Appalachian Stack Cake
"Appalachian Stack Cakes are deeply rooted in our (Appalachian) heritage. Every grandmother has their own version of what this cake consists of and how it is made. From stove top frying the almost cookie like layers to soft fluffy layers baked in the oven. The threads that run true in each recipe are apples and apple butter as well as plenty of warm and comforting spices! I am starting work on what “my” Appalachian stack cake consists of. I promise when I finish this recipe and finally get to share it with you it will be easy, the ingredients will be readily available, and most importantly it will taste exactly as wonderful as it should! I think I’m off to a good start! I love the addition of an apple rosette top!"
-- @mustloveherbs


Prep time 20mins
Cook time 15mins
Serves or Makes: One 6-layer (9-inch) cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/ 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/ 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons moonshine
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/ 2 cups diced apples
  • 1/ 2 cup black walnuts
  • 2 quarts apple butter

For the Apple Rosette

  • 3 apples, cored, halved and thinly sliced
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the inside (sides and bottom) of 9” cake pan(s) with the butter. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. Make sure to also grease the top of the parchment paper.

  • Step 2

    In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and spices. Set aside.

  • Step 3

    In a separate bowl, using a mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy and color has lightened slightly. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Add in the moonshine and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture making sure not to add too much at once. Mix until just combined. Carefully fold in the diced apples until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Measure out 1 cup of cake batter per cake pan. Tap each pan to distribute batter evenly and reduce the amount of air pockets in the batter.

  • Step 4

    For the Apple rosette top you will need to reserve one pan of batter to top with apple slices. Lay a circular row of apples along the outside edge of the cake pan. Work your way in overlapping the circle each time until you get to the center. For the middle of the Rose microwave an apple slice at 50% power for 15 second to soften it. Roll the apple slice into a pinwheel and place in the center of your apple slices.

  • Step 5

    Bake each cake layer for 13-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center pulls out cleanly. This recipe will make a 6 layer cake. Allow the layers to cool completely.

  • Step 6

    Once all layers have cooled you may begin to assemble the cake. Make sure each layer is even. This is especially important for the first layer. You may use a large bread knife to trim off any high spots. Between each cake layer spread a thin layer of apple butter to 1/4-inch away from the cake’s edge. Top the cake with apple rosette cake layer and finish with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Cake is best enjoyed when allowed to cure 24 hours!