Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gran Gran's Apricot Nectar Cake

My dear Great-Aunt passed away last year.  We shared a love of reading, entertaining and cooking.  Especially baking.  She was famous far and wide for her Apricot Nectar Cake.  I'm not sure anyone knew that was actually the name of the recipe.  I'm pretty sure it was more famously referred to as Nona's Cake, Gran Gran's Cake or simply, THE CAKE.  Nona was an award-winning realtor, and each and every person that bought or sold a house received a cake.  Had a baby?  Cake.  Loved one pass away?  Cake.  Nona was known to work all day, and then come home and make at least 6 or 7 cakes before bedtime.  At church she often volunteered to bring her cake to snack on before Sunday School.  When the time came for others to take their turn and bring donuts or breakfast rolls, Nona had a cake in her car.  For back-up.  Just in case they forgot it was their turn.  I never visited her house that there was not a cake on her counter under the dome of her glass cake stand. Every guest in her home was offered a slice of cake and a cup of coffee, in a beautiful china cup.  My cousins (her daughter and granddaughters) gave me her trusty ol' cake pan, along with the glass cake stand after she passed away.  They are two of my biggest treasures.  At her funeral service, the minister asked for a show of hands, "How many of you ever received one of Nona's cakes?" Almost every hand in the church was raised. As someone that has loved to bake all of my life, I can think of no greater tribute than the hands that went up that day. Everyone was touched by her spirit and kindness. Not to mention their waistlines were touched by her yummy cake. 
If you ever received one of these from Nona,
consider yourself lucky and blessed.

Just a few ingredients!
Throw it all together in a bowl.
Combine with a mixer.
Here is my treasured pan.
This actually belonged to Nona's mother-in-law.
If only it could talk and tell me about all of the
wonderful cakes it baked...

Gorgeous and Golden Brown...
Here's to you Nona!
I aspire to be the lady
and baker you were...

Gran Gran's Apricot Nectar Cake1 package yellow cake mix
1 (3 ounce) box lemon jello
1 (6 ounce) can apricot nectar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
4 teaspoons lemon extract
lemon juice
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Prepare cake pan by lightly spraying with cooking spray.  Combine cake mix, powdered jello, apricot nectar, vegetable oil, eggs and lemon extract in a bowl.  Mix well with an electric mixer.  Pour batter into a tube (also called Angel Food) pan.  Bake approximately 1 hour, until top of cake is golden brown, and a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.  Combine a small amount of lemon juice with powdered sugar to create a light glaze.  Pour over warm cake.  Allow cake to cool, then remove from pan.

Prep Time:  Approximately 15 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 1 hour

NOTE:  I've made this cake in all kinds of pans including 9x13-inch pans, decorative Bundt pans, and loaf pans.  You may need to adjust the cooking time, but the cake turns out delicious no matter what kind of pan you use.  It's a very moist cake that is excellent both for dessert, and in the morning with coffee.  Also, the apricot nectar can be difficult to find.  It's usually in the juice aisle, although I have found it with the Hispanic foods as well.  Recently I have only been able to find 12 ounce cans.  So, you can make two cakes!

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