The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Aunt'Lillians Apple Cake

grisdes's picture

Aunt'Lillians Apple Cake

Hi everyone:


First of all, thank you so much for the responses to my inquiry about "powder bakers milk", like someone already said, this site is a wealth and well of useful information.

I came accross people talking and raving about Aunt Lillian's Apple Cake, is it possible to kindly share the recipe? I have quite a bit of different apples.


Again thank you so much and Happy Thanksgiving!

mrfrost's picture

Not likely to be posted here, without the author's permission. More details in this short thread, linked:

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

There's another by the same name here:

Looks like this might be "the original", if such a thing exists, by Lillian Tansey (

Surely it means 2 teaspoons cinnamon, not 2 tablespoons.

MangoChutney's picture

I'd go with the 2 Tbls of cinnamon, but then again I do like cinnamon.  *smile*

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

You have to try Chinese Tung Hing Cinnamon then:

It's a zinger!

2 tbls and your tongue will be numb for a week.

(I have a written warning on my bag that says something like: WHATEVER YOUR RECIPE CALLS FOR, REDUCE TO 1/3 IF USING THIS CINNAMON.)


MangoChutney's picture

Do you remember a candy made by Jolly Rancher, called Cinnamon Stix?  I used to suck on one-inch-square pieces of that candy during classes in high school.  I think I would probably love some Tung Hing powder.  I'll get it from My Spice Sage.  Thanks for the suggestion.  *smile*

MangoChutney's picture

I bought some and it was good, but not burning hot as I expected.  I put the usual amount in our breakfast oats and the flavor was distinctly cinnamon but in no way overly spiced.  I've read since that the hottest cinnamon-flavored cassia is the Vietnamese, so I guess I will order some of that.  Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cassia both tasted like cinnamon hearts candy, rather than like the brown powder coating on a cinnamon donut which is presumably the same Indonesian cassia that is sold in grocery stores as "cinnamon".  *smile*

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I thought it was a lot stronger, but maybe I'm just a cinnamon wimp.

I hope you'll find some use for it.

 (I love cinnamon candies as much as you do. I once bought a 5 lb. bag of Hot Tamales candy from Costco. I ate so much of them during the week that I ruined probably the best "tapas" experience I'll ever have. I ate too many of them the week before the dinner party that my mouth was "raw". Before me stood a huge table of every kind of tapas imaginable, but all I could taste was "salt".)

MangoChutney's picture

Yes, those candies are good too.  *smile* 

I am using the Chinese cassia in our breakfast oats now.  It was not a waste of money, because the flavor is better than the Indonesian cassia.  I tried the Ceylon cinnamon in our hot cocoa.  It was delicious but the powder formed a mucus-like glob in the bottom of the cup which was somewhat difficult to consume.  If it had dispersed throughout the cocoa it would have made a lovely thick drink.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That dates that hand writen recipe younger than 1960 when Chrisco oil first hit the market.  AHA!   :)

Can't help get the impression she got it from somewhere else because of the choice of oils.  She used one while the person giving her the recipe used another.  Just the feeling I get.   I tend to do that too when passing on a recipe.  

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It looks like mgola? I'm almost afraid to know what that is.

I thought it was margarine at first.

linder's picture

Mazola (brand name)  it's corn oil.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


Patf's picture

when I saw that handwritten recipe - I have a handwritten recipe for applecake from an old Jewish lady I used to visit, and the handwriting is almost identical! She's not here now, passed away about 10 years ago aged 94. If I was cleverer I could reproduce it here, but really they could have been written by the same hand.

The quantities are different though:

5 cooking apples sliced

1 cup SR flour

1 cup sugar

half cup oil

teaspoon cinamon

2 or 3 eggs

grease container, lay apple slices in it, mix batter well, pour over appleslices, let stand for half an hour.

Bake in mod.oven 50mins. I've made this several times and it's delicious but more like a pudding than a cake.


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I was rummaging through your recipe box. I forgot to mention that! ;)

I've tried about two hundred variations of apple cake over my lifetime and you're right, they all taste about the same. The variations tend to come from various spices, which often overpower the apples.

The French tarte tatin and the American apple pie are much better vehicles for apple, IMO, as cake just steams the apples and turns them into delicious mush. They don't caramelize as well (or at all) when surrounded with batter or dough. If it must be apple cake, then I opt for the French clafoutis (traditionally cherry, but wonderful with apple), which exposes the apples to the heat of the oven instead of burying them.

Now I want calfoutis!


Elagins's picture

is Lillian Axenfeldt, and we got the recipe from her; where she got it, who knows? but we compared it to Norm's formula and Aunt Lillian prevailed. There are lots of good apple cake recipes around, and most are built on the same ingredients. The differences, as always, lie in the proportions.

At the moment, we're not sharing the recipe, and prefer that others who own "Inside the Jewish Bakery" not share it either. Maybe once we'ver achieved "kitchen classic" status ...


Susan Kline's picture
Susan Kline

This recipe looks like the one my friends and I have used since the 1960's.  It may be much older than that.  One friend said she only uses Rome apples and when I switched to those I was very happy with the results.  There are so many apple varieties that I suggest you ask the seller if you are going to the source what suggestion he or she has for  a good cooking apple.  I never found the apples to be mushy, but of course that's my opinion.  This cake was always a tremendous hit no matter who baked it and I believe we all do use Crisco oil.  Also we bake it in a bundt or tube pan.  Definitely no frosting or dusting of sugar on this one.  By the way, if you don't have an orange to squeeze you can use 1/3 cup of orange juice.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Patf's picture

In NE England, where my story comes from, cooking apples are Bramleys.  They have a lovely sharp almost fizzy taste.

Doeyo's picture

For all the apple lovers out there, try this recipe, found in TOH.   Note:  Buy fat rather than tall apples (I use Granny Smiths)--and yes, it seems like a lot of slices but just keep going, you'll get them all in.   I double the recipe as it freezes beautifully once baked.   I also add grated rind from one lemon to the batter and 1/2 t  ground allspice and 1/8 t. ground cloves to sugar/cin mixture.   This recipe has no yeast or baking powder or soda so beat those eggs well!  Sprinkle top with granulated or pearl sugar and drizzle with apple juice in bowl before baking.   Joeyo the Doeyo

Dutch Apple Cake Recipe

Photo by: Taste of Home Dutch Apple Cake Recipe


My husband and I came to Canada over 40 years ago from Holland. This traditional Dutch recipe is a family favorite and frequently goes along with me to potluck suppers and other get-togethers. —Elizabeth Peters, Martintown, Ontario

This recipe is:

Contest Winning

72Dutch Apple Cake Recipe

  • 10-12 Servings
  • Prep: 15 min. + standing Bake: 1-1/2 hours + cooling

15 90 105

  • 3 medium tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices (3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • In a large bowl, combine the apples, 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon; let stand for 1 hour.
  • In another bowl, cream butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Transfer to a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Push apple slices vertically into batter, placing them close together.
  • Bake at 300° for 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 10-12 servings.
ibake's picture

That cake looks amazing!

grisdes's picture

Your recipe looks wonderful so, it takes a long time to bake but at a low temperature right? Since I have a convection oven, I guess I have to reduce the temperature to 325.  I happen to have all the ingredients and I will make it tonight after I get home from work. I was thinking of making one of those mile high apple pies but I don't have a good recipe for that one. I more of a bread baker than a pie maker.

Thank you so much for sharing and the same goes to everyone out there with your comments.

Doeyo's picture

Sorry, I don't know anything about convection ovens.   Yes, it bakes quite a long while at 300 degrees in a gas or electric oven (I have gas),  the dough rises slightly to just about cover the tips of the apples as they are standing in the batter--this is why I say use fat rather than tall apples.   This slight rise is due to the beating well of the eggs.  Let me know how you like it, Ok?   Joeyo the Doeyo

bake on's picture
bake on

Nice like the way this looks! great thread!  I'll definitely try that recipe and let you know. thanks!

PS I use a convenction toaster. convection is hotter! I can adjust the setting to regular bake, convection, or broil, but if you can't set it to bake keep it low... especially with dairy

joyfulbaker's picture

I do believe that it's 2 Tbsp cinnamon mixed with 5 Tbsp sugar; that's a pretty good ratio for "cinnamon sugar."  That's what I used on the sliced apples for Aunt Lillian's cake (yes, I made it last week, and it was splendid).  The recipe is similar to other "Jewish apple cake" recipes in that it uses oil rather than butter (ostensibly for serving with meat meals in observant homes).  This cake deserves to rise high in a bunt pan rather than a shallower rectangular one.  The biggest trick, though, and I've come up against it more than once, is how to remove it from the pan without it falling apart (those apples get nice and juicy).  More than one such recipe say to let it cool slightly, then, with a knife, loosen the cake from the pan sides (and the central post of the bundt pan as well).  Now here's where they differ.  One rather prominent Jewish cookbook writer says to invert it onto a serving plate.  Another (just a little less prominent) writer says to loosen as above and slide a spatula (or two) under the bottom surface to lift it from the bottom and transfer it to a plate.  I say--go with the second method!  I've done it the first way and had the cake break into a half-dozen pieces.  Not pretty!  (But still tasty.)   I suggest to take it slow and easy with this very moist and delicious cake.