When a cake can be described as soft, moist, and crisp, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. Better yet, if you can top it off with ice cream, jackpot. If you’ve run out of ice cream (me), shit. Pull it together. This Ozark pudding cake, you guessed it, jackpot.
As described in one of my favorite baking books, Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson (I highly recommend checking her out!), this cake is a “humble dessert”. It became popular when President Harry Truman’s wife made it for guests at the White House.
Fun fact: I’ve actually been inside the White House.
Jk. I’ve barely been outside my own house. I gotta get out more..
So what’s so great about this pudding cake?
Well here’s the rundown…
When we’re talking pudding here, we’re not talking custard pudding. We’re talking about pudding in the English sense, which is generally categorized as dessert.
It’s got apple pieces running throughout it, making it soft and moist. (The recipe from Vintage Cakes is made with pears, so feel free to play around here! I had apples on hand so that’s what I used.)
It’s got sliced almonds in it, giving it a nice crunch and nuttiness.
Baking it in a cast-iron skillet gives it a beautiful crisp bottom. Just like your beautiful crisp bottom.
And, it’s so easy and simple to make, don’t even give me excuses. You can whip this baby out in no time and we all know I’m a lazy piece of shit. Perfect.
The best part is taking this pudding cake fresh out of the oven, topping it with vanilla ice cream and digging in. Unfortunately, when you’re an idiot and you run out of vanilla ice cream (which honestly, should just be a staple item in all kitchens, like salt or pepper), you have to settle for powdered sugar.
Regardless, this cake is fantastic! And if you’re in a hurry, this is definitely a great recipe to have on hand.
Hope you enjoy my friends!
Ozark Pudding CakePrint Recipe
- 2 large apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (7 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) dried cranberries (optional)
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional...but not really)
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon butter.
Finely chop one of the apples and thinly slice the other.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt in a bowl, and then whisk the mixture by hand to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the butter and sugar together on medium speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the egg and vanilla and blend on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl occasionally as needed. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture all at once. Mix until just blended. The batter will be stiff.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped apple (setting aside the sliced apple for the top), half the almonds, and the cranberries (if using), and stir just until blended. Dump the batter into the prepared skillet and spread it in an even layer. Arrange the apple slices on top of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining almonds and the remaining teaspoon of sugar. Place the skillet in the middle of the oven and bake until the cake is golden in color and the center springs back when lightly touched, around 35-40 minutes. (The heat from the pan will continue to bake the cake after it is removed from the oven, so take care to remove it is just barely done.) Serve warm from the skillet with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
You can use a 9-inch skillet if you don't have a 10-inch, just bake for a little longer. This cake is best the day it is baked. Well covered, it keeps in the skillet for up to 2 days at room temperature. Recipe adapted from Vintage Cakes.