Knobby Apple Cake

This past weekend was Apfelfest (Apple Fest) in the Amana Colonies. The Amana Colonies, which is now the most fabulously kitschy tourist destination in Iowa, used to be a German communal settlement until the 1930s.

My soon-to-be mother in law owns a coffee shop in the colonies that served up some delicious apple coffee coke for the occasion. I had a slice of the apple coffee cake (it was as big as my face) and a wonderful pour over. Interested in desserts as big as your face and a cup of Corvus Coffee? Head over to Neuhaus Kaffee!



It’s pretty fitting, then, that I found this Knobby Apple Cake from the Amana Heritage Society Cookbook: Old and New Recipes from 1985. I was even able to create some whipped cream and redeem myself after the disaster of the Grant Wood’s Strawberry Shortcake whipped cream, thanks to a new mixer! Get yourself to a local apple orchard, and give it a try.

Knobby Apple (1)

Knobby Apple Cake

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped apples
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I omitted)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs and beat well


  1. Add combined dry ingredients and mix well
  2. Stir in vanilla, chopped nuts, and raisins, mix well
  3. Pour batter in a 9×13 pan (I used a muffin tin for cupcakes and produced 12)


  1. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (I baked for 20)
  2. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired (OBVIOUSLY I DESIRED WHIPPED CREAM).





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