Mystery Mocha Cake and Apple Pan Dowdy–A Couple of Easy Recipes That Make Me Remember Grandma

Getting started with the first cake–I love the wide peninsula in my kitchen that allows me to have all the utensils and ingredients right at hand.

Now that the new AC is in and working extremely well, the house is so comfortable that I decided to do a little baking, knowing that the oven’s heat couldn’t compete with the consistent coolness throughout the house.

Tomorrow is the last day for one of the people at work.  Though she hasn’t been with us all that long, a couple of us decided to do a little something to show our appreciation.  On Friday, I promised to bring an upside-down cake, but after looking at my recipes, I decided to make a couple of old-fashioned cakes, both of which are of the upside-down cake style, because when the cake is baked, the sweet, gooey part is on the bottom.

Mystery Mocha Cake and Apple Pan Dowdy are recipes passed down, at least from my grandma, but they might go back further.  Both of these take very basic ingredients, most of which can already be found in the pantry.  They are delicious on their own, warm or cold, but adding a scoop of ice cream or dab of whipped cream won’t hurt!

I’m never afraid to substitute or experiment with a recipe, so this morning I used cake flour for both recipes, put in half and half instead of milk, and added all-spice, cinnimon, and a splash of orange liqueur to the Appla Pan Dowdy.  Learning how your particular oven bakes is also important.  Though the Mystery Mocha Cake needed just about the time suggested on the recipe, the Apply Pan Dowdy took almost double the 30 minutes, maybe because of the extra liquid and that I had used a silicon pan.

Grandma’s Apple Pan Dowdy

4 apples peeled and sliced

1/4 c. brown sugar or maple syrup

1 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup melted butter or margerine

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 350F.  Grease a round or square cake pan.  Place apples in pan and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Mix rest into batter and pour over apples and bake for 30 minutes.   This recipe makes about 9-12 servings.

Mystery Mocha Cake

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup sifted flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 square (1 oz.) unsweeted chocolate (or equivelent amount of chocolate chips)

2 tablespoons butter or margerine

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup cold, double-strength coffee

Sift first four ingredients together into a mixing bowl.  Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave about 30 seconds.  Blend butter-chocolate mixture into dry ingredients with an electric mixer.  Add the vanilla to the milk and mix into the batter.  Pour the batter into a greased pan.  Combine the brown sugar, white sugar, and cocoa; then sprinkle over the batter.  Pour the coffee over the top.  Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.  This recipe makes 9-12 servings. 

Mystery Mocha Cake and Apple Pan Dowdy look so tempting right out of the oven. I’m not sure I can hold off trying some before I take them to work.

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