Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Amazin' Apple-Raisin Cake


What kind of cake do you bake for the woman who taught you everything you know about baking!?! This is a dilemma I experience every year on my mom's birthday. She's the one in our family who always takes on the task of baking everyone's 'specially requested' birthday cake... but I will not allow her to bake her own or buy store-bought! Last year I made her a yummy, lightened-up version of a Boston Cream Pie. When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday this year, she brought out this giant stack of old recipes and started flipping through them. So many hand-written family recipes, recipes cut from magazines, downloads from the internet... I was in awe of the years of baking experiences this stack of papers held. And the greatest part about all these old recipes... each piece of paper had a certain memory attached and each held a special place in her heart.

Finally my mom came across an old family recipe for Amazin' Apple-Raisin Cake from her sister, Kim. She handed me the recipe (written in my aunt's own hand) and said, "let's try this!". The recipe hadn't been used in forever... but my mom remembered the cake being moist and delicious, not too sweet and more like a spice cake. I looked the recipe over and was hesitant at first... the recipe called for mayonnaise!!! Mayonnaise, in a cake?! I figured that mayonnaise in a cake recipe was something different and blog-worthy, so I obliged the Apple-Raisin Cake request (with the understanding that I was going to try to lighten up the original recipe). I made a few changes to the original recipe; used non-fat mayonnaise, reduced the sugar from 2 cups to 1 cup, added unsweetened applesauce, and used non-fat milk.

My mom's birthday cake turned out so yummy!!!! It truly is "Amazin" Apple-Raisin Cake. It is not too sweet, light and airy but hearty, moist, spiced and flavorful, with a great texture from the apples, raisins, and nuts. Not to mention, it was super easy to make! This is one family recipe I will use again... thanks Aunt Kim!

Amazin' Apple-Raisin Cake
original recipe courtesy of Aunt Kim

3 cups unsifted flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup non-fat (or reduced fat) mayonnaise
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup non-fat milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups chopped apples, Granny Smith or other firm apple
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 (9") round baking pans.

In a large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat first 11 ingredients for 2 min. scraping bowl frequently.

Stir in chopped apples, raisins, and nuts.

Spoon batter into pans; spreading batter evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 min.

Remove from pans; cool. *at this point you can refrigerate or freeze.

Fill and frost with a tub of fat-free Cool Whip! (this cake would also be great with a cream cheese frosting)

I love this Amazin' Apple-Raisin Cake because it is so versatile too... it would be great in the fall or for Thanksgiving or even for a brunch!

YUM! Happy Birthday Mom!


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