Friday, July 12, 2019

10th Anniversary Encore - Fresh Apple Cake by Sheila Connolly

I can't believe we've been blogging together for a decade. Actually I'm a bit of a latecomer, since my first appearance was as a guest in August 2009, and I didn't enlist officially until March 2010. This recipe appeared a few months later. I had discovered it long before blogs were even invented--and long before I started writing--and I've been making it ever since.

When I was young (and through college) I was reluctant to try new or unusual foods. I'll blame my mother: she didn't even try making her own spaghetti sauce until after I'd left home, and her idea of a casserole was to add a can of Campbell's cream soup to just about anything. She was a good plain cook, but not particularly daring. (But she did enjoy eating in fine restaurants, a trait that I inherited from her.)

Cooking can be an art, and it can also be a way to feed people and make them happy. It's that simple. We at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen have presented an incredible  range of recipes for you to try, but we aren't offended if you don't try them all. That's how we learn about food and what we like to eat.

Why is this apple cake recipe such a favorite of mine? Because it's easy to make, hard to mess up, travels and keeps well, and just plain tastes good. It's from an early James Beard cookbook, but even he admitted in the book that he'd borrowed it from someone else.


1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups shredded apples (do not peel -- the skin adds texture to the cake; the shredding disk of a food processor works very well)
2 tsp vanilla extract


2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl brown sugar
2 Tbl granulated sugar
2 Tbl heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9- or 10-inch tube pan (8-cup capacity).

Combine oil and sugar in a bowl. Blend very well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sift these into the oil-egg mixture and combine thoroughly. Add the raw apples. Mix well with a spoon or spatula, then add the vanilla. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until the cake tests done (tester comes out clean). Remove from the oven and let rest while you prepare the glaze.

Glaze: Melt the butter, sugars, and heavy cream mixed with vanilla in a heavy pan. Boil for 1 minute without stirring, then remove from heat.

Let the cake cool for a few minutes before removing it from the pan. Spoon the glaze over the cake while it is still warm.

A word of warning about the glaze: it’s addictive. We usually double the recipe, and fight over who gets to lick the pan. My daughter pours it over ice cream, and she adds chopped nuts and coconut. And sometimes we just skip the cake and eat it with spoons right out of the pan. Yum!

The newest books: (and all things willing, a new Orchard Mystery come fall!)




And you can carry your books in this clever
tote bag with a special crossword puzzle 
featuring Mystery Lovers' Kitchen authors!

To enter our giveaway,
you must first use
the form below.

Then be sure to leave a
blog post comment.

You must do both
to be entered.




We're throwing a two-week party to celebrate a decade of blogging at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Every day (through July 13), one of the authors of MLK will post a retro "anniversary" recipe from our blogging past. Stop back each day to see what we post. Each time you leave a comment on a post, you'll earn an extra entry in our drawing and increase your chances of winning our grand prize package. Be sure to use the entry form above to register with our contest *and* be sure to leave a blog post comment. (You must do both to be entered.)

GOOD LUCK and...





  1. This sounds delish. Love apples. Thx for sharing.

  2. I actually made this a few years back for Christmas. I came here and got the recipe. It is one of my favorite cakes that I make. My family loves it! Happy 10th, Sheila, and MLK. Jamie Gillespie

  3. Yum...this actually made me hungry just looking at it. Thank you for the recipe.

  4. YES!! A new Orchard Mystery!! Can't wait. LOve that series. And the new Victorian Village series is great!! Waiting on the 2nd one in that. And the cake sounds good too.Vicki nvictoria77(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. This delectable apple cake is perfect. I make apple cake every year for Rosh Hashanah and I love apple cake because it reminds me of family, holidays, and wonderful times. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Cake sounds great, and I love the books too.

  7. I love apples and most things with apples in them. That includes your Orchard Mysteries, though I'm not caught up on them yet. Happy 10 years!

  8. Before we know it, the apples will be local and oh so good! Saving this!

    1. The apple trees I planted in my yard bloomed late, but the apples are coming! I love watching them appear and grow.

  9. This looks SOOOOO yummy. I will have to save this and make it this fall to enjoy with a nice cup of tea. Happy Tenth Anniversary!

  10. Ooh apple desserts are always amazing! Thank you#

  11. These books look fascinating. Oh sweet, thanks for sharing your recipe for this cake. I have got to make this.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  12. Sheila, which apple variety did you use for this recipe? Looks delicious! Can't wait to try it gluten-free. :) ~ Daryl

    1. It's really not critical--in years when my mini-orchard goes crazy, I use whatever I have the most of. Since the apples are shredded, the crispness isn't an issue. And I've always loved the fact that you don't have to peel them!

  13. Oh my gosh, I need to make that cake. And get those books.

  14. Now I know what to do with the apples I have on hand. This sounds delicious, and so easy. Love your recipes.

  15. That looks sooooo good! I think I just heard the sound of my diet exploding.

  16. I've never had apple cake before. It sounds really good.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  17. Apples and cake...delicious! Thanks for the chance! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  18. I need to make the cake and I love reading the Apple orchard books!

  19. This sounds so good! Thanks for the recipe. Love your books! Happy Anniversary!

  20. Sheila, I always thought of you as the Apple Lady, (now the Irish Apple Lady)so thanks for another great recipe. Happy Anniversary!
    lola777_22 at hotmail dot com

  21. The FRESH APPLE CAKE sounds DELICIOUS! I'm going to have to make this one for sure. Love apples just about any way you can fix them. Of course anything sweet like cake just makes them better. :)

    Happy 10th anniversary to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  22. I love the combination of apples and cinnamon. My grandmother canned their apples. I always sprinkled some cinnamon on the chunky applesauce. bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

  23. Never had apple cake but it looks good. I could eat it now with some coffee. It even looks shiny in the picture.

    1. Forgot my e-mail in case there's a giveaway and you need it:

  24. A good apple cake recipe is a wonderful thing to have in the back pocket, so to speak. It is a workhorse of a recipe for which I am very grateful.

    1. That recipe has been to a lot of parties and picnics!

  25. Love apple cake - thanks for the recipe!

  26. That recipe looks really good and so do your books. Intriguing.

  27. The apple cake looks delicious. I will have to make this. Thank you for sharing, and for this chance! areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

  28. Sounds like the Raw Apple Cake one of the "old" ladies at church would make..... Sorry, I had to find the cookbook the ladies guild created, same idea but not the same recipe. Ellen's doesn't a glaze and her's is cooked in a 9x13 and the apples are diced. I've made it a few times. It it the strangest looking batter, especially if the brown sugar is a little dry. (And I loved those "old" ladies that I was around while growing up. Great teachers each and everyone of them)

    1. I'm sure the apples wouldn't complain--it's hard to go wrong with them.

  29. Happy anniversary and thanks for the chance to win!

  30. I love the recipe and hope I can find someone to make it for us. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Would it be sacrilegious to add nuts to the batter?
    I have to wait until I'm home where I have an appropriate pan.

  32. I adore bundt cakes!Especially homemade ones !
    Your Apple cake looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!I can't wait to try it! Happy Anniversary! Wishing you, many great years of book success!