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Food Day: Time for Dessert

What a great (virtual) Food Day dinner party! We have feasted with spinach salad at The Lunch Tray, lamb chops and braised kale at Red, Round, or Green, and broccoli and sweet potato side dishes at Eat Dinner and Dinner Together.  We’ve been to Texas, Rhode Island, and New York. Now I’d like to invite everyone to head out to sunny Southern California for dessert at the Jolly Tomato house – and a fun foodie giveaway!

Update: Congratulations to Linda, our winner for the Frieda’s giveaway! Thank you to everyone who participated – We hope you enjoyed the dinner and the company!

Desserts at Home

When I was growing up, my mom loved baking special desserts, but she wasn’t much for gooey cakes with frosting; she preferred to use fresh fruit whenever possible. So we might have baked apples, or a berry crumble, or some sort of pie for our sweet treat. But often if we had a surplus of any kind of seasonal fruit, she’d make a kuchen, which is German for cake (believe me, I would put in that umlaut if I could figure out how to do it). There are all sorts of variations on German kuchen but her version called for a crumbly not-too-sweet cake with fruit and sugar and cinnamon baked on top. Whether it was peach, apple, plum, or even rhubarb kuchen, we’d always enjoy kuchen days.

In honor of our favorite fall produce, I decided to make an apple-cranberry kuchen. Given that we are eating unprocessed this month, I took some liberties with Mom’s recipe and changed around a few things. I used whole wheat and oat flours instead of the traditional white flour, and I substituted turbinado sugar for white sugar. These little tweaks gave it a hearty, nutty flavor – perfect for fall.

Apple-Cranberry Kuchen

Apple-Cranberry Kuchen

A delicious German-style apple-cranberry cake

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, apple cake, cranberry, kuchen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8



  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar (substitute turbinado sugar if you are staying unprocessed)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk


  • 3 to 4 large crisp apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh whole cranberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Begin by making the crust: Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add sugar and mix. Using a pastry blender (see picture), cut in the butter until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Combine the egg and milk and add to the dry mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms. Press dough on the bottom of a greased 9-inch pie plate.

  2. Arrange fruit slices on top of the dough. Prepare the topping by mixing sugar, flour, and cinnamon, and again cutting in the butter using a pastry blender until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Bake for 50 minutes, or until apples are soft when pricked with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired (I like it best on its own). Serves 8.


food day

food day

Wasn’t that delicious? And isn’t it fun to go on a coast-to-coast dinner party?

As a thank you to everyone who joined in, I’m excited to offer this great giveaway from one of our Southern California favorites –  Frieda’s, the specialty produce company. Frieda’s, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, introduced the kiwi fruit to the U.S. back in 1962. Since then, they’ve continued to bring all sorts of new delicacies to the American market. They’re our favorite go-to source for everything from rambutan to tiny potatoes.

For our giveaway, Frieda’s has generously offered to contribute a cool gift pack that would be any foodie’s delight. The pack includes:

The Purple Kiwi Cookbook (learn all about cooking with exotic fruits and vegetables)

Frieda’s French Style Ready-to-eat Crepes

Frieda’s Tomato Toss (dried tomato and veggie mix)

Black Garlic (aged and fermented Korean garlic)

Boiler Onions

Crystallized Ginger

PLUS a reusable bag, pen & notepad; as well as Frieda’s coupons

Thanks for celebrating Food Day with us, and happy eating!

*Blogger disclosure, a.k.a. the fine print: I was not compensated for doing this giveaway. The opinions expressed are my own.

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17 Responses to Food Day: Time for Dessert

  1. Grace @Eatdinner October 27, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    I love this recipe. I still have a hug bag of apples from apple picking and didn’t want to do the same old pie I usually make. This sounds like a great one to try! So fun being part of this dinner party with you, Bri, Kathleen and Bettina.

    • jollytomato October 27, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      Thanks, Grace! Go for it!

  2. Erika October 27, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Yum, this looks delicious! I love fruit desserts.

    Would love your prize – such different sounding items!

    • jollytomato October 27, 2011 at 10:57 am #

      Thanks, Erika!

  3. Deborah Neyens October 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    What a great idea to have a virtual progressive dinner party! I happened upon Red, Round or Green a couple of weeks ago and am excited to have been introduced to your blog and those of the other virtual hostesses. Keep up the great work, ladies!

    • jollytomato October 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

      thanks, Deborah!

  4. Karen Le Billon October 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Great dessert: I like the use of turbinado sugar (that nutty taste), and I love the apple cranberry combination — sweet with a little acidity — which makes these kind of cakes delicious.

    Your recipe also arrived just at the right time. My uncle just dropped off about 20 pounds of Gravenstein apples that we have to use up (and I can’t convince anyone in my house to eat any more applesauce). Will try this on the weekend with my daughters!

    ps So impressed that you are doing unprocessed this month! I’m thinking we should start an ‘unprocessed’ challenge esp. for kids!

    • jollytomato October 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

      Appreciate all your support! Thanks, Karen!

  5. Carrie Pallardy October 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    I think I need some cranberries now!!! This sounds amazing! I am stopping by for the first time, I have been reading Red, Round or Green and TLT for awhile now. I am going to have to try your recipe and your give away sounds great too.

    • jollytomato October 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

      Thanks, Carrie – and welcome!

  6. Linda Maxey October 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    What fun it has been on the virtual dinner party. And a great treat to end it all off with. Now to the store I go for some French Vanilla Ice Cream to go with my new recipe. Thanks all.

    • jollytomato October 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

      Enjoy! Thanks, Linda!

  7. Valentina October 28, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    This recipe looks so yummy ~ it’s autumn in a pie! Cute pic of you up top, too! 🙂

    • jollytomato October 28, 2011 at 9:36 am #

      Aw shucks, thanks, Valentina!

  8. Claire October 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    I’d love to win ~ thanks!

    • jollytomato October 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Claire!


  1. The Food Day Progressive Dinner Party Ends With Dessert, Plus Photos of Houston’s Food Day - October 27, 2011

    […] side dishes at Eat Dinner.org and Dinner Together, and now we wrap up the festivities with dessert today at The Jolly Tomato. Blogger Jeanne Fratello has a beautiful apple-cranberry kuchen warm out of the oven and waiting […]

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