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My mother has been making this cake not for 60-something years, but since I was a kid. ” my mother said.) but a clipping that a neighbor gave her from some now-defunct magazine.

And the recipe, it didn’t come from her mother or her mother’s mother (“My mother? Entirely crushed that the recipe involves no escapes from terror, no bits of the old country, no tales of war rations or ingredients that don’t translate well into English, I briefly considered where my more interesting history of the cake should be the only story I tell, but alas, I am a terrible liar and find the vast expanse between my version and the actual truth to be as funny of a story as any.

Toss with cinnamon and 5 tablespoons sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top.

My mother makes the best apple cake, and has for as long as I can remember.

Big cinnamon-y chunks of apple nestle into a coffee cake I would call “unbelievably” moist, but really, should not be hard to believe considering that my mother is also the one who brought us another of the best cake recipes on this site, The Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake.

The cake gets better the second day, when the apples juices seep further into the cake and I have seen the conviction of many a chocolate-obsessed/fruit dessert non-believers crumble upon trying a single slice of it. Not above pilfering content for my website from my nearest and dearest, I talked my mom into coming over (and heaving up all 51 stairs–she likes to count them) on Sunday to bake the cake with me for the New Years dinner at my in-laws today.

I wanted to get the recipe down, but also to get the back story on the cake recipe.

In bits and pieces, I remember it being called at different times a “German Apple Cake” and a “Jewish Apple Cake”, though what made it either was unclear.

I suspected that if was indeed German, it came over with her parents as they escaped the Holocaust.

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