Jan Griffin from Cary, N.C., was looking for a recipe for the spice cake that used to be made and sold at A&P stores across the country many years ago.
Carol Hannan from Kingsville sent in a recipe for an old-fashioned applesauce cake that she thinks is very similar in taste and appearance to the spice cake Griffin is looking for. She said she remembers the A&P cake well. Her recipe calls for nuts (she does not believe that the A&P cake had them, and she said the cake most certainly could be made without the nuts). She said she usually makes a cream cheese frosting for the cake, but it is also very tasty plain.
This snack cake is easy to make, and if you have the time, it would be wonderful to use homemade applesauce. If not, no worries: A good quality store-bought sauce will work just fine. Like most cakes of this type, it tastes even better when allowed to sit a day or two, and it will keep well and stay moist for up to a week when wrapped properly. Bake up this goody one fall afternoon and enjoy as your house fills with the heavenly autumn scent of this simple yet classic spice cake.
Marion Scheuerman from Baltimore is looking for the recipe for the Green Goddess salad dressing that was on the salad bar at the White Coffee Pot Jr. restaurants in Baltimore.
Patricia Jones from Catonsville would love to have the recipe for the crab imperial that was served at the Garrison Grill at Walbrook Junction in the 1950s.
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Makes 10-12 servings
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
1 15-ounce can unsweetened applesauce (13/4 cups)
1 cup seedless raisins, chopped
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease well and flour 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl of electric mixer. Add shortening and applesauce; beat 1 minute at low speed, just to combine.
At medium speed, beat 2 minutes, constantly cleaning side of bowl with rubber scraper and guiding batter into beaters. Add eggs and beat 2 minutes more.
Combine raisins and walnuts (if using) and gently fold into batter.
Turn batter into prepared pan; bake for 45 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cake cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Frost as desired.
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