Monday, December 22, 2014

Meatless Monday: Best Apple Cake Ever

One-half the recipe baked in an 8 x 8 pan
Apple Cake, from the cookbook Simply in Season, by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert, is my goto recipe when I want a no fail cake that serves a lot of people. “Best apple cake ever” was the compliment this cake received when I brought it to a Thanksgiving dinner for which it was baked as a special request for people who might not want pie [!!].

Apples are the main ingredient in this cake; the others are probably in your kitchen cupboard. The apples do not have to be the most beautiful, or even the most crunchy. In fact, this is an excellent way to use up any fruit remaining from your apple picking trips in the fall. 

Here’s the recipe.

Apple Cake 
Serves 12-16

Preheat oven to 350° F
Grease a 9 x 13” pan


Combine in a large bowl
  • 5 cups apples, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
Combine in a small bowl
  • 1/2 cup oil [I use canola.]
  • 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine in a medium-sized bowl
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nuts [Optional. I use walnut pieces.]

  • Stir flour mixture into the apples alternately with egg mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  • Pour into baking pan.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. [Note: I would first test at 45 minutes.]
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream
  • While cake bakes, heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Mix in 1/3 cup powdered sugar.
  • Drizzle over hot cake.
[Note: I have been told that if you are watching your carbs, you can omit the topping. But, also note that I have never gone this route.]

Normally I follow the directions and bake one cake in a 9 x 13 inch pan. This time I decided to bake two 8 x 8s — one to include in a gift box and one to keep at my house for a holiday treat. At 40 minutes, a cake tester inserted into the center of each came out clean. I hope my cake travels well!

Cake on a plate, briefly.

Simply in Season was commissioned by Mennonite Central committee to “promote the understanding of how the food choices we make affect our lives and the lives of those who produce the food.” There is a young person’s version as well. Both make excellent gifts. Simply in Season is sold at 10,000 Villages  or online.  

That’s it for today. Happy Meatless Monday. Happy holidays. 

Good health to you, and to the planet.

On Mondays I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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