It calls for 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil. And it's an APPLE CAKE. I couldn't bring myself to do that. Plus all I had was olive oil. So I negotiated with the cake book and we agreed to 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 1/2 cup olive oil. Now that I've made it, next time I would do all applesauce and no oil. Different results, but I don't see why not.
The recipe called for 3 c granny smith apples. I used 4 apples, which was probably closer to 4 cups, but that was fine. It also called for "raisins, cranberries or dried cherries". I used cranberries, and without trying any cakes using the other kinds of dried fruit- I'm just gonna go ahead and claim that cranberries were the best choice. The 1 cup of chopped walnuts added a nice crunch and balance to the apples and cranberries. In the end, I'm not sure why this isn't considered a variation of a "Fruit Cake". But the actual "Fruit Cake" is coming up, so maybe I'll find out soon.
Meanwhile, the walkers had texted to see if I could pick them up in the car, because the 2 and 3 years olds were wanting to be carried. Actually, the 2 year old, if you put her down, would start going full speed in the opposite direction, just to be a snot. So it wasn't like it was an extremely long walk and their legs were tired. It was just that they were 2 and 3 years old! I got the keys to their van (with 2 booster seats), ran out to start the van, remembered the timer and didn't want to repeat the cake getting pulled out again, so I turned off the timer and rushed out the door, and the car wouldn't start! I ran back in, got the keys to my car (with one booster seat), and got in my car and IT wouldn't start. I was starting to question my sanity, then remembered that my car is 18 years old and is funky sometimes with the remote lock/start. So, I locked and unlocked it with the remote key, and sure enough it started right up! Phew! (side note, this is all on April Fool's Day, yet it was the cars foolin' me!) I managed to pick up the walkers, get them home, and check on the cake again- still gooey in the middle. And I had a few minutes to breathe in and out, but it was a pretty damn frantic 20 minutes! In the end, the cake took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to cook, 20 minutes longer than the recipe called for, but that could have something to do with the snafu when the timer went off. After the 1st time checking it, I put some tin foil over the top since it did look done (the non-walker was correct about that) on the top.
Everyone liked the cake, especially warm with vanilla ice cream. I thought it had a little too much nutmeg. But then again, I used whole nutmeg shredded in it, and therefore I didn't measure it and I have no idea how much I actually put in.
I don't know if I would make this again, except it was fairly easy (if you don't go for a walk while it's baking) and it would be a good thing to make if you have apples to get rid of. I also don't necessarily think you'd have to stick with Granny Smiths. Apple snobs might disagree with me, but I'm not an apple snob, and I'm in fact more inclined to make a recipe when it involves cleaning out the fridge.
UPDATE: This morning, the six year old wanted cake for breakfast. I said "sure!"; his father said "Cake? For breakfast?!" I explained that this isn't really a full-of-sugar-and-frosting type of cake, and I could see it as a breakfast item. I was thinking about that while I was snacking on a slice at work, and it dawned on me- this cake recipe would actually make great muffins! Now I want to make it again, in a muffin pan, and see how that goes. Cake for Breakfast!