Now I know everyone rushed out and made Apple Butter after last week’s post so I thought I would give you something to make with your Apple Butter in this recipe for Apple Butter Cake. I mentioned that my grandma loved her apple butter. She lived to be 94 years old but today would have been her 111 birthday. Here she is in the early 1980’s with Muffy the WonderDog, her faithful rescue dog companion for many years. She growled and snapped at all of us but adored my Grandma Irene. We didn’t mind because she kept Grandma good company.
My grandparents both enjoyed flower and vegetable gardens. Rhododendrons were everywhere in their yard in Ohio.
Again with Muffy. My picture of my grandma isn’t smiley although she was a very jovial person. She loved to laugh and joke around. We took this photo back in the day with camera and film and only one take for each photo. Then, you waited two weeks for your film to come back. There were no re-dos on the photos in those days because you didn’t know which photos needed re-doing until two weeks later. I LOVE digital photography compared to film. Smiles every time!
Now, although my grandma was always pretty jolly, my grandpa was always a bit gruff… he’s actually smiling in this photo. His most memorable phrase — What are you kids doing out there? Close the door! This was said to us WHENEVER we opened the refrigerator or freezer door. He could be three rooms away with the TV blasting the news and he could still hear the whoosh of the door opening at the hands of a 7-year-old looking for a popsicle.
Grandma with two of her brothers, Harold and Ellis on a trip to California.
My grandma would have loved this Apple Butter Cake so I made one in honor of her tonight. She loved sweets and loved to bake. This Apple Butter Cake combines her love of apple butter with a moist and delicious cake and creamy dreamy frosting.
Apple Butter Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup apple butter
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs. Sift dry ingredients and add to egg mixture alternately with butter milk. Mix well. Blend in apple butter. Pour into a two greased and floured baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Frost with Caramel Icing.
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 stick butter
2 cups powdered sugar
In a heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, milk and butter. Heat over medium heat until boiling. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar. Add additional milk to make a spreading consistency. Garnish with walnuts and powdered sugar.
We love a good birthday party in this family. My cousin Merry Anne just texted me the photo of the cake she made to honor my grandma’s birthday, too. Hers was a buttermilk cake with almond buttercream frosting.
Look at Merry Anne’s dining room wall. I want it!!!
I will leave you with one last picture of my grandma in church. She was a lifelong member of the Christian Church and loved her church family. She sang in the choir (we could always pick her voice out even from the back pew), taught Sunday school, painted a lovely scene on the baptismal wall, and belonged to ladies’ groups.
Ten things to describe my grandma: artist, poet, animal lover, innovator, cook, Christian, friend, scholar, decorator, and gardener. I could name more but these come to mind first. What are your top ten qualities? Don’t be shy. What words describe your amazing qualities?
My daughter Olivia Irene (named after Grandma) is in grad school getting a MFA in poetry. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I will leave you with a poem from one of the poetry books my grandma wrote. Her favorite season was Fall and this poem describes why she loved it so much.
Life Can’t be Complete Without the Fall
Why do I love the autumn days?
Why? I cannot tell,
And yet they suit me well–
They seem to be a part of me:
The fiery red of maple tree,
The sun–its golden glow.
I want to grasp each, hold it tight,
And never let it go.
The brilliant blue of autumn skies,
The lazy clouds on high,
The very dust beneath my feet,
The promise in a late bird’s call,
The Joe-pie weed, the goldenrod divine,
Each and all are twisted ’round my heart.
So, life can never be complete,
Without the fall.
Happy Birthday, Grandma and also Happy Birthday to my uncle Dale.