It’s funny how no matter how many cookbooks I own and how many food blogs I read, what I always end up coming back to is my family’s recipes. I made this apple walnut raisin cake, which is my grandmother’s recipe, recently while participating in the Food52 Holiday Swap (I could not recommend more highly that everyone participate for next year). It connects Food52 readers from across the world and is essentially a “Secret Santa” for foodies. You can check out the goodies that were sent near and far in the form of surprise food-related packages on their tumblr here. See below for the original recipe from my grandmother, which is as amazing for dessert with a dollop of vanilla ice cream as it is with coffee in the morning. Read on and I hope you enjoy.
Apple Walnut Raisin Cake
3 large apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups canola oil
2 cups sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
3 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts and raisins
Cinnamon for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease a 9” bundt pan with butter.
Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Toss with lemon juice and set aside.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
Combine lemon zest, almond extract, vanilla extract, oil, and sugar, and beat with mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the dry mix to this wet mix in three parts, mixing well between each addition. By the third part, batter will be thick and should be mixed with a spoon, not the mixer. Fold in raisins, walnuts, and apple slices.
Pour into bundt pan, and sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 1.5 hours. Cover top with foil for last half an hour to prevent browning. Cool on rack in pan when complete.