and wrapped for myself for Christmas. I have a nice collection of antique jade Fire King dishes and they came out with a few special pieces for 2000. I am slowly but surely adding them into my collection. I wanted this pan SO BAD. My sister in law has one and I have been coveting that thing for over a year!
Now I want the covered casserole, batter bowl, and pie plate but my sister in law doesn’t have those (that I know of) so at least I’m not coveting anymore.
Some women dream of castles and private beaches, I fantasize about casserole dishes and small counter top appliances.
Spread your batter into your greased pan. This pan is so pretty, isn’t it?
Ugh, I really want that covered casserole and pie plate….
Oh, cake. We’re making a cake! Alright, I’ll quit mentally shopping and finish up here before I go balance my account in hopes of eBay surfing later.
Now we need to make our topping. Make sure your margarine or butter is good and soft so this will be easy to mix up.
I always use margarine for one very important reason: I am cheap.
Margarine is 1/4 of the price of butter and there are more practical things to spend our money on, such as Fire King dishes. I also have a thing for antique mixing bowls but I’ll do my level best to save that for another day. I have been wanting to devote a post to my antique dishes and mixing bowls but am trying to stay on point here- y’all want food. Southern Plate = food. Then again, it is Southern Plate.…….
Place all of your topping ingredients into a bowl and cut the margarine in with a fork.
Just moosh it down over and over with the tines of the fork while stirring.
After a minute or two, add your pecans and continue mooshing.
Until it looks like this.
Now reach down and get you a pinch of it to taste because it is soooooo stinking good.
Take whatever you managed not to eat and sprinkle it over the cake.
Bake, according to the recipe at the bottom.
Ooh look at that! Lean in close and see if you can smell it?
I am working on getting that technology here at SP.
Top view of the same piece. I kinda got carried away with this. Wouldn’t you?
Now lets make us up some homemade whipped cream! Homemade whipped cream is SUPER easy. All you need is whipping cream and a few tablespoons of sugar. We’re just going to use about 16 ounces of whipping cream. You can get a smaller carton than I got and have plenty. There isn’t much of a science to this recipe.
Place your whipping cream in a chilled mixing bowl.
All I do to get mine chilled is run really cold water in it and then dry it out.
Now, add two tablespoons of sugar to your cream and beat it, on high, for about a minute. Its going to look like this, with soft peaks. You just need it firm enough to be able to dollop it on.
See how easy that was? Some people like to add a teaspoon of vanilla but I just like the taste on its own.
If you continued beating it after it formed soft peaks, it would actually turn into butter so this isn’t one of those things you want to walk away from – unless you want some of the best butter you’ve ever tasted. Mama used to let us make butter. We’d pour whipping cream into a mason jar and screw the lid on tight and shake it. I let my kids do that now, too. I’ll post them making butter on SP soon as I get around to it!
You may want yours sweeter but I like mine with just a hint of sweetness because I prefer to taste the whipped cream itself. Once you see how easy this is to make and how much better it tastes than store bought, you may be spoiled for life.
If you prefer not to be spoiled (or if “The Donald” JUST bought you that mansion in the hills you batted your lashes at and you are feeling a little overly indulgent) you can just use store bought whipped topping.
Nobody said life would be easy.
They just promised it would be worth it.
Submitted by Judy. To submit your quote, click here.
I hope you have a wonderful week! This is going to be another super busy one for me with Southern Plate postings, articles to write for other websites and print, project planning and contacts to make for SP, emails and comments to answer, and more tutorials to do.
In my down time I’m going to focus on the more glamorous aspect of my life which is carpooling kids, doing laundry, washing dishes, and cleaning up a gazillion messes which seem to “re-mess up” themselves the moment you leave the room.
You know what though? I’ve never been happier.
Thank you all for giving me so very much. I love having you and Southern Plate in my life.