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Rosy Apple Cake Recipe Discovery

My husband and I both enjoy cooking. We like sampling and discovering new and different foods from all areas of the world.

Rosy Apple Cake

Rosy Apple Cake

Recipe Box Cake

This rosy apple cake recipe had my paternal grandmother's name on it. The handwritten recipe was on a sheet of stationery from The Sands Motel in Bridgeton, Missouri, that probably dates back 60 years or more. At that time, my grandparents' primary home was in Wisconsin, but during the winters they used to travel south. Generally, they went to Florida for many months during the coldest part of the winter.

While traveling, she must have eaten this dessert and asked for the recipe. I can think of no other explanation why the note is on motel stationery. The fact of it staying on that folded sheet and being in my mother's recipe box fascinates me. In addition to finding the recipe on motel stationery, I found a postcard online with more information about the owners of the motel.

The information about the postcard (that you can see below) reads as follows:

"Billed as "The Finest Motel in St Louis County," The Sands at 4630 Lindbergh was owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lammers in 1960. The complex had 50 units when this view was taken. It grew into the Henry VIII Hotel and Conference Center with 155 rooms and 190 suites. It was all torn down for the new runway in 2001."

Making the Recipe

I was curious when reading the recipe and decided to find out how it tastes. It turned out to be tasty and delicious. Calling it a cake, however, is a bit of a misnomer. The result is thin and a bit chewy. The raspberry flavor is predominant, so anyone who likes that taste should appreciate this recipe. The apples serve more to add moisture and act as a binder for the rest of the ingredients.

I used graham cracker crumbs for the crust but can appreciate what other types of cookie crumbs could do to alter the flavor. I think that chocolate cookie crumbs, as an example, would be delicious!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

30 min

40 min

12 slices


For the crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar

For the filling:

  • 3 medium apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 package raspberry jello

For the streusel topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter


  1. Blend the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and sugar.
  2. When combined, spread into an 8" by 12" (or similar-sized pan) that is greased with butter or sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Arrange the sliced apples over the crumb mixture.
  4. Sprinkle the raspberry gelatin evenly over the apple slices.
  5. Combine the sugar, flour, and butter for the streusel topping, and spread evenly over the rest of the ingredients in the baking pan.
  6. Bake in a preheated 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes.
  7. When out of the oven and at room temperature, cut into squares. Optional: Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Remember, no matter what life throws at us, we can always bake a cake!

— Sarah Ban Breathnach

© 2020 Peggy Woods


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 09, 2020:

Hi Denise,

I kept the name of it as my grandmother had written it. Otherwise, the name you suggested would fit it well. Thanks!

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on December 09, 2020:

I'm really tempted to try this one. The red color is so inviting, especially this time of year. With a raspberry flavor, maybe it should be called Raspberry Apple Cake. What a cool find and the stationary has a story too. Thanks for sharing.



Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 09, 2020:

Hi Mary,

Hopefully, it will turn up someday so that you can peruse it and perhaps find some favorite recipes. I'll be making some of my mother-in-law's recipes soon.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 09, 2020:

Peggy, I used to have my mother-in-law's old recipe book but I couldn't find it now because of all the renovations.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 08, 2020:

Hi Mary,

I only wish I could talk to my grandmother about where she first tasted this rosy apple cake. She obviously liked it enough to copy the recipe on that motel stationery those many years ago. We have been having some fun trying these old recipes.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 08, 2020:

Wow, you had been trying some old recipes. It's good to revive some of these tasty ones. The hotel stationery is interesting.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 04, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

Thanks for persisting to try and read this recipe and leaving a comment. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to make it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 04, 2020:

Hi Adrienne,

Yes, it is definitely the raspberry jello that gives it this color and distinctive flavor.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 04, 2020:

I finally got to read this article. I think it would be tasty and certainly different then anything I ever tried. I like trying different things, so I would try it. Thanks, Peggy.

Adrienne Farricelli on December 04, 2020:

I was attracted to this recipe and wondering what gave it such a nice color. I am sure the raspberry Jell-o must also give a nice flavor.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 04, 2020:

Hi Devika,

I am pleased that you like the sound of this recipe.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 04, 2020:

Peggy this sounds delicious.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 04, 2020:

Hi Brenda,

I also surmise that she tasted and got the recipe at that motel area or somewhere nearby.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on December 04, 2020:


All of your recipes sound so yummy.

I have got to find time to try a few of them.

This one looks especially good. I love graham cracker crust.

I am amazed that the recipe is in such great shape.

This shows an interesting bit of history and that she always was on the look for a great recipe.

I imagine she tried it there at that hotel.

Thanks for sharing.

Have a great day.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 04, 2020:

Hi Caren,

This recipe dates back to the sixties or even further back from what I can gather. I am pleased that you liked learning about it.

Caren White on December 04, 2020:

I love trying old recipes! Thanks for sharing this one. It reminds me of the foods of my childhood in the sixties.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 04, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

This recipe counts as a hand-me-down that is decades old. It was fun trying it after all these years. I only wish that I could talk to my grandmother to get the specific details of where she would have first tasted it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 04, 2020:

Hi Gabriel,

I am glad that reading the history of this cake made you smile. We can all use more smiles in our days!

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 04, 2020:

This sounds good! I love that you sourced it as a hand-me-down. There are so many options that I see here. I may try strawberry.

Gabriel Wilson from Madeira, Portugal on December 04, 2020:

Peggy the colours are wonderful and the history of your cake made me smile, thank you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2020:

Hi Manatita,

So glad you found this in the feed. A nice taste treat is a pleasure! Thanks for your comment.

manatita44 from london on December 03, 2020:

Peggy, we can always bake a cake, true! Helps at such times. Who can argue with this delectable and colourful beauty! Mouth-watering decoration indeed!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2020:

Hi Bill,

The apples are ingredients, but the predominant flavor is the raspberry. Fortunately, the two flavors blend well, like the famous duo of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing one of their dances. Enjoy!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2020:

Hi Rebecca,

Like you, I also have some very old family recipe books. I know that there are some excellent recipes that are tried and true in them. For the moment, I am concentrating on the ones in those old recipe boxes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

I suspect the reason you cannot open it is that the editors are having a look at it. It is probably undergoing their analysis of whether to move it to a niche site. I have experienced the same thing when I get the announcements of newly published articles in my Gmail account. Some I cannot open. Hopefully, you will see it in the feed again so that you can read the recipe.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Raspberry jello accounts for the vivid colors in this dessert and certainly accounts for the predominant flavor. It was a fun discovery, including learning about the motel in which my grandparents would have stayed on their trip south each year. I am glad to know that you are enjoying these family recipes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2020:

Hi Diana Carol,

Raspberry is a delightful flavor, and it predominates in this recipe.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2020:

Hi Alicia,

I am definitely having some fun looking through these old recipes. It is a fun connection to the past. I remember my grandparents always bringing back sacks of oranges and grapefruit from Florida when they would return each spring to Wisconsin. That was always a treat!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2020:

Hi Rosina,

That is the beauty of this recipe. It did suggest other options for the crumb crust. My thought, like yours, is why not alter the fruit and even the jello flavoring. It would be fun to experiment.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 03, 2020:

I do like apple cake, so I'm quite certain I would like this. Thank you for the recipe. I just might give it a try this weekend.

I hope this finds you well, my friend! Have a wonderful Thursday!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on December 03, 2020:

I know how that goes. I have my mother's old recipe book from her women's league in the 70s. Looks good!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 03, 2020:

Peggy, the picture of this cake looks like it is delicious. For some reason this article will not open from my gmail or from my feed. I am not sure why.

Liz Westwood from UK on December 02, 2020:

I was fascinated by the family history to this recipe. I am really enjoying your series of family recipes. I wondered how the pink colouring came about. Raspberry jello explains it all and combines well with the apple flavour.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on December 02, 2020:

This recipe looks as if it has stood the test of time. Personally I love raspberry as a dessert or jelly.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 02, 2020:

What a lovely connection to the past! I think it's wonderful that you found the recipe that your grandmother collected and followed it. The colors in the cake are beautiful.

Rosina S Khan on December 02, 2020:

Rosy apple cake looks delicious and brings water to the mouth. I might try it with a chocolate cookie crumb crust and a different jello flavoring. Thanks for sharing, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 02, 2020:

Hi Chitrangada,

These discoveries are not only fun to read but also fun to try making. I wish I knew for certain where my grandmother first tasted this recipe. She obviously liked it! I am guessing that it was somewhere near that motel where they stayed so many years ago.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 02, 2020:

Hi SerenityHalo,

I am pleased that you like the look of this recipe. Thanks for your comment.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 02, 2020:

What a wonderful discovery! I loved reading the handwritten note. The cake recipe sounds unique, with healthy combination of ingredients, and great presentation.

Thank you for sharing another delicious recipe from your collection.

Andrea Lawrence from Chicago on December 02, 2020:

That looks delicious. Yum.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 02, 2020:

Hi Liza,

Like you, I never heard of incorporating Jell-O in a recipe like this either. Your key lime pie must have been delicious! The first time I ever had one was in Florida, with my aunt and uncle. I have been a fan ever since that time. Thanks for your comment.

Liza from USA on December 02, 2020:

I made a key lime pie for Thanksgiving, and I still have Graham crackers in the pantry. It seems like a unique recipe to try. Plus, I have never incorporated a Jell-O in the baking before. I should put this recipe on the list for a future baking project. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Peggy.

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