Mrs. Duka’s original raw apple cake and more


Did you know that Michigan is third in the production of apples in the United States?  According to  the Michigan Apple  Committee,  not only is our state third in apple  production, but it also is known for 13 varieties. Check out the committee’s website,, for a guide to the best apples for
eating fresh and cooking, plus fascinating facts about the fruit.   In addition, the website contains dozens of mouth-watering recipes for beverages, salads, main dishes and desserts.  

Speaking  of apple recipes, I recently received the following email:

  Hi, Evelyn, I’m a longtime fan of yours! Every Wednesday, my dad would pick up the Mellus and the News Herald. We would spend the evening reading the papers cover to cover. I loved your recipe column and I may be mistaken, but do you remember an apple cake by the name of Mrs. Dula’s Apple Cake? Or very similar? If you have this gem of a recipe (I believe it called for a cup of oil, had walnuts and raw apples), could you republish it or send it to me? Thank you for so many fond memories! ~ Susan Brown

Hi, Susan, Mrs. Eleanor Dula’s Raw Apple Cake,  from the 1970s,  was the all-time most popular recipe ever published in my Kitchen Korner column in the Mellus (and is one of my own favorites). You are not mistaken — the original  recipe  called for a cup of oil, but I revised  it a bit in 2017, when it appeared in my Grosse Ile Grand Culinary Capers column. I had reduced the oil to ¾ cup and added ½ cup golden raisins.

I’ve made this one-bowl wonder both ways, and with other variations, as readers have as well, but I like Mrs. Dula’s original recipe the best, especially with golden raisins. I use a stand mixer for the batter, which is thick and hard to mix with a wooden spoon.


1¾ cups sugar

1 cup cooking oil

3 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 or 5 apples, thinly sliced,   McIntosh or Jonathon   

1 cup chopped nuts (divided)

½ cup golden raisins (not in the original)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add sugar, oil, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla to a large bowl and beat with a wooden spoon (I used a stand mixer) until well blended. Fold in   apples, ½ of the nuts (and all of the raisins, if using). Turn the batter into a greased and floured (or Pam-sprayed) 9×13 (or 15) baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining nuts and bake about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean.   

  And speaking of favorites,  I’m sharing  the following recipe for another favorite of mine and my tasters for an incredibly simple, addictively delicious zucchini cookie that also appeared in the Grosse Ile Grand in 2017. I am republishing it so readers of our sister publications, the Riverview Register, Wyandotte Warrior and Southgate Star, which were not in existence then, can enjoy it, too. 


1 egg, beaten

1 cup grated zucchini

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter (I use 1/3 cup cooking oil instead)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup coarsely chopped nuts  

1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together well the beaten egg, zucchini, baking soda, sugar and butter or oil. Combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt and stir into first mixture. Stir in the nuts and raisins. Drop the batter by   heaping teaspoons onto greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean.


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