Fall, 1989. As the leaves turned a beautiful burnt orange and the cold-weather clothing was retrieved from storage, I’d hear a familiar warning as I reached into the refrigerator:
“Don’t drink all the apple juice!”
I can still hear my mom’s voice, issuing the command as I hurriedly selected a different beverage. Because in my childhood home, fall meant long walks, oversized hoodies and my mom’s special Apple Juice Cake. I’m not quite sure why it was only baked in those selected months; perhaps it’s because the cake paired well with strong, hot coffee and was the perfect comfort food on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Regardless, as soon as the weather cools and the days become shorter, I find myself thinking about that cake, made with simple ingredients that I always have on hand. Today, I continue the tradition during the autumn months with my own boys. To them, it’s Grandma’s Apple Juice Cake. To me, it’s a piece of my childhood.
This spicy, aromatic cake features the goodness of Allen’s Apple Juice and plump sultana raisins. Served simply with a dusting of powdered sugar, it’s just sweet enough to serve with coffee or with a drizzle of caramel sauce for dessert. The best part? It’s so easy to make that the kids can take the reins. You can mix everything by hand (no electric mixer required) and it freezes beautifully, too.
Grandma’s Apple Juice Cake
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup Allen’s Apple Juice
1 cup sultana raisins
Preheat oven to 325° F. Mix sugar and butter until soft and creamy. Add egg and stir well.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Add flour mixture alternately with apple juice to sugar mixture (about four additions of each).
Bonus marks if your kid grimaces as he tries to stir the tough cake dough. It builds muscles, son!
Stir in sultana raisins.
Bake in a greased and floured 8-inch round pan for 1 hour. Cool completely; dust with powdered sugar before serving. (Or, once cooled, cut into slices and freeze for up to six months.)
My husband, who is not a fan of desserts (I know, I can’t believe it either) loves this cake. I’ve made it twice this season; I’ll make it at least twice more before the holidays roll around. Perhaps one day, my grandkids will think of this cake as belonging to their Great Grandma.
“Great Grandma’s Apple Juice Cake” – it has a nice ring to it!
Are there certain foods that bring back childhood memories? Do you continue the tradition with your own kids?
This post is sponsored by Allen’s. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.