Once a secret recipe

August 1, 2018 - 12:00am -- Living City

Once a secret recipe
Here’s a tasty apple cake for all occasions

By Marita Rodriguez

Many years ago, I lived in a Focolare house in Queens, New York. We had a dear friend who used to visit us often, and every time she arrived, she would bring us a homemade apple cake.

It was the tastiest apple cake I had ever tried. Not only was it good, but she also would bake it in many different ways: once as a Bundt cake, once as tiny children’s-size muffins, and another day in a regular cake size.

I wanted so much to have the recipe, but she wouldn’t give it to us. It was her secret.

One day she came with a huge one. She was leaving the country and would be returning to her homeland; she had brought the apple cake as a farewell gift for us. She also handed us an envelope and asked us to read it only after she had left. When we opened it, we found the recipe inside, handwritten.

Lately I came to know that she had passed away. Every time I bake it, I thank her in my heart for her love and generosity.

And I have had many occasions! Once recently, I had to bake it for guests, besides other dishes for an evening dinner, and I became stressed. I feared that I couldn’t make it on time and started panicking … I even regretted having offered to make dessert for that night!

However, God didn’t abandon me and neither did my friends at home: all of a sudden one of them showed up to help me. We finished quickly, and again I was at peace. The cake came out the best ever!


Delia’s apple cake (for 1 medium-size pan)


  • 3 large apples

  • 1/2 cup of sugar

  • 1/2 cup of walnuts

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup oil



Set your oven between 425F and 450F. Grease a pan or use special baking paper, peel apples and cut them in very small pieces. Beat the eggs and sugar together. Crush the walnuts. Measure everything else and combine everything in a bowl. Mix well! Cook for about 40 minutes; check to see if it is ready. If it’s not, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Let it cool down. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.


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