Baking for a Good Cause

For the third year in a row, I coordinated the United Way campaign here at Ogden Publications. Each year, I try to think of new and exciting events to raise money for the United Way in our area. This year, my committee and I came up with an apple recipe contest. At a dollar a vote, our employees enthusiastically tasted each entry and voted on which one was the best. It was a hard decision because all the entries were quite pleasing to the palate. They were also pleasing to the eye, but you’ll have to take my word for it. I didn’t think to take pictures until it was too late.

We had 10 entries. They were: Ozark Apple Pudding, Humble Apple Bread, Sweet and Sour Ravioli (yes, it did have an apple product in it), Apple Crisp, Spectacular Apple Bread, Apple Crunch, Easy Apple Cake, Apple Cobbler Cake, Easy Apple Coffee Cake and Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars.

One of our marketing managers won for her Apple Crisp recipe. It had a unique flavor that everyone loved. Several people wanted the recipe for it and others that were in the contest, so I compiled all the recipes and made copies for anyone who wanted them.

These apple dishes were so delicious, I thought I would share some of them with you.

Apple Crisp

This one won the contest.


  • 5 granny smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • Dash or two of allspice
  • ¾  teaspoon salt

To make filling: Preheat oven to 375?F. In a casserole baking dish, toss apples with brown sugar and cinnamon. Add cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla to the fruit and stir well.

To make topping: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix ingredients together until large crumbs form.

Sprinkle topping evenly over filling and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325?F. and continue baking for about 30 minutes longer, until fruit filling is bubbling and topping is nicely browned. Let set for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

Apple Cobbler Cake

This one was taken from the pages of CAPPER’s.

  • 6 cups sliced apples
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 box cake mix, yellow or white, divided
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • 1 stick butter or margarine, melted

In a bowl, combine apples, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle with ¼ cup dry cake mix and toss until apples are evenly coated. Spoon mixture into a buttered pan and cover with foil, securing edges firmly. Bake at 350°F. for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven.

Combine remaining cake mix with nuts and drizzle with melted butter; mix until large crumbs are formed. Sprinkle over partially cooked apples in pan. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until topping is puffed and golden. Cool slightly. Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream.

Apple Crunch

This was mine, taken from our church’s 100th anniversary cookbook.

  • 5 cups flour  
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 3 to 4 unpeeled apples, sliced                 
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups oatmeal                                     
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon               
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg                              
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups butter, melted

In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour with sugar. Arrange apples in buttered 9×12-inch pan and cover with flour mixture. Add a little water. Mix together remaining flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; pour over apples. Drizzle melted butter over flour mixture. Pack down topping. Bake at 350?F. for 45 minutes or until apples are tender. If desired, melt a bag of caramels over a low heat and drizzle over the top of apple dessert. Serves 20 to 25.  

Sweet and Sour Ravioli

Our most unusual entry.

  • 1 box dehydrated mincemeat
  • 1 box phyllo pastry
  • 1 egg white
  • ¾ cup apple cider or juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • Melted butter or nonstick spray

Leave phyllo in refrigerator until ready to use.

Prepare mincemeat as per directions; cool. Prepare one sleeve of phyllo as per directions. Take half the layers and carefully place them one layer at a time on waxed paper. Brush with melted butter between layers. Immediately cover with a damp towel. Repeat steps with the remaining sleeve of phyllo.

Spread mincemeat on top of one layer of phyllo, leaving about a quarter of an inch space at edges. Brush egg white on top sheet of other half of phyllo. Carefully invert brushed layer on top of mincemeat, keeping edges aligned. Using fingers, mash down where cuts are to be made in the phyllo (this also pushes the mincemeat into the middle of each square). Carefully cut into pieces with a ravioli cutter or knife, pinching edges to seal. Using a fork, place each piece onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 375?F. for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

To make glaze: In a saucepan, heat honey and corn syrup over a low heat until thin. Add apple cider and lemon juice, stir until blended. Bring to a boil until mixture thickens (about 30 minutes), stirring constantly. Glaze should be thick enough to pour easily. Once ravioli is removed from oven, drizzle glaze over each piece; cool.

I got a lot of positive comments after the contest (anything that involves food usually goes over well here). I’ll have to think of another food contest for next year’s United Way campaign.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did! If you’d like the other recipes from the contest, you can email me at