What a nice evening we had with our daughter and her family. It was her turn to cook and she fixed spaghetti with meatballs and sauce, hot yeast rolls, and a salad with all the fixin's. Yummy! It was my turn to provide dessert and for two days I had racked my brain to find a recipe for which I had all the ingredients so I wouldn't need to make a trip to the store. We have family members with distinct tastes and a couple of us have food allergies, so we try to make sure meals and desserts are free of nuts, coconut, milk, honey, and sunflower seeds. We also try to make sure there's nothing too crunchy because Grandson has braces. Fruit-based recipes always make good dessert choices.
I had apples on hand, along with the usual staples of flour, sugar, eggs, and oil, so I was set. The recipe I decided to use was one given to me by my Aunt Maxine back in 1969. It was probably known by other names, but in July of that year it was called, "Man-On-The-Moon Cake with Lunar Landing Icing", in honor of the first man to walk on the moon's surface, Neil Armstrong. I had met my spouse-to-be by then and was happy to have a good recipe to put in my "hope chest". My mother made the cake once or twice so I knew the recipe was a keeper (just like my boyfriend!). This cake is now one of his favorites.
The recipe calls for more sugar than I like to use, so I cut back on that ingredient and the cake was still sweet enough for our tastes. If you choose, you can bake two 9"x9" cakes instead of one 9"x13". Just reduce the baking time to about 30 minutes. I added chopped walnuts to one batter but not to the other. I hope your family will like this moist apple cake as much as mine does. Here's the recipe:
MAN-ON-THE-MOON CAKE with LUNAR LANDING ICING
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
4-5 cups chopped apples
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Lunar Landing Icing Ingredients:
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup margarine (one stick)
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (may need a bit more)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
Beat eggs and oil until foamy. Add flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in rest of ingredients and beat until batter is moist and not so stiff. Pour into greased 9"x13"x2" pan (or two 9"x9" pans). Bake about 40 minutes at 350 degrees for 9"x13" pan, and about 30 minutes for 2 smaller pans. Check if done before removing from oven.
Blend all ingredients until creamy. Add more confectioner's sugar if needed and a few drops of milk if necessary for smooth consistency. Spread on warm cake. Sprinkle finely chopped nuts on top if desired.