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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Apricot-Cardamom Cake

I collect cookbooks of all kinds, but especially the red-checkered Better Homes and Gardens ones.  There are a lot of them that look exactly alike on my shelf, but the ones from different years have very different recipes.  Cooking from the older ones is like a short culinary trip back in time!  This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book, and is from 1998, not so long ago.

This recipe is not Finnish at all, as far as I know, but it contains cardamom and apricot which are popular flavors in Finland.  These flavors combine with brown sugar to make a moist and flavorful cake.  I doubled the recipe so that it would be easier to convert the amounts to metric, and a jelly roll pan is perfect to bake the larger cake.  Plus, it is Saturday and everyone is home, a single recipe wouldn't have lasted long!

Here are the ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour (5 dl)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar (2.5 dl)
1 cup orange juice (2.5 dl)
1/2 cup applesauce (1.25 dl--not an exact conversion, but a little extra is ok in this recipe)
4 tablespoons butter, melted (57 grams)
1 cup finely snipped dried apricots (2.5 dl)

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).

First, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom) in a separate bowl and mix well.  It is always important to mix the baking soda and/or powder in the flour first because otherwise the batter won't rise evenly.

Next, mix the egg, brown sugar, orange juice, applesauce, and melted butter together in a separate bowl. Make sure you pack in the brown sugar to measure it to get the right amount.

Here are the snipped apricots, I used clean Kitchen scissors to cut them up.

I stirred together the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients, and the apricots, scraping the sides well with a spatula.

I baked the cake in a jelly roll pan which was lined with parchment.  The original instructions said to use an ungreased pan, but I was afraid it might stick.  Better Homes and Gardens also suggested that you could line the pan with foil, but the parchment worked really well.

Bake the cake in preheated a 350 F (175 C) oven for about 20 minutes.  The cake baked really quickly in this size pan.  Cool without removing from the pan, or it will fall apart.

For the icing, mix about a cup (2.5 dl) of powdered sugar with enough orange juice so that it drizzles easily (about 2 or 3 tablespoons).  Drizzle this over the cake.

When the cake is cool, cut it into bars.  Or if your family is impatient like mine, just cut it and eat it warm and crumbly!  This cake got rave reviews from everyone, even the family members who prefer not to find fruit in their cakes.


  1. Oh my goodness that looks good!

  2. Thanks! It is really good, the tartness of the apricots is great with the brown sugar.

    The original recipe had oil instead of melted butter, but you just can't beat real butter for flavor. There isn't much fat in this, so I think it is better to use the most flavorful kind.

  3. Wish I could smell this cake....I want to bake, but we need to get ready to go back to the UP....We've been away....Missed reading your blog.

  4. So good to hear from you Nopham, wish you could taste it, too! Have a safe journey back to the UP.

  5. The combination of those ingredients sounds delicious. Yum!

  6. Thanks for visiting my Blog. Indian Rock Beach is 15 minutes from us. It will be fun for them in Key West this summer(ask them to bring back some lobsters). Hope you have a chance to visit the UP.