Thursday, April 21, 2016

Apple-Filled Sour Cream Spice Cake, Living Room Update and a Bumble Sighting

Hey, it's The Yank from upstate New York where I am happy to report it is NOT SNOWING!!!!

The sun is shining!

Okay, that pic was from two years ago, we don't have pretty posies yet, but there is hope! Hello, and welcome to Thursdays with The Yankee!

First, the cake. 

 If you are new to us, you will find I am not known by any of the healthy names, unless Bossy New Yorker has become a new synonym for healthy eating! :)

I love baking and creating fun, sweet desserts to sprinkle in among healthy recipes, too. And this Sour Cream Spice Cake is absolutely, crumb-diddly-delicious.

It is an easy recipe for a homemade cake with an old-fashioned consistency that was lots of fun to work with. It creates tiny air bubbles (like an English muffin) so when I spooned and spread the apple pie filling (recipe below, and yes, it's easy, stop frowning!) the filling smoothed its liquidy self into all of these holes....

It was like an Earth Science lesson in liquidity/mobility.

For this cake, you simply dump all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth, then bake at 350° for about 30-35 minutes in a 13" x 9" pan.  I expect it would be a little more in 8" rounds and less in 9" rounds. I'm really not sure, so DON'T DISAPPEAR and expect them to be perfect, okay? Scout's honor????

For cake:

2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Mix until smooth. Grease and flour 13 x 9 pan or two 8" round pans. Pour batter into pans, bake for about 30-35 minutes until top springs back when touched lightly with finger, or when a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.... it can have a few moist crumbs, but no liquidy center.

Photo-bombed by sunbeam!!!!!


Apple Pie Filling:

3 large apples (I used Crispin, a personal Ruthy fave for baking!)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon or so Cinnamon
3/4 cup water

Peel, core and chop apples. Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Put apples, flour mix and 3/4 cup water into pan. Mix thoroughly, cover and heat over low/medium heat, stirring now and again while apples soften. Mix will thicken with heat. When apples are fork-tender, remove from heat, cool.

Slice oblong cake in half to make two thin layers:

(With round cakes, simply put one on a plate, spoon filling over layer, add top layer and frost) For oblong cake (13 x 9) spread 2/3 of the filling onto bottom layer,

Flip top back onto cake...

 and spread with icing then top with remaining apple filling. We debated on facebook which icing to use. I would have liked whipped cream, but was out of heavy cream. :( But the facebook vote went toward cream cheese icing, so we did that and I used the apple topping as a garnish.

If I forget to post the finished pic here, scold me, okay? I'm making the frosting now....

Serve chilled. This is a habit forming cake, I will tell you that!

And the living room project rages on as I work on editing books for next fall and winter....

Painting rejuvenates my brain: This was ceiling and walls done, painting the grillwork on window and dark wood trim...

And here is new look:

I love it... It's brighter, it's sunnier, the dark wood had grown kind of oppressive and the whole room looked gloomy.... so now (when money allows) we'll pull up the old carpet and have the 162 year old wood floor re-done and put a pretty country rug over it.

My goal was to bring this project in at a reasonable price, and with the floor, we'll be still reasonable. Paint-speckled, but reasonable!

And there was a BUMBLE SIGHTING in Western New York!

The youngest guy, "Finance Boy", came home from NYC for a week of golfing and hanging out and seeing country sky, trees, hearing birds and frogs and little kids. Oh, and to see his family, of course!

Why is he called "Bumble". Because he's the tallest of the tall, he's a throwback to some very tall, big ancestors and he always gets to put the star or angel on the tree because he doesn't need a chair!!!

"Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" had an abominable snowman, that got called "Bumble". And so Lukie became our Bumble.

And here is with with a photo op, holding "Jasper" the kitty now famous in the book bearing his name: "The Hunt For Jasper the Kitty" one of The Mighty Finn adventures!

We had the most fun week ever, hanging out with Lukie, making lots of fun food, grilling outside because spring has arrived in upstate! We were a little skeptical for a while, and we'll have a stern talking to for any stinkin' groundhog we see this summer, because the rodent was wrong, wrong, 1000 times wrong in this neck of the woods, but if he was talking West Coast spring, then he got it right!

It's all in the perspective, I guess!

Looking forward to sharing one of Gladys Bermeo's recipes next week, one that will be featured in Home on the Range.... so I want you guys to test it and see if you love it as much as I do! This will be one of Isabo's recipes in the Double S Ranch second book... and no smart person argues with Isabo.

Because she's that smart and that wise.

So what kind of cook are you? Or do you run screaming from the kitchen and order out, because I actually have tons of respect for people who do that!

GO YOU!!!!!

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is totally loving life right now. She's living her dream, writing sweet, delightful stories, the kind of stories she loves to read, and she's thrilled that readers feel the same way! The author of over thirty books, you can find her on facebook as Ruth Logan Herne, her website and on twitter @RuthLoganHerne... She's here every Thursday, even when they CHANGE THE LOCKS!!!! and she shows up daily in Seekerville, a great blog with wonderful authors who love to chat with readers and aspiring writers... And since Ruthy is a talker (sigh....) she'd love to chat with you!

And this just out at bookstores, Walmarts and department stores near you!

Link to Amazon for Toss the Bouquet!

A fun three-for-one collection of bridal stories, beginning with Ruthy's "All Dressed Up in Love", a wonderful romance of second chances, new beginnings and embracing the joys of life... and Elena's Bridal, a quaint, wonderful bridal store set in Old City, Philadelphia.

And maybe someday Ruthy will show you the picture of her running up the "Rocky" steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art!!!! (Or not....)


  1. Well, whataya know. Pie filling doesn't just come in a can????

    You've amazed me, Ruthy! :) So will canned filling be too thick for this recipe?

    I didn't see the FB vote, but I would always pick cream cheese with a spice cake. I agree with the vote. So I'm sure I would love this!

    1. Missy, sure, you can use canned! Probably thin it slightly with water and maybe chop up the apples if they're full-sized???? You know, just plop it into a bowl, take two sharp knives, and criss-cross the apples until they're a little smaller....

      And the family and kids LOVED this!!!!!! I got lots of smiles and requests for seconds!

  2. Love what you decided on the paint colors!

    1. Isn't it bright and pretty??? It will be like having spring all year, and in January and February darkness up here, I'll be happy dancing!

  3. All I saw was cake. I'm stuck on that apple pie filling layer with sour cream and the topping and chilling it and WHY AM I CRYING?
    Oh, because it's 2AM and I should know to NEVER come to the café at the end of a long day because now I'll lay in bed, staring at the ceiling and whimpering for cake.
    But I am totally trying this cake in the morning because we have weekend (we start early in Orygun) guests arriving. This looks PERFECT.

    1. Mary Jane, it's the weekend somewhere, isn't it? New Zealand.... I think it's about to become the weekend in New Zealand, so you're simply behaving in a timely fashion!

      You know, I made the homemade cake because I like to have fun, but honestly, I bet folks could use a nice quality mix (Duncan Hines Spice or Betty Crocker if she still makes a spice cake...) and layer it up and be happy.

      But this one has that old-fashioned consistency that's delightful! Enjoy your weekend!!!

  4. Ooooohhh...I am definitely going to make this. I tend to default to chocolate when I'm making a cake but I love spice cake and apples and cream cheese icing so it will be nirvana to have them all in one dessert!!!! And I like to make cakes from scratch's just as easy as from a box and cheaper.

    Glad you are having such a sunshiny springy week with your very own Bumble. When I read the title of post I thought you'd spotted the first bee of the season. :-)

    1. Hahahahah! We love our Bumble! It's so funny to stand next to him, he's over a foot taller than I am and I feel stinkin' short... and he's got the biggest heart. Such a good guy.

      Mmm...cake in fridge is CALLING ME....

  5. Yay! Cream cheese frosting won. Woot, woot!

    Ruthy, I love the yellow trim with the white walls. The other way around would have been too much yellow, but this is bright and cheery. Just the look you were going for, right?

    And this cake... I haven't even made/tasted it yet and I'm hooked. Can't wait to try this.

    1. Mindy, boy I went back and forth!!!! But I love it, and the yellow is just enough to make me smile! Did I tell you guys that it took six coats to cover the varnish on the wooden window separators? Two coats of paint, then when it bled through, I had to use two coats of Kilz, then two coats of white satin... and done! After I scraped off all the paint on the windows, LOL!

  6. The cake looks wonderful --and no calories if eaten standing, right??

    1. I'm so glad there are tons of kids here to eat my creations.... Guinea pig testing in full swing! Lucky them, and for us: Cottage cheese and greens, LOL!

  7. I hope there are no calories Tina, because it sure looks like there are. Good thing we don't live near Ruthy or we would be 40 pounds heavier.

    How fun that Mighty Finn finds the kitty. Looks great, Ruthy.

    1. Sandra! I've missed you! And Jasper is (of course) happy to have been found! :) Finn's adventures are just super cool, and it's so fun to view the world through a pre-schooler/two-year-old's eyes.

  8. At my house, this cake would have to be taste-tested before the filling even touched it.

    As in, maybe half of the cake would survive to finish the recipe. Maybe.

    But I love, love, love that newly painted room! Beautiful. :)

    And all of the two-year-olds I know read The Mighty Finn books with me and loved them. They were captivated by the missing Jasper!

    1. Aw, Jan, I'm so glad they liked them! And finding a missing kitty is clutch, right??? Followed by a good night's sleep!

      I made the cake during the day when kids were in school, so it survived the initial onslaught because it was just me.... and have we done oatmeal cake here yet? That is one of my favorite cakes and it's amazing and I cannot resist eating it. I have to schedule making it because I need to like starve for two weeks ahead of time.

      Sit-down jobs and calories are not a good mix!!!!

  9. Ruthy, I've always avoided recipes that call for canned pie filling - just too sweet for our taste. So THANK YOU for a homemade recipe that I can tweak a bit if necessary by decreasing the amount of sugar. Hubby asked for a cake yesterday; now I can give him a solid yes.
    Glad Bumble was home for a visit; our house is livelier when a son or grandson is here.
    Like the newly painted room! Every one of our walls required 6 coats to cover; a big job but well worth the results as our home is now so bright and cheerful no matter the time of year or weather. (When we did all that work the house was empty of furniture and carpeting; that helped a lot!) See you here next week! Judy Smith

    1. Judy, I knew this was you before I got to the name, because it sounded just like you!!!! And yes, I love those visits home, too. I got to spoil him a little and he was inundated with nephews and nieces who are pretty sure he and Lawyer Boy own Manhattan. We let them go right on believing that!!!

  10. Can't wait to try this cake Ruthy. I love the colors you ended up picking. Beautiful room.

    1. Patricia, it's coming along! It was so gloomy before, dull colors, dark rug, dark wood and it's got the wood stove, so after a few years you have the "graying" of everything because of wood dust... and the fact that I am not Suzy Homemaker, LOl! In the kitchen, I shine, but I don't care enough to scrub and polish all the time. I'd rather write books!!!! :)

  11. Running very behind here, but I LOVE spice cake. I used to have a wonderful recipe, but I lost it about 20 years ago. See, I still remember it. Now I can use yours.