Apple Cake: A Recipe for Love by Julie Paschkis (2012).
Words to describe this book:
Whimsical. Romantic. Sweet. It’s about love and cake after all.
Light as a feather illustrations, full of charm. A boy who wants to win the heart of a girl who reads. That about sums it up.
(click image(s) to enlarge)
Ida reads and never looks up. Alfonso wants her to.
A simple plan. A cake. But a cake so full of magic and love it will be anything but ordinary.
Paschkis started with her great grandmother’s apple cake recipe and took it, well, to the land of imagination through her illustrations. Alfonso gets butter from the sun and salt from the sea and bakes the cake with the fiery breath of a dragon.
This is the original recipe card! Not from Paschkis’s great grandmother, but from her own mother. The recipe though is the same one, passed down.
This book celebrates the joy and connection of baking. The way it can be shared and show love.
Can you guess what happens next?! Ida and Alfonso eat the cake together!!!
One last thing, Julie Paschkis is part of an exhibition of Children’s Book Illustrators in Washington at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art from now until February 22nd. It’s called “Points of Entry” and by happenstance I think I’ll be able to stop in on a trip to Seattle this winter. So while I hope you can make it to the show yourself, if not, I’ll report back!
Thanks to Julie Paschkis for images!
My lovely and supremely talented friend Bonnie over at Thirsty for Tea has a special treat for us today! An apple tea cake recipe that’s perfect for fall (or falling in love, per the book).
“Staying true to the book, I used 1 green apple (Granny Smith) and 2 sweet ones (Honeycrisp) in this Apple Tea Cake recipe. The sour apple is mixed into the cake batter while the 2 sweet apples are cubed, dusted generously with cinnamon sugar, and scattered over the top of the cake to create a rustic topping.
My personal ingredient addition not included in the original recipe of the book is buttermilk. The baked apples meld together with the buttermilk based cake batter to create an almost custard-like texture to the cake–moist, tender, and deliciously creamy!”
Apple Tea Cake
Makes 1-8″ cake.
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2″ cubes
sifted powdered sugar for serving (optional)
8″ baking pan (I used a spring form for easy removal), sprayed with non-stick spray
large mixing bowl
medium mixing bowl
peeler and paring knife
small heart-shaped cookie cutter (optional)
1.) Make the Cake Base. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the 1 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, cream the 4 Tbsp of butter and 1/3 cup of sugar. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix them in. Gradually add the flour mix into the butter mixture until barely incorporated. Gently mix the Granny Smith apple chunks into the batter, then pour the batter into the baking pan. Use the back of the rubber spatula to smooth and even out the batter. Set aside.
2.) Make the Apple Topping. Place the Honeycrisp apple chunks into the medium bowl. Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp of melted butter over the apples, then dust with the cinnamon and sugar. Toss the apples so that all the spice, sugar, and butter is evenly distributed. Topple apples over the cake batter evenly, then lightly press them in so that they adhere to the top surface of the cake.
3.) Finish the Cake. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly golden, the apples look slightly dry, and a toothpick comes out clean. Wait for the cake to cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the baking pan. Dust the top of the cake with sifted powdered sugar just before serving. For an optional decorative touch, top the cake with red apple heart cut-outs. Enjoy!
Looks amazing right? And the apple heart on top?! Whimsical, romantic, and sweet—just like the book!
Pop over to Thirsty for Tea to see what tea Bonnie recommends to sip with this one. She knows her stuff.
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Yum! I am so hungry and so delighted by this pairing. Sweet to the core!
Well said. And me too, hungry and delighted! Thanks, Cathy!
this is just lovely! the book and the recipe. i’ll be seeking this out and making the cake asap!
Thanks, Melissa! Yeah, the cake looks so doughy in the best possible way!
Thanks for sharing the book and the cake! I like that you played with the recipe to make it your own – Alfonso would approve. My younger sister makes it with plums and cardamom instead of apples. My older sister sometimes adds ¼ cup of cranberries or a little lemon rind.
Happy Reading and Eating –
Julie, so happy to hear about the variations of this cake in your family! Plums and cardamom = yum. 🙂 Best of luck on your current project!
Thank you for the lovely book and simple kid friendly recipe. We have loved this both for years and add an extra egg and a large dollop of ricotta!
I am all over this, from Julie’s delectable artwork to the tea cake temptation. Timing could not be better as I’ve just brewed a cuppa Earl Grey.
Glad you like it, Ronna! And if only Bonnie’s cake could be delivered right to our doors to go with our cups of tea! Alakazam! 🙂
Oh yum!!! Book and cake both! Yummy!
Yeah, books and tea and cake are a pretty great combination. 🙂
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Hi, I don’t see in the recipe where you can add in the buttermilk