Birthday Cake – Localized

cakeToday is my darling husband’s birthday, so this morning the kids & I baked him a cake. I chose my Grandma’s Fresh Apple Cake recipe in part because I had ingredients on hand and in part because it was one I could adapt so that it used mainly local ingredients. Oh yeah, and also because it’s moist and delicious and one of Matt’s favorites 🙂

I’ll give you both the original recipe and the modified so that you can make it how you like, but also so that you can see how easy it is to modify your favorite recipes so that they use local ingredients. Happy Birthday, Love!

Mabel’s Fresh Apple Cake

4 apples, chopped
1 cup sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1 beaten egg
1/2 c cooking oil
1 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease an flour a 9×9 pan.
  3. Mix dry ingredients.
  4. Add apples, oil, and egg.
  5. Beat to mix.
  6. Add nuts or raisins as desired.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Julie’s Local Apple Cake

6 c sliced, peeled apples
1 c local honey
2 eggs, beaten
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 c olive oil (I think you could easily use local butter here, but I did not)
1 1/2 c fine-milled whole wheat flour
1/2 t soda
1/2 t salt

Follow directions as above. Cooking time will likely increase 5-10 minutes, especially if you’re baking at altitude.

We are lucky enough to have local apples through the winter here in Colorado, although I used some from my frozen stash that I wild-picked here in Lyons this fall (which is why I haven’t specified the varieties because, honestly, I have no idea what they are!!). We also have an abundance of local honey, which I think tastes better than cane sugar anyway. With the switch to whole-wheat flour, I did up the (local) egg quantity just to help the cake rise as much as it normally would with white flour. And I upped the flour quantity a bit to accommodate the honey and the fact that I think I use more apples in mine than Grandma did.

In much of our cooking, switching to local is only possible to a certain extent. We’re never going to have Colorado-grown nutmeg or cinnamon, for example, and local butter is often hard to come by unless I make it myself. And until I get better at getting the water & whey out of my home-made butter, it’s not the greatest for baking. But each ingredient we swap for a local one is grocery dollars funneled into the local economy, fossil fuels conserved, and a step closer to sustainability…

2 thoughts on “Birthday Cake – Localized

  1. Hope you don’t mind my modifications, Mom! The cake went fast. Lily & Matt had two helpings last night and everyone ate it for breakfast this morning 🙂 It was delish!

  2. I remember the first time I made that cake for you and Matthew. Everyone liked it so well, I made another one the next day. I’m glad you still like it.

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