Apple-Walnut Cake – Bus Riding

Hey look a deer! There are only a billion of them in Montana and they are eating the apples off my tree.

#1’s preschool has a bus shuttle service. They will pick him up at home (where I sign him in) then they will drop him off at home after school (where I sign him out). I only live a block from the school, but it would be nice not to disturb #3’s naps.

He wouldn’t go.

At all.

Every time I or Hubby mentioned the bus, #1 would FREAK out. I mean hysterical crying and throwing himself on the floor screaming “I scared!!!” and “The bus is LOUD” and “I don’t want to ride the bus!!”.

Tears, heaving sobs, the works.

This year I had a conference with his new teacher and the administration and we decided that he needed to learn to ride the bus. So yesterday the para-educator let me know that they would try picking him up this afternoon.

This morning I started to prepare #1 for the impending fight of the wills (his and mine) and I informed him that he was going to ride the bus to preschool. The waterworks began.

It lasted for HOURS.

I did everything I could think of. I rocked him, I explained that sometimes we have to do hard things, I told him he could pray if he was too scared, etc.


Finally, he fell asleep and I put him down on his bed to recoup. Mid morning.

He got up about 10 minutes later and we went through the whole thing again. Except I gave up. I went about doing my chores around the house and just kept reinforcing the fact that he was riding the bus that day every time he told me he didn’t want to ride the bus.

Eventually he got used to the idea, and when the bus showed up he was so excited to ride on it he ran out to greet the bus driver and the para who rides with them.

Happily yelling, “I get to ride the bus!!”

SIGH. slowing banging head on desk. repeatedly.

Here is an Apple Cake recipe I found on and tweaked to fit with my healthified diet plan to make me feel better:

Apple-Walnut Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting


Fresh Apple Cake

  • 2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups peeled chopped apples
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped DO NOT LEAVE THESE OUT. (to roast, place them in a dry frying pan and cook over low heat for 5 mins or so. Shake often to prevent burning. They are done when you can smell them)

Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9×9 pans or a 9×13 pan.

For the cake: in a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside. In a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and honey until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl if necessary (I did). Add the eggs one by one, once again scraping as necessary. Add the apple juice concentrate and vanilla.

Slowly add the dry ingredients, combining until moistened. Then add the apples and walnuts, mixing it just enough to to for the apples and walnuts to be incorporated.

Divide evenly between two pans (or place in the larger pan) smoothing the top over. Bake at 325 for about 30-35 minutes. But my oven is weird, it took more like 45 minutes.

For the frosting: Melt the butter over medium heat, add the sugar and salt and cook until the sugar is completely melted. Add the milk and allow the mixture to boil, then cool for about 10 minutes.

After it is cooled, add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix until you get the consistency your are going for. You might want to add more or less sugar depending if you like your frosting thicker or thinner. If it is too think, simply add a tiny bit of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

You’ll want to add the frosting while it is still slightly warm, then it will harden on the cake into a yummy, gooey, slightly hard frosting. Yum.

This is EXTREMELY good. It was a perfect way to use the 30 lbs of Apples I got from an orchard. Yum. Perfect for back to school.


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