St. Patrick’s Day Specialties

Fresh Apple Soda Cake

one 9-inch diameter cake

  • 4 cups sifted flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 1¼ cups buttermilk or reduced-fat buttermilk (see note)
  • 3 tart medium cooking apples (Granny Smith, Rome, Winesap, etc. varieties), cored, peeled, seeds removed, sliced, and immediately sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent discoloration
  • ½ cup chopped dark or golden seedless raisins or dried currants, or a combination (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)


Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl. Make a well (hole) in the center of the flour mixture; add almost all the buttermilk, mixing to a soft dough, adding any remaining buttermilk so that dough is not dry and stiff.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured smooth surface; knead 4 to 5 times, until dough is smooth. Cut dough mixture in half. Roll out each dough half into a 9-inch circle. Place one dough circle into a lightly greased and floured 9-inch diameter round layer pan. Arrange prepared apple slices over dough in pan. Evenly sprinkle raisins or currants, if used, sugar, and cinnamon, if used, over apple layer. Top apple mixture with second layer of dough. Bake in a preheated hot oven (400 degrees F) for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake is done and golden brown. Turn cake out onto wire rack to cool.   Cut into wedges to serve.

Note: Do not use no-fat buttermilk.

Variation: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature and cut into very small pieces, to apple mixture.

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