Olga Valmarino of Sebastopol, Calif., was looking for a recipe that a co-worker had given her some years ago for a spice cake that was made with mayonnaise and had a coconut frosting. Virginia Provost of Hamilton, N.J., sent in her recipe for an "Amazin' Raisin Cake" that she thought came close to what Valmarino was trying to find.
It has all the ingredients, including mayonnaise, raisins, apples, nuts and spices, that were in the cake Valmarino was looking to make.
While Provost's recipe did not provide specific instructions for a coconut frosting, she does recommend frosting the cake with a cream-cheese frosting topped with coconut. I used a basic cream-cheese frosting recipe from the Joy of Cooking and added shredded coconut between the layers and on the top.
This recipe is written for a two-layer cake, but I think it would be good as a loaf cake as well.
Joy Johnston of Hamilton, N.J., would love to find the recipe for a chocolate pistachio cake that originally was published in McCall's magazine, most likely in the early to mid-1980s. It had two chocolate layers and a yellow layer with pistachios in the middle.
If you are looking for a hard-to-find recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail recipefinder@ baltsun.com. Names and addresses must accompany recipes to be published. Letters may be edited for clarity.
The nutrition analyses accompanying recipes in today's Taste section were calculated by registered dietitian Jodie Shield, except where noted.
amazin' rasin cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Hellman's or Best Foods mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
3 cups coarsely chopped apples
1 cup raisins
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. Add mayonnaise, milk and eggs. Beat at low speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Batter will be very thick.
With a spoon, stir in apples, raisins and walnuts. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool completely before frosting. A cream-cheese frosting topped with shredded coconut is highly recommended.
Per serving: 513 calories, 8 grams protein, 22 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 74 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 43 milligrams cholesterol, 276 milligrams sodium
Makes 2 cups
8 ounces cream cheese, cold
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
Combine ingredients, except coconut, in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. If frosting is too stiff, pulse for a few seconds longer. Do not over-process. Sprinkle coconut on frosting.
From "Joy of Cooking"
Per tablespoon: 70 calories, 1 gram protein, 4 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 13 milligrams cholesterol, 21 milligrams sodium