Mother's Day Apple Cake
Nina Herndon
May 4, 2022
August 16, 2023

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share a recipe, and a story, that makes me think of my mom. 

Something you may not know about Theresa is that back in the day, she was a BIG fan of treating herself to a McDonald’s fountain Diet Coke (if you know, you know) fries, and every once in a while a hot apple pie. In her words "what's the point of working out - if you can't treat yourself once in a while!" I completely agree.

Last year, I was trying to use up the 20+ apples I had in my refrigerator and landed on a baking recipe with “easy” in the title. As promised, the recipe was easy and, immediately, the first bite took me back to opening that little red box and sharing a hot apple pie with my mom.

Inspired by the Easy-As-Pie Apple Cake Recipe, I decreased the amount of sugar, swapped white sugar for brown, added golden raisins, and was more generous with the cinnamon and nutmeg. If you don’t have nutmeg on hand, I beg you to go get some for this recipe – it’s the key ingredient.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour, more as needed
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened*
  • ½ c brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 c diced apples (from about 2 apples)
  • ½ c golden raisins
  • ½ c toasted pecans, chopped 


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch cake pan (anything with high sides will work, metal or glass)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside
  • In a large bowl with a handheld mixer (or a stand mixer if you have one) cream the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg; add the egg and mix until smooth
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until no pockets of flour are visible
  • Using a spatula, gold in the apples, golden raisins, and nuts
  • Spread batter into pan, evenly
  • Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes (possibly more for a glass dish)
  • Let cool 10 minutes before serving; enjoy warm with a cup of coffee or all by itself

*If you don’t have time to soften butter, you can soften it with this easy microwave trick in about 10 minutes. 

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Nina Herndon

Nina believes women have an incredible ability to help one another, and is driven to cultivate safe spaces for them to do so. Over the years she has helped her mom to grow Retreat in the Pines to reach as many women as possible.

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