A party without cake is just a meeting: the weekend coffee share

Having friends around, whether it be lunch, dinner or just for coffee is a good excuse to make a cake. Well, the ever wonderful Julia Child did say a party without a cake is just a meeting…

I guess we all have our favourite cakes we return to make again and again – mine include lemon yoghurt, a very rich banana chocolate affair and that old classic, a pineapple upside down cake. Then there are the cakes you make once and mean to make again, such as Diane Henry’s amazing rhubarb, marmalade and rosemary cake, but somehow never get around to in case it isn’t as good second time around. Then are the cakes you used to make a lot but haven’t done so for ages.

It is autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere, so time to make the most of apples, pears and feijoas. With friends coming round for Easter Sunday lunch, I decided to get out that old favourite, mammas äppelkaka, or mother’s apple cake.

The recipe, as you can see, is well used, and taken from the Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter. The recipe is from 2002, but I guess I printed this off in 2012? Anyway, you can see it has been used more than once! At this point, I should explain…my husband is Swedish, and we lived in Denmark before coming out here. I went to Danish classes (even passing exams), but the languages at home were Swedish and English. I understand a lot of what I call ‘domestic Swedish’, and have no problems following recipes, for example.

However, as many of you will have experienced, a common problem when you try to use a recipe from another place is the measurements. For example, I have no idea what a stick of butter is when reading an American recipe. Since I have UK, New Zealand and Swedish cook books, I have a set of scales bought in the UK that has grammes and ounces (because I have a few old recipes I still use), a set of Swedish measuring cups that measure out decilitres, and a set of New Zealand measuring cups (that aren’t the same as US ones). I am pretty well covered I like to think!

Another issue baking things from recipes written in one country but making them in another, is that the ingredients may not be the same. Flour in particular varies from country to country depending on the type of wheat is used. For some reason, I could never make good scones in Denmark using the standard recipe I used in the UK. Anyway, you need to be prepared to accept that some things might not be quite the same and just experiment a bit. This was the first time I had made this cake here in New Zealand so I was interested to see how it would work out.

Actually, the turned out fine. It was a bit more crumbly, but it still tasted good and I will make it again. It is a cake good to have with an afternoon coffee and is, in my opinion, best served with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt or a drizzle of cream.

So that is my entry into this week’s Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Do go and check it out – there are always some really interesting posts.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


  1. That cake looks absolutely delicious. When we lived in Sydney my husband’s boss was Danish, and her partner was from Norway. They invited us to the most delicious lunch, and they lived on the Harbour, so I remember the day as being really special. I liked the desserts the most!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That apple cake looks delicious! I am interested in your comments about recipes not necessarily transplanting well from one country to another – as my daughter-in-law is discovering since their relocation to Norway! You are right about the flour too – an Irish friend commented soon after settling in South Africa that she thought she was a good baker but somehow couldn’t get things right here, despite using trusted recipes. I too have measuring cups showing ounces – to the bafflement of my daughter who has grown up with the decimal system.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is interesting with flour – I feel I should do some more research. I remember that there was a Polish shop in Scotland that imported flour from Poland for baking Polish cakes! I learned to bake in ounces, and still sometimes revert 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love apple cakes in all forms. This look lovely.
    My Mama’s recipe is still the best for me – posted years ago.
    I wrote a post once called Measure for Measure – about the problems of different measurements in different countries. I have made many mistakes by not looking carefully at the recipe.
    I am writing a post, which will go out soon about different flours in Poland ( and Polish shops here).
    They really make a difference when making cakes or pastries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I so agree re measurements! I too have made mistakes. I have one book that is a US book and they have converted the measurements to things like 142g – I mean – how ridiculous is that?! I am really interested to read your research on different flours.


  4. Well done you on making me and others drool!! I love something that can go down easily and need cream for that. Measurements are tricky indeed. We here in Australia have been using metric for decades but at times, old recipes require a conversion of sorts. Hope weather where you are is kind. Our Autumn here on east coast of Australia has just turned a bit cold and windy.
    Denyse #weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting about all the different measurements and that the flour is different. A stick of butter is very familiar to me because I am American. Our butter usually comes in rectangular shaped sticks equivalent to 1/2 cup. I would get thrown by metrics.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I never really thought about how baking from a recipe can change from country to country. The pictures you shared certainly made this cake look good. I enjoyed reading about your baking ventures and appreciated the quote you shared — I wonder if that is why for most of our department meetings at school we rotate out who is bringing the snack/treat to share. So it’s NOT just a meeting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love that quote and that cake looks amazing. I used to be a part of a “secret recipe club” on my blog and it was so fun but sometimes got tricky when it came to making recipes from other countries.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I absolutely love the Julia Child quote, and your cake looks delicious.
    My scone-making has improved markedly since I started using baking soda and cream of tartar as separate ingredients, and a recipe from Maw Broon’s Cookbook 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful quotation and the cake looks yummy. In the U.S. pounds of butter are cut into four long pieces, or sticks. Each stick is a quarter of a pound. Or 1/2 cup. Butter also comes in a solid pound.

    Liked by 2 people

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