Saturday, December 02, 2006

More apple sauce cake talk

By popular demand – well, four of you asked – here is the recipe:

My sister-in-law, Steffi, is American and she gave me this recipe many years ago. Her mother is of Irish and her father of Greek descent, so I don’t know whether the recipe is authentically American, but anyway, this is why it exists in terms of cups and spoonfuls. We Brits don’t do those. We do ounces and pounds if we’re over 30ish; otherwise grams. Britain is now officially metric so I have trouble with grams when I’ve written down on a shopping list the ingredients I need to make some tried and tested recipe. I know that a kilogram is a little over two pounds, so I stand in the supermarket going, “I need six ounces of desiccated coconut and this packet is 325 grams, so…”.

Some of the cake ingredients (eg plain flour, icing sugar) may be called something different in America. Steffi sometimes has to translate American recipes for me (she and my brother live near London, so she’s bilingual). If anyone needs me to, I can ask her the American terms. But I feel you can work out the ounce thing. If I can do grams, you can do ounces.

Anyway, I long ago bought baking cups to make this recipe, but translated the butter into ounces because who would want to cram butter into a cup and then have to wash it when you can just cut what used to be an 8 ounce packet of butter in half? Of course, a packet is now slightly more than 8 ounces because it’s some number of grams instead (I suppose 250ish) but you know – cooking’s an art, not a science.

You might know my artistic cooking from previous posts if you’ve read them.

Similarly, this recipe originally had half a cup of nuts (unspecified) in it, but I myself put sultanas instead, since we prefer this. On the other hand, Son’s girlfriend doesn’t like dried fruit, so he makes it without. Even when he’s making it for her flatmate…

Steffi’s apple sauce cake


4 ounces butter
Half cup each of caster sugar and soft brown sugar
1 and three quarter cups plain flour (ie without rising agent)
I cup sultanas or half cups nuts or whatever. Or neither. Or both.
Half teaspoon salt (but I never actually put this in)
I teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
I teaspoon cinnamon
Half teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
I cup apple sauce, bought or made yourself. (I usually just use bought stuff and don’t bother about the amount. Just a jar of whatever size comes to hand.)


Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, and cream again. Fold in flour and other dry ingredients and add fruit/nuts.

Bake in two sandwich tins for half an hour at 150 degrees.



3 cups icing sugar
9 ounces cream cheese
Dash cinnamon if you like it
Dash brandy if you like it, but then you may have to add a bit more icing sugar, depending on how generous your dash is.


Cream all together, getting very sticky in the process.

Put two cakes together with icing in the middle and on the top. If you really like getting thoroughly sticky, you can, of course, cut each cake in half horizontally and then put the icing in four smaller layers.

Make sure icing is spreadable but quite firm. If it’s too sloshy then when you put the cake together the icing will gradually flow out the sides. I speak from experience.

I've just made two Christmas cakes, one for my mum and one for us. They're in the oven now. This is the sum total of my Christmas preparations. It's a start.


  1. I like the time-lapse photos of the cake!

  2. Thanks Isabelle. Another cake for me to make with the FB over Christmas.
    I must confess that I am one of those new-fangled people that work in grams and kilos, metres and centimetres EXCEPT when it comes to my weight and height when it's still the oldfashioned tons and feet & inches.

  3. Thankyou Isabelle, I will surely try this.

  4. This reminded me of when we switched to metric in Oz. It was all done over a long period of time. Firstly dollars and cents took over pounds and pence. Years later, Kilometres took over miles, kilograms took over pounds, and so on. There were lots of books, cards and charts printed by hundreds of firms for their clients, giving equivalent weights and measures. I had one in my handbag for years, and had to use it at the supermarket for years too! Just the other day, Ken asked me to look up on the computer, how to translate psi to metric. He went to pump his car tyres and they had changed from the old ppsi to metric and he had no idea what to pump in his tyres!

  5. I will definitely be making that cake very soon. My favorite things... apple sauce and cake... all in one!

    I don't do grams, and being truly hopeless at maths I am always struggling to work out the amounts. I love the fact that all my cooking is in pounds and ounces, I understand those :o)

    And centimetres for height... no idea. Feet and inches is the right way to do things. Bit difficult here in Oz where it's all grams and kilograms and metric malarkey.

    However, I don't mind kilometres, as they go quicker than miles when I'm running :oD


  6. Yum,Yum. Another cake to try....I love it that you are so easy going, a little of this, or maybe that, or neither, if you'd rather!

  7. Did you really mean 150 degrees? - Oh I bet that is C - right? I'll have to look up the conversion to F! Thanks for the receipe - it just looks wonderful! I hope it's ok - I renamed it Isabell's Apple Sauce Cake!

  8. Thanks for your visit to our team blog. Your cake looks scrumptious.

    Funny about the systems of measurement. What we use in the US is referred to as the British System of measurement. In the 1970's, there was a push to go metric, but that was rescinded by some vote of Congress. The children learn the metric system in school science classes, but we use the still inches, pounds, and the Fahrenheit scale in the community outside of the science class.

  9. Hi Isabelle! You won one of my christmas decorations!! Send your address to fl10481 (at) bigpond (dot) net (dot) au and I'll post it tomorrow.

  10. Isabelle, your posts work on all my senses. Today it is the sense of taste and the sense of confusion. A sort of applesaucecake ingredient orgy is taking place in my head!

    Like K, I also enjoyed the time-lapse effect of the photos. Thanks for the treat.

  11. Thankyou so much for the recipe. When it stops being 40 degrees over here (I think that's 100 degrees plus in your system) I will give it a go.