I was given a book for Christmas called Victorian Sweets. It is a little book of “authentic treats, recipes and customs from America’s bygone era.” I find cultural cook books interesting, but this little book was especially fun because of the notes. One note brought to mind a simple recipe we make quite often in our home mainly for by and for the children. Here is the bit I laughed about:
Victorian cakes were described in interesting ways: There were patriotic Election cakes and Federal cakes “plain cakes suitable for good children” (a simple loaf cake), as well as all sorts of fanciful and romantic sounding delights: Wild Rose cake, Ribbon cake, Pond lily cake, and Perfection cake…
I have yet to make an Election cake or a Pond lily cake, but I have made a plain cake suitable for good children. We mainly make this in the cold months when apples are plentiful. It works just fine with older or pithy apples. This is an old recipe from the early 1900’s when white sugar was called “store sugar” and recipes called for ingredients such as lard and sweet milk.
Simple Apple Cake
In a mixer or mixing bowl combine:
- 1 cups flour – we prefer organic whole wheat white
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar – or less for less sweet cake. I like to use 1/2 cup. I have also used raw honey in the place of organic sugar and sucutant.
- 3/4 cup oil – I use coconut but the original recipe called for lard
- 1 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla – I use organic extract
- 2 cups apples (peeled and chopped, about 2 medium) any variety is fine
- 1/2 cup nuts – I like pecans
- 1/2 cup dates – you can use raisins or omit if you prefer
Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes. Let cook ten minutes before cutting.
I always double or triple the recipe because there are a lot of us. 🙂