Thursday, February 19, 2009

Off The High Horse

Sometimes I get a bit on a baking high horse. Perhaps you know the pony I'm referring to. It's snobby about ingredients, pretentious about equipment, and takes itself way too seriously when it comes to technique. But then I encounter a recipe that makes me climb off the high horse (thank goodness, I really don't like heights) and touch ground again.

My mother-in-law gave me a recipe years ago that is soooo simple that I thought was too easy to be good. All the ingredients are things that I would have in my cupboard or refrigerator. No special shopping trip required to hunt down an ingredient. A mixing bowl, a grater, and a 9 x 13 pan are all it calls for. If you have a KitchenAid, that's a bonus, but it's not required. And as for technique, it's basically a dump cake. You put all the stuff in the bowl, you stir, you pour in the pan, you bake. C'mon, even my six-year old could do that!

But the best part is the cake that comes out of the oven. It's fabulous. Moist, fragrant, studded with raisins. It's perfect for snacking, for tea time, or for dessert. Or breakfast, if my son gets his way. (Well, hey it's got fruit in it, so that's a healthy breakfast, right?) And if you feel like this was just too easy and a delicious cake needs more effort put into it, you can drizzle some homemade caramel sauce over the top.

Pat's Grated Apple Cake

5 cups grated apples*
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp soda
1 cup raisins

1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. with a rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan.

2- In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients. Mix until well blended. Pour into the prepared pan.

3- Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. The cake should be set, the top golden. A toothpick inserted near the center should come out without batter clinging to it

* You can peel the apples, if you like, but I don't. It saves a step and gives a lovely color to the cake to leave the skin on. If you have a KitchenAid grater attachment or a food processor grater, this is a wonderful time to use it. Just core the apples, cut into quarters and throw them into the machine. You'll have 5 cups grated apples in no time! But don't despair if you don't have either; a box grater works just as well, only a little slower.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I'm the same way, haha - here's to SIMPLE recipes still getting the job done!!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

A 'dump' cake... I like the term! Better still, I love the look and sound of this cake - real comfort food... yum

Sean said...

Yeah, this totally sounds like a grandma recipe. Simple and easy. No muss, no fuss.

Cakespy said...

Oh man, this is where it's at. Sometimes those simple, old-fashioned desserts satisfy you like nothing else. And this one looks sublime.

Amy said...

Yum! This is right up my alley! I love apple/spice cakes... and easy to boot?? I'm sold. I'll definitely be making this one soon.

I recently made your Almond Vanilla Granola and posted it on my blog today! It was delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe on your blog!

Katrina said...

Sometimes simple is best and the yummiest. You could probably sneak some whole wheat pastry flour in there and call it perfect for breakfast, too! Eggs, fruit, grain. You're set.

Anonymous said...

Easy, simple and delicious never go out of style for me.
And I need another recipe that has raisins in it!

The Blonde Duck said...

This is right up my ally. I'm all about easy dishes!

Maria said...

I make a similar cake, it is a family favorite! I will have to try your recipe...I love the raisins!!

Elyse said...

I love cakes with apple in them--I don't make them nearly enough! I can't wait to try this recipe. The cake looks sooo delicious (and moist)!

grace said...

i'm very familiar with that horse--we're great friends. :)
i'm also familiar with the deliciousness that is apple cake, and this version looks stellar.

Glenna said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I do the same thing. But good food is good food, from the simple church basement-type recipes to the high falutin'.

NKP said...

It is great to have a few homey, simple recipes in one's arsenal!
Looks delish, I love apples.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

There are those few recipes that seem just to simple and then knock you over with success. . . . and then there's that caramel sauce. . . puts everything right over the top.

Aimée said...

This is a good recipe every teen should know before leaving home.

I would leave the apple peel on, too.

Sara said...

this sounds wonderful, and so comforting!

VelezDelights said...

So simple but so delicious!
Have to try this =)

Peabody said...

I get that way sometimes as well, but I made brownies today and they were just as good as my souffle the other week. :)
Your apple cake looks yummy.

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy :) what's the syrup on top?

eviedee said...

So glad that I am not the only one whose thoughts turned to breakfast! This looks worth bending the rules to include cake.

Anonymous said...

hmm ... interesting recipe. I got to try this one out. I have done Carrot-Zucchini Cake recently but I never thought to do one with apples! :)

Btw: You can replace some oil with a tub of yogurt. :)

Deborah said...

I love simple recipes like this one. Delicious!