The One Recipe to Add to Your Mother’s Day Brunch

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

In honor of Mother’s Day, our favorite mother-to-be, S’well Founder and CEO Sarah Kauss, agreed to share one of her most treasured recipes from her own mother – Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. We sat down with Sarah to get the scoop on what makes it such a memorable dish for her and her family.

Q: What is one of the most unforgettable or meaningful things your mother used to cook for you growing up?

Sarah Kauss (SK): My mom made an apple cake that has very special memories. The school I attended while growing up in Jupiter, Florida, was always having fundraisers and, for some unknown reason, baskets of fresh apples were the most frequent fundraising item! We almost always had apples coming out of our ears so my mom would make an amazing Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, using any and all types of fundraiser apples.

Q: When did your mom serve this cake? On special occasions or anytime?  

SK: Even after I was long graduated and moved away, my folks would still have baskets of apples from neighborhood kids. So this cake seemed to be ever-present as a sight, taste, and smell in my mom’s kitchen for every occasion. She’d even leave off the frosting, omit some of the sugar and call it a breakfast cake!

Q: Did you take up the baking tradition?

SK: I love to cook and bake, which I’m sure is a result of the countless creations I so fondly remember coming from my mom.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about being a mom yourself?

SK: If I had to pick one thing, I think that motherhood, at this point in my life, is exciting as a unique time of reflection, to be able to slow down and remember the sense of wonder that is the world. I am most excited to share the beauty of our planet and to try to teach him the obligation to make it a better world. And of course, introduce this kid to my parents, and hopefully give him a first-hand appreciation of mom’s apple cake!


The Recipe: Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep: 25 min. / Cook: 45 min.

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients in a separate bowl; add to butter mixture, stirring and blended. Stir in apple slices and 1 cup walnuts. Spread into a greased 13- x 9-inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Spread with Cream Cheese Frosting; sprinkle with walnuts, if desired. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: 12 to 15 servings.


Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.

Yield: 1 2/3 cups

Looking for the perfect mom gift? Shop our Mother’s Day Gift Guide.

P.S. Share your meaningful mother’s day moments with @swellbottle.