Joan Johnson’s
Swedish Apple Cake

Homemade at its best!

About this recipe

By Claudia Elliott

Joan (pronounced Jo-anne) Johnson may well have been the most gracious hostess to ever turn a Tehachapi apple into a tasty dessert. I had the good fortune to get to know her when I began working at the Tehachapi News. She was very encouraging and helpful when I published the first edition of The Original Tehachapi Apple Book in 1979 and I felt honored to have her share this recipe.

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Whipped cream adds a nice touch (but really isn’t needed).

Scroll down for more photos!

This cake is easy to make — with or without the topping.  I can’t say for sure that I ever had a piece of this cake made by Joan, but I’m sure I went home with a loaf of apple bread on more than one occasion.

You can read more about her here.

Ingredients & instructions

  • 1-1/2 sticks margarine
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups chopped raw, tart apples
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Mix one stick margarine with remaining ingredients except brown sugar, in order given.

Pour into 9×12-inch pan. Bake at 350℉ about 35 minutes or until set and slightly brown.

Remove from oven and top with mixture of brown sugar and remaining melted margarine.

Bake an additional 15 or 20 minutes. Serve with whipped cream. (Yield: 12 servings)

EDITOR’S NOTES: I used butter instead of margarine because that was what I had on hand and it worked fine. I had two Granny Smith apples (tart) and one Gala (sweet) and I think the combination was good.

You can reduce the sugar and fat by omitting the final step (topping with the brown sugar mixture). I think this cake would be fine without the topping — and it doesn’t need whipped cream, either.

Want an easy printable version?

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Three apples will be about right to make three cups of chopped apples.

Paper Bag Apple Pie

A mixture of brown sugar and melted margarine (or butter) is spread on the cake.

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Notice all those great chunks of apples in the batter? Yum!

Paper Bag Apple Pie

It may not be the prettiest cake you’ve ever seen — but it’s quite tasty!

About Joan Johnson

Joan Johnson

Joan Johnson was well-known in Tehachapi in 1979 when she submitted this recipe to be published in The Original Tehachapi Apple Book. Among her many accomplishments was writing a popular newspaper column, “Over the Back Fence” that was published in the Tehachapi News for more than 20 years beginning in 1953. With her husband Dick (longtime co-publisher of the Tehachapi News), she raised daughter Jana (Clow) and son Scott. She passed away in 2017.