To kick off the holidays this year, my mom and my sister joined Gates and I in the kitchen to bake some of our childhood favorites. The most toddler friendly recipe we baked was a chopped apple pear cake.
One of my favorite breakfast foods growing up was my mom's chopped apple cake. (I'm a sucker for anything that's got cinnamon in it.) It's simple to make and freezes wonderfully. (This recipe is also a great way to use up an extra pears and apples you may have gotten in your CSA box, but been unable to eat before your next box arrived.)
What you'll need to make this cake, is either two 9" diameter round metal baking pans or one 9" x 12" metal baking pan, a chef's knife, a chopping board, a sifter, measuring cups and spoons, a medium mixing bowl, a large mixing bowl, and a spoon.
To make baking this cake safe for Gates, my mom and I chopped up all the fruit while Gates was napping. We also measured out the liquid ingredients, including the eggs, so that Gates wouldn't be handling them directly. We added those ingredients last so that Gates was able to taste as she helped. Before adding the raw eggs, we put aside some of the cinnamon and sugar-coated apples and pears for Gates. She could continue eating and we didn't have to worry about her ingesting raw egg.
- Butter or Earth Balance to grease the baking pans
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 apples, unpeeled, roughly chopped*
- 2 pears, unpeeled, roughly chopped
- 2 cups Maple Sugar crystals
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- (Optional) 1 cup pecans, minced
Position your oven rack in the center of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9" diameter round metal cake pans. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix apples and pears with maple sugar crystals. Add raisins. Add oil, eggs, and vanilla.
If you are making one cake without nuts, pour one half of the dough into one of your cake pans. Add nuts to the remaining batter. When thoroughly blended pour into the other cake pan. Adorn the top of the batter containing nuts with a trio of pecan halves. Place both cake pans into the oven and bake for one hour or until the tongs of a fork inserted into the center of your cake come out clean. Let sit in pans for about a minute, then flip cakes out to cool on baking racks. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.