We can agree no excuses is necessary for an easy comfort food recipe, PA Dutch-style. I was going to suggest the weather made me do it or unexpected company but how about nostalgia or just because AP Cake is so plain easy to whip up and is just as good on day two (but really good while still warm).
I’d never heard of an AP Cake but if you have PA Dutch family roots you have probably enjoyed this cake in your youth. I asked friends if there was a favorite baked good mom made in their youth, AP Cake came up. I’m told it’s enjoyed as a coffee dunking dessert but I guess that’a a matter of personal preference.
This sweet little recipe seems to be passed down from grandmothers. Because it’s more of a local Dutchy thing it intrigued me.
I’ve had my mother-in-law’s crumb cake (not like a traditional strudel-style cake) which is similar but the AP Cake is not as moist. The recipe requires no eggs (yay!) which means you can probably make this in a pinch.
I reached out to my Aunt-in-law Lonna for help. She let me play in her box (bursting with PA Dutch recipes) and share this recipe. The original recipe uses brown sugar can be found on my Phoebe Savors Berks, Berks County Living Style column.
The Maple Syrup AP Cake (below) saves about 30 calories and 7 grams of sugar per serving (based on 10 servings). You could try it with coconut oil but with so few ingredients I found the flavor is best with a butter substitute versus the hint of coconut.
I’m still trying to figure out what AP is an abbreviation of. If you have any idea please leave me a comment.
I'm told this is traditionally baked in a pie pan. I've used 8 or 9-inch pans and they all work well.
- 2½ cups whole wheat white or all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup butter substitute, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¾ cup non-dairy milk
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- Whisk the flour, salt, baking soda and powder.
- Combine the butter and flour mixture to create crumbs. Remove ½ cup crumbs and combine with the sugar; set aside as crumb topping.
- Combine the milk and maple syrup.
- Add in the wet mixture to the dry mixture, stirring until just combined. Scoop into a prepared 8 or 9-inch cake or pie dish.
- Spread the crumb mixture over the batter.
- Bake for 45 minutes in a 350ºF preheated oven. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
Here’s some information on the origin of the name AP cake. Seems like no one is entirely sure where the name came from: http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcookies.html#apees
ooohhh!! thank you, Kathryn! I’m going to check this out.
Jeannette Laube says
A 97 year old lady told me when she gave me the recipe that AP stands for All Purose Cake!!!
oh! Thank you, Jeannette!
A.P. cake from my understanding and Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing stands for all purpose cake. It can be for breakfast or desert. Usually dipped in coffee or milk.
Stacey Davis says
My grandmother always made A.P. cakes growing up. I have a Berks County Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook and it says it stand for “A Poor Man’s Cake.”
Thank you for sharing that memory and tip, Stacey!
My grandmother’s recipe card calls it an “apiece cake”. Her recipe is most likely from my great-grandmother.