I used to live in a great little apartment complex. Everyone was really friendly and we’d all gather and let our dogs run around(against the rules) off their leashes after work . We would have dinners and checked on each other after Hurricane Ike.
The best thing about the apartments is that we lived across from one of the most amazing friends I will ever have. I can say that now but that was not exactly what I was thinking a few years ago when she brought me Amish Friendship Bread Starter. Shea handed me a ziplock bag with a bubbling, yeasty, liquid concoction that I was told to “feed” every couple of days and keep out on the countertop for 10 days.
Really? In March? IN TEXAS?
And then make a cake with it? Are you crazy?
Yep, and it was the most delicious cake I ever made.
I followed the feeding directions and recipe, and when all was said and done and the cake was out of the oven and cooled I ate one piece… and then another. I got up the next morning and had another piece. I called my friend, Shea, and told her I couldn’t stop eating this cake. Shea laughed and said she ate it every morning for breakfast until it was all gone.
We have all moved away now and when I miss Shea, I miss the cake too. The other day I found the directions/recipe with Shea’s handwritten dates. I figured that I could make the cake even if I didn’t have the starter. I did a lot of calculations and came up with a recipe. I also added one extra ingredient to the cake, apples, and of course a topping.
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup oil
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box instant vanilla pudding
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
2 small apples, diced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 9×13 inch baking dish or a bundt pan.
Make the topping by smashing together those ingredients.
Mash them with a fork into pea-sized chunks. Set aside.
Mix together the oil, sugar, eggs yolks and vanilla. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and pudding mix. Set aside.
In another separate bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Working quickly, alternate add the flour and milk to the oil mixture, stir until just combined.
Gently fold in the stiffened egg whites, trying not to deflate them too much.
Pour a little less than half the batter into the prepared baking dish. Top with the apples and pecans.
Top that with the remaining batter. Finally top with topping.
Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cake is done when a toothpick is inserted in middle and comes out clean.
I have to admit my version is much more dense and moist that the more bread like texture of the original Amish Bread recipe. But it is still so good.