Whole Grain Double Apple Breakfast Cake & Parenting

Oct 17, 2011

You know you want this.

We have a two snack per day rule in our house (gasp!) and one of those snacks must be fruit (double gasp!).  We started this when the kids were very young and now that 3 of the 4 are old enough to be in charge of their own school or weekend snacks, they don’t protest (most of the time).  As a result, we have lots of seasonal fruit around which means I have more apples than counter space and when the rest of the world was freaking out about melons being the harbingers of disease thus resulting in cheap organic cantaloupes we had them lining the windowsills.

But back to apples.

Normally, I cook and bake with the kids.  When I don’t, I have that foreign feeling that brings back pre-motherhood days.  The biggest change after being a parent is that lack of singularity, isn’t it?  Once I was a person in this world who, while connected at various tether-lengths to family or friends or lovers, was free to snip those cords or wander or root at will.  Now, no matter where on this planet I find myself, I am always attached.  I don’t mean I’m weighted down by my kids or marriage, though certainly I have felt that at times.  I guess I’m talking more about responsibilities and knowing that parenting, like cooking, is a process in which the goal is change.

We start with a list of ingredients – in this case apples – and then make them not look like apples by peeling and coring and chopping them.  We add in powders and rising agents and, since we know the chemical reaction, are sure the dish we’re making will rise.  We know how this cake will taste (well, I do, you haven’t made it yet – get ready!).

Not so with parenting.

There’s some prep, there’s hands-on learning, but the results are ongoing.  The cake is every day and never.

Eat up this delightful whole grain apple breakfast-snack-dinner cake tonight.  And then do it all again tomorrow.

Whole Grain Double Apple Breakfast Cake

I'll be honest - this is what's for dinner tonight. I'm a big fan of protein breakfasts and breakfast dinners. 7 year old Julia loves dinner leftovers first thing in the morning (hummus and avocado, etc) and looks forward to comfort at night. This is best served warm with a dollop of yogurt or ice cream. I make a plate of vegetables to shares and a platter of fruit served alongside this 1-bowl meal. The cake is moist and sweet enough to please without being too desserty (though it is a yummy dessert).

1 1/2 cups yogurt (Greek is great, all work well)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 whole eggs, 1 additional white

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp olive oil

2/3 cup applesauce

1/4 cup maple syrup

2-3 apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped

pinch salt

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup spelt flour (or other whole grain)

1/2 cup sorghum flour (or other combination)

scant tsp baking soda

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

dash nutmeg

Oven to 350. Mix all wet ingredients including apples. Add flours, baking soda, and baking powder. Spray a 9 x 13 pan. Add 1/2 batter. Sprinkle with part of the brown sugar and some cinnamon and nutmeg. Add remaining batter. Top with rest of sugar cinnamon. Bake for 50 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Savor the passage of time and the passage of the cake from oven into mouth into stomachs.


  1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    October 18, 2011

    Oh yes, appley-cakey-thingy – it looks delicious! Do you think I could use apple butter instead of apple sauce? I have oodles from a couple of years ago in the pantry. Also, maple syrup is on the list twice, is that a typo? (Sorry, don’t mean to be a smart-arse, but just wanted to check). I have all the ingredients for this, including homemade Greek yoghurt! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  2. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    October 18, 2011

    Emily! This was seriously yum! I read your blog, then went straight into the kitchen and made the batter and stuck it in the oven while we ate dinner. The boys are hoovering it up now! I used apple butter, wholemeal spelt flour and plain (AP) flour. The yoghurt and bicarb (baking soda) reaction created a spongy honeycomb-like batter and we think the finished cake tastes a bit like a cross between apple pancakes and a Danish. Thank you, this is going to make a great addition to our brunch menu!

    • scrambledpreservedfriedcured
      October 18, 2011

      Thanks for pointing out the syrup mistake! So glad to know you made the cake and enjoyed it. Apple butter is perfect. Yes, the bicarb reaction is intentional so you have that spongy feel. I’m thinking leftovers would be perfect for a bread pudding with brandy butter sauce pr salted caramel…

  3. heidi
    October 24, 2011

    Hi Emily-
    I saw your cake over at Celia’s blog and decided to give it a try, too!
    It is so good- thanks for the recipe!
    Funny how different cooks make the same recipe look so different. My cake was moist and spongy- but really had more of a coffee cake look. I used whole wheat, spelt and graham flour, and substituted apple butter for the applesauce- so I cut down the cinnamon a bit, since my apple butter was strong with cinnamon.
    We all love it- thanks again.

    • scrambledpreservedfriedcured
      October 24, 2011

      Thanks, Heidi! Great to sub in apple butter. I also suggest a dollop of maple butter on top for true decadence!