Sarah Bun’s Apple Sauce Nut Cake

This is a four-generation recipe. My Great-Great Aunt Sarah Bun (what a name for a talented baker) gave it to my Grandmother, Effie May McCallister, who handed it to my mother, Helen Palanci. She included it in her recipe box which was willed to me.  I recently found it on a piece of paper, hand transcribed by my father, Tony Palanci, who put it in a envelop and stuck it in the back of the box.  He wrote this warning in bold, black ink on the envelop:


I don’t think my father would mind if I shared it with you on my TarteTatinTales blog. Let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did!

NB: The photo is of my mother, not Sarah Bun whose baking skills kept my family well fed for generations. Alas, I never met this legendary baker.



2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

3 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup Crisco shortening

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

3 cups apple sauce (I made from scratch, but it is not necessary!)

2 cups raisins (I reduced to one cup to save a few calories)

1 cup nuts, walnuts or pecans, chopped coarsely

3 Tablespoons flour (for dusting)


Cooking instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 325⁰ F

Prepare a 10-inch loaf pan.  Butter inside thoroughly and then flour.  I also line with parchment paper.

Have all ingredients at room temperature before starting.


1.    Sift all dry ingredients before measuring. 

2.    Add everything in a large bowl, mix together and set aside.

3.    Put Crisco and sugar in a large bowl (or KitchehAid) and cream together.

4.    Beat in eggs, one at a time.

5.    Add apple sauce and mix thoroughly.

6.    Add dry ingredients, in three parts, and stir after each addition until smooth

7.    Dust raisins and nuts with the flour and add to the mixture.

8.    Pour into a loaf pan and cook for one hour or until tooth pick tests dry.

 Note:  Adjust time and/or temperature to suit individual oven.

Serves: 12 generously