Bubbe's Apple Cake Recipe
I received an email from Suzanne Scara of New Jersey informing me that her "Bubbe's Apple Cake was one of the top 5 finalists in the Spreading Smucker's Traditions Recipe and Essay contest."
She wanted me to look at her recipe and vote on it. Suzanne's recipe is called Bubbe's Apple Cake. I asked Suzanne for a bit of history on this recipe and how it got its name, and here is what she told me,
Although my sister and I never knew our grandmother, our mother baked this cake from her mother's recipe, preserving memories and tastes from the past. When possible, she used home-grown apples, from our trees, just as her mother had done.
As we all became busy with school and work, there was less time for baking and tending to apple trees. Consequently, our beloved cake was baked on rare occasions.
The recipe was filed away as we made kitchen renovations. And circumstances forced my sister and her family to move out of state (from New Jersey to Pennsylvania). As we got together less, there was a chance we'd be seeing even less of Bubbe's * special apple cake.
However, the first autumn in her new home, my sister realized she was blessed with a row of apple trees - trees bearing the mellow, golden apples of our childhood (which she happily shares with me). And she and I have become avid home bakers.
Now we each have a copy of Bubbe's apple cake recipe. So, without missing a generation, this homey, old world apple cake continues to nourish and comfort us, on quiet evenings with tea, and at all sorts of family gatherings.
* Bubbe is the Yiddish term of endearment for Grandmother
Apple Cake Recipe
- 1¼ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 medium apples peeled and cut into thin slices
- ½ cup Smucker's Red Plum jam
- juice of ½ lemon
- 3 large eggs brought to room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir dry ingredients and set the bowl aside.
- Add apple slices, Smucker's Red Plum jam, and lemon juice in another bowl. Mix up so that apples are coated in jam and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs well, either with an electric beater on medium or vigorously by hand.
- Gradually add sugar and beat (about two min.), or mix by hand, till the mixture is almost fluffy.
- Add oil, vanilla, and almond extracts, and continue to beat and scrape the side of the bowl till all is combined.
- Next, mix in the flour mixture (if using an electric beater, reduce speed to low). Mix until batter is blended to uniform color and consistency.
- Take just half of the batter and spread evenly in the baking pan.
- Next, cover the layer of batter with the apple and jam mixture. Then spread the remaining half of the batter over the apples. Finally, give a light shake or two of cinnamon over the surface of the cake.
- Bake on the center rack till golden (approximately one hour).
- After removing it from the oven, let the cake cool. Cut into squares and serve.