Sharing Our Stories Through Food: Grandma Jean’s Apple Cake

Submitted by Susan Kramer

Everyone has a favorite apple cake recipe, right? My favorite is my Grandma Jean’s. It’s my favorite because it’s yummy, but also because I have the recipe in her handwriting. 

Grandma Jean loved to cook in the tiny kitchen in her one bedroom apartment. The baked goods that were prepared there were prepared with love. The family of 10 gathered on Friday night for dinner and on all of the holidays.   The apple cake was a crowd favorite.  I also remember her brownies. Those were sent home by the box with each of us.  Men’s shirt boxes were lined with wax paper and the brownies were neatly lined up in the boxes.  To this day, I cannot master her brownie recipe. 


  • 6 apples peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 t cinnamon & 3 tsp sugar,  mix and set aside
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/3 c orange juice
  • 2 1/2 t vanilla


  1. Grease a bundt pan with oil
  2. Mix the first eight ingredients together (excluding apples) – it will become a thick batter. 
  3. Pour one layer of the mixture, layer of the apples, then alternate
  4. End with apples on the top
  5. Bake at 325– 1 1/2 hour
  6. Cool and sprinkle powdered sugar on the top