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Applesauce Cake

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Adeline 
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 2:48 PM
Subject: The Household Searchlight Applesauce Cake

I have searched your archives and the internet looking for this recipe. 
I have had no success.  My mother used the cookbook that had a black 
cover with red writing on the cover.  I loved that Applesauce Cake. 
I recall the cake had the applesauce, as well as dates, pecans, and 
spices in it.  Mom always baked it in a tube pan.  I am so hoping you 
can help me find this recipe.  Have a wonderful holiday season and a 
superb New Year. 


Hello Adeline,

Sorry, I cannot locate an applesauce cake recipe from Household Searchlight.

Perhaps you can get it by purchasing a used copy of that cookbook. See here for used Household Searchlight cookbooks:

Treasured Cookbooks


Hello Adeline,

James, one of my readers, told me that he has the Household Searchlight Cookbook that is black with red writing. I asked him to find your recipe in it, and he says there is not a recipe in it that fits your description exactly. See below for his responses.


Yes, I have the Searchlight Cookbook, black with red writing. but, alas, no cake 
that matches this inquiry. There is an Applesauce Spice Cake (page 92) but no 
dates or pecans. only recipe with dates is a date cake (page 93) with no pecans 
and no spices. Perhaps Momma used the Apple Sauce Spice Cake and added dates and 
pecans. I will provide that recipe if you would like. Nothing else is close. 

The only two recipes in the Searchlight Cookbook (1931) that have applesauce in 
them are the Applesauce Spice Cake and an Applesauce Fruitcake. There are no dates 
in either one. The only recipe with dates is a Date Cake, and it does not have 
spices or applesauce and has oats. The fruitcake is a layered thing with citron, etc. 
I don't think this is it. The Applesauce Spice Cake was cooked in a loaf pan. 
I'll send it. I think this may be it and momma added dates. 

I just noted that the next recipe in the book is a Jam or Jelly Cake. It is the 
Applesauce Spice Cake recipe, but omit the Applesauce and substitute 1 1/2 cups 
thick jam or jelly. A totally different cake. A lot of the recipes in this book 
come with a lot of variations by adding nuts, fruits, etc. There is a one egg cake 
that has multiple variations to the basic recipe and a Gold Cake recipe that does 
the same thing. Back in 1931 there wasn't a Kroger or Wal-Mart on every corner. 
You cooked with what you had. 


Searchlight Cookbook by Household Magazine (1931) Applesauce Spice Cake

Note: This recipe was submitted to the magazine and attributed to 
Mrs. B.F. Edmondson, Mankato, Minn. 

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups thick sweetened apple sauce
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
1/4 cups sour milk. (Milk with a touch of vinegar added)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add egg sand applesauce. Beat thoroughly. 
Sift flour, measure and sift with baking soda, salt and spices. 

Add alternately with milk to first mixture. Beat thoroughly. Pour into 
well-oiled loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven (375) about 45 minutes. 

Copied from the cookbook by JAMES

Robin checked her 1940 edition of the Household Searchlight Cookbook, and, while the recipe above was also in that edition, the requested recipe was not.


Marilyn sent this recipe:

Applesauce Date Cake
a McCall’s recipe brought to you by Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

(Makes 9 servings)

2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 cup soft butter or regular margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
2 cups hot applesauce
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs 

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease well and flour a 9-by-9-by-2 inch baking pan.
2.Into large bowl of electric mixer, sift flour with Baking Soda, cinnamon, allspice, 
nutmeg, cloves, salt.  Then add eggs, sugar, butter, and 1 cup applesauce; at low speed, 
beat just until ingredients are combined.
3.At medium speed, beat 2 minutes longer, occasionally scraping side of bowl and guiding 
mixture into beater with rubber scraper.
4.Add remaining applesauce, dates and walnuts; beat 1 minute.  Pour batter into prepared pan.
5.Bake 50 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan 
10 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Let cool on wire rack.
6.Frost with Cream-Cheese Frosting.

Fruit Nut Drops

----- Original Message ----- 
From: marie
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:26 AM
Subject: Cookie Recipe

I am looking for the recipe for Fruit Nut Drops that was published in 
Elizabeth Woody's (associated with McCall's) Pocket Cook Book; I believe 
it was first published in 1942.  The page came loose and I lost the recipe 
some time ago.  I am not sure of the specific amounts of the individual ingredients.

As much as I remember, they are melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, flour, soda in water, 
salt, vanilla, chopped dried fruit (dates, raisins, cherries [?], walnuts) . 

They are delicious and I used to make them all year as above but especially 
at Christmas time, adding mixed fruit as for fruitcake.  My family would like 
to have them again.


Hi Marie,

Sorry, I had no more success with this today than I did in 2008 when someone made a similar request. See:

Fruit Nut Drops

The request and the recipes that I found at the time are on that page.

I don't believe that this recipe is available on the Internet at all. Your best bet is to get another copy of "The Pocket Cookbook" by Elizabeth Woody. There is a used copy for sale on Amazon for $7.00. See:


I enjoy your site very much and  I am always on the look out for any recipes 
I might help with. Regarding your post on 1//7: I happen to have the first 
edition (1942) of The Pocket Cookbook by Elizabeth Woody. I looked in the 
cookie chapter and there is no recipe for fruit and nut drops. However there 
is a recipe for Nuggets. This recipe has walnuts and raisins or dates and is 
a drop cookie. I think it is quite likely the recipe she was looking for. 
Here it is if you care to add it to your site:


2/3 cup shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs 
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup broken walnut meats
3/4 cup chopped seedless raisins or pitted dates

Cream together shortening and sugar. Beat eggs; add. Sift together flour, 
baking powder, cinnamon and salt; add. Add nut meats and raisins or dates. 
Drop by teaspoons on greased baking sheet; bake in moderately hot oven 
375 degrees 15 minutes. Makes 40. 

Although it is somewhat similar, the Nugget recipe is not the one I was looking for. 
However, I do appreciate you sending it along to me.

Fruit and Nut Drops may not be the official name of the recipe; we have called 
it by that name so long that I thought of no other.  I do remember that it calls 
for melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, flour, and a total of as many cups of cut-up 
fruit and nuts as there are cups of flour - no spices. 

I am expecting the copy of the Pocket Cook Book that I ordered from Amazon to 
arrive any day now.  There were two versions of the book printed; if this is 
the version that contains the recipe I want, then I will pass along the recipe 
in case anyone else is interested.

Thank you for taking the time to write.


Ghastly Dish from "Onions in the Stew"

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Reynold 
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 7:52 PM
Subject: Ghastly Dish?

You have mentioned a number of dishes served in detective fiction, but what about 
real abortions-on-the plate?

I have been, for decades, a fan of Betty MacDonald, dead since the mid-1950s, 
author of such books as "The Egg and I," "The Plague and I," and finally, 
"Onions in the Stew."  She has a chapter in the last called "Triple That Recipe," 
and the text says,

"Another female household-hinter gave a recipe fore a big hearty main dish of 
elbow macaroni. mint jelly, lima beans, mayonnaise and cheese baked until 'hot 
and yummy.'  Unless my taste buds are paralyzed, this might be baked until hell 
freezes over and it might get hot but never 'yummy.'"

Is there a recipe for such floating around out there? Not that I want to serve 
it up, but... one wonders as to the truth of such prose.


Hi Ray,

That quote is all over the web, but I had no success locating an actual recipe like that.


Apple Jack Dessert

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Karen 
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 4:42 PM
Subject: Apple Jack

My mother used to make this dish which she called Apple Jack in the winter 
time for dinner.  It had a big flaky crust about 2 to 3 inches thick that 
was swirled with cinnamon and raisons.  Under the crust was a apple almost 
pie mixture.  This was served warm and flipped in a bowl upside down and 
served covered with milk or cream whichever was handy.  I believe it was 
either a German or Hungarian recipe she had gotten from her mother. 
 Can you help us please?


Hi Karen,

I cannot find any recipes with the name German or Hungarian apple jack or applejack, nor can I find a German or Hungarian recipe that fits your description, with raisins in the crust. There are generic recipes for desserts called "apple jack" or applejack" , but I found none that quite fit your description. See below for what I have. Best I can do without an exact ethnic name for the dish.


Apple  Jack

3/4 c. shortening
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1-1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs

8 lg. apples or peaches

Combine first five ingredients.  
Spread half of batter in 9 x 13 inch pan.  Cover with sliced apples or peaches. 
Top with remaining batter.  

Sprinkle with topping of:

1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. chopped nuts
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
Apple  Jack

1 lb. dried apples
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
Dash cinnamon or nutmeg

Place all in a saucepan and cook until tender.  May use fresh apples - better 
with dried apples.  Use basic biscuit dough.  Pinch off dough as for biscuit. 
Roll out each piece, not too thin, and place mixture on half or dough, fold 
over other side and seal.  Press edge with a fork.  Fry in iron skillet in fat 
until golden brown. Turning to brown both sides. 
Swedish  Apple  Jack

Peel and slice apples.  Cover with 1 cup sugar, cinnamon and butter. Pour on 
top this batter: 3/4 c. cream 1 egg Salt Vanilla 1 lg. c. flour 1 round tsp. 
baking powder   Bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown. 
Apple  Jack

Prepare pie crust for 6 crusts. 1 3/4 c. sugar 4 tbsp. flour 2 tsp. cinnamon 
1/4 tsp. nutmeg 4 tbsp. butter   Peel and core apples.  Slice into large bowl. 
In small bowl mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss over apples, coating 
thoroughly.  Grease 9"x13" pan. Line sides and bottom with pie crust, pressing 
together at seams.  Pour apples into pan.  Dot with oleo.  Place crust on top, 
rolling sides together and pressing together with fingers.  Cut slits in top. 
Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and ice.

3/4-1 c. powdered sugar
Evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together, using milk to make thin consistency. Spread over top of hot pie.

8-10 apples
1/2-1/3 c. flour
1 c. fructose (1 bag)
Cinnamon to taste
Nutmeg to taste
1 sm. can evaporated milk
3 box Jiffy pie crust, or your own

Peel and slice apples, if they are small use more; mix with spices, sugar and 
flour; put 1 1/2 boxes pie crust on the bottom of a cookie sheet.  Place apples 
on top; pour evaporated milk over all.  Put the top crust on.  Bake at 350 degrees 
for 70 minutes.  When cooled, spread with a thin layer of white frosting. 

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