My Grandmother's Cookbook

apple cake

My mom's mom, Irene, was quite a lady - the daughter of Dutch immigrants, Irene was the perfect combination of hard-working, wise, and loving. Having 9 children of her own, Irene never wasted a single ingredient in the kitchen - her children testify that she could make "something out of nothing" and was well-known as an excellent cook in her town. Irene passed away when I was in high school, and I begged my mom to have her cookbook. My mom said I would get it when the time was right. Several years ago for Christmas, this very special book was gifted to me; it is one of my most treasured possessions. Among other beautiful recipes, this book contains the recipe for my grandmother's Dutch apple cake - the cake my mom and I would make every year to celebrate my grandmother's birthday, Christmas, Easter.... basically any occasion was one to make this delicious apple cake. Here, I share this special recipe with you. Yep, it's full of gluten, sugar, dairy, and LOVE....exactly how Irene made it. And it's delicious. Do yourself a favor...make the cake. Eat the cake. Think warm thoughts about grandmothers, family, and love.  


  • 2 C flour
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 2 TSP baking soda
  • 1 C vegetable oil
  • 1 stick butter or oleo
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 4 C chopped apples 
  • 1 C chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 C cold water


  • 1/2 LB cream cheese
  • 1 stick oleo or butter
  • 1 box powdered sugar


  • Cream together 1 stick oleo (or butter), oil, and eggs.
  • Add dry ingredients to the mixture slowly, combining gently after each addition. Don't overmix!
  • Add water and vanilla; mix until just combined. 
  • Pour into 9x13 sheet pan, bake at 350 for 60 mins, or until center comes out clean when tested with a toothpick.


  • Beat cream cheese, 1 stick oleo (or butter) until fluffy.
  • Slowly add in box of powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
  • Store in refrigerator and ice cake when it is thoroughly cooled.