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Anna Solomon's Apple Cake

May 2021
handwritten recipe in spiral bound notebook, page stained from years of use.

Deborah Porter's hand-written, stained apple cake recipe has been handed down through several generations.  Media credit: Deborah Porter

Suggested by Deborah Porter
UW Jackson School of international Studies
UW Integrated Social Sciences (ISS)

This recipe has been passed down my family from my great grandmother Anna Solomon (1879-1972) to my grandmother Bobbie Rothstein (1906-1993), whose handwriting is on the stained, well-used recipe captured in the photo. This was a Rosh Hashanah staple for me growing up, though I make it all year round. Back in the day of campus encounters, I used to bring the cake to the first autumn quarter ISS core team meetings, and it was always a hit. It is very easy to make, and we eat it for breakfast as well as for dessert, frequently pairing it with sharp white cheddar cheese.

  • 1.5 cups of Wesson oil 
  • 2 cups sugar (I used one cup white, one cup dark brown)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins (I used dates too)
  • 3 large peeled and sliced hard apples (Granny Smiths)
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 Tblsp lemon juice
  • Mix the oil and 2 cups of sugar at medium speed.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla and grated lemon peel
  • Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Beat until blended.
  • Add the walnuts, raisins, and sliced apples. Mix all together.
  • Bake in greased and floured angel food pan or Bundt pan, 1 hour 15 minutes at 325 degrees. 
  • Let cool, remove from pan and glaze with the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice.

See "Treats from Faculty Bakers" for more recipes.