Baked Apple Puff Pancake and The Whole Family Cookbook

An easy-to-make baked apple puff pancake is perfect for breakfast for dinner or a late Saturday brunch, and it’s just the thing to get the whole family involved and cooking in the kitchen.

My very first memory took place in a kitchen. A tornado was also involved. When I got older (as in past the age of one), I started making my way up on top of the kitchen desk to where the cookbooks were lined up, taking them down and turning their pages. Up there on that shelf was Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls, a cookbook that taught me how to chop, dice and bake because, well, my mom wasn’t so interested in those things.

Breaking it down into easy-to-follow steps, I made my first ever meal for my family when I was just six or seven. Roasted chicken, green bean almondine and a from-scratch yeast bread (shaped like a turtle, thank you) were all on the menu. I instantly wanted to dig further into the depths of the cookbook, trying new recipes, looking for new foods and forcing my family to come along with me. That cookbook had such a great impact on me, imagine my excitement when a dear friend of mine wrote her own.

In The Whole Family Cookbook, Michelle Stern of What’s Cooking with Kids has taken easy-to-folow steps and 75 recipes and paired them with tips to get your kids involved, information on eating locally and sustainable environmental practices and put it all in one book that is meant to engage all ages. For a new generation of responsible cooks, I am thrilled to be able to let my kids thumb through the pages of this book and choose what they want to make for dinner.

My copy of Michelle’s book arrived, and we were instantly drawn to the baked apple puff on account of its breakfast-like nature, but also because it involved cracking eggs, which my kids love to do. Some children are more experienced in this house, but practice makes perfect.

Little hands measured and mixed the milk, vanilla, sugar, flour and spices into the eggs.

Because we were leaving several apples exposed on top and not stirred into the pancake, we tossed the whole lot in a bit of lemon juice.

Melt butter in an ovenproof skillet and add 3/4 of the apples. By the time you get all the apples in a single layer, you’ll be ready to pour the batter over.

And once you’ve covered up the first layer of apples, add another before popping the whole thing into the oven.

As you clean up the counters and set the table with the kids, all that mixing will be puffing up in the oven into a golden pancake, perfect for dinner or breakfast or an easy brunch served alongside bowls of fruit and egg dishes.

Plus, you can win one! I’m giving away a copy of The Whole Family Cookbook to one lucky reader who tells me a story about one of your first food experiences or cooking memories as a kid. Just comment to enter. This giveaway will run until Monday, June 6th at 11:59 p.m. EDT and is open to all U.S. residents. A winner will be chosen at random using from all eligible entries.

This recipe has been adapted from The Whole Family Cookbook by Michelle Stern.

What I changed from the original:
::I wanted this to be a bit sweeter in the batter rather than sprinkle the sugar on top to cook it in, so I added the sugar straight to the batter.
::I have a thing for cardamom. It’s nearly a disease how often I sprinkle it in. This recipe is no exception.
::I adjusted the apple cooking method, tossing them in lemon juice and barely cooking them at all before pouring the batter over and tossing them in the oven. This resulted in cooked apples that still held their shape, but rest assured they were cooked through.
::Because I left out the sugar from the top, I offer powdered sugar or maple syrup to go alongside the pancake, but it’s not really necessary.

3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium-sized apples
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 lemon
powdered sugar or maple syrup to serve

Preheat oven to 450° F. In a medium bowl, crack eggs. Beat lightly and then mix in milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, whisking in. Continue to mix until everything is well blended.

Cut apples into thin slices and toss with juice from half a lemon. In a 10″ ovenproof skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 of the apple slices in a single layer to the pan. Allow to cook for 60 seconds. Pour the batter over the apple slices, covering them completely. Take the remaining 1/4 of the slices and arrange on the top layer. Place the entire skillet in the oven and bake at 450° F for 15-20 minutes until brown and puffed.

Remove from the oven, cut into wedges and serve. Serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.
Copyright © Food for My Family.

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  1. What sweet pics of your cute kiddos… your doing good, mama!

  2. Your kids are so darn cute. 🙂 Great job on this! On her books next printing she should use your picture!

  3. Yum! I think my kids would really like this. And I love all the photos, especially the egg cracking one of your youngest daughter!

  4. Apple Puff Pancakes are great. They were my mom’s (and oftentimes my own) go-to weekend breakfast growing up. Simple and yummy!

  5. 6 or 7? why does that not surprise me Shaina!……..look at your kids! so stinkin’ cute and look at the concentration!

    Looks fantastic!……..LOVE Michelle’s cookbook!!

  6. One of my first memories in the kitchen was helping my mom make gingerbread men at Christmas…I was making the dough and instead of following the directions and mixing the spices all together first and then adding them, I added them one at a time…they didn’t mix in very well that way and we ended up with some parts of the dough having some very strong flavors!

  7. You made roast chicken and yeast bread when you were six years old?! I think the most elaborate thing I had made at that age was a turkey sandwich. I love that you are teaching your kids to be comfortable in the kitchen – that is a gift that will last forever. Beautiful puff pancake!

  8. One of my favorite memories is cooking scrambled eggs with my dad. It was the only thing he knew how to make, and he spent one Saturday morning sharing his recipe with me. He drove a truck and wasn’t home much, so that time spent with him was very special.

  9. I remember when I first made pancakes for my Husband, then boyfriend, using my 1950’s Modern Family Cookbook. Well, lets just say they were very very thick pancakes. He loved them, or so he said, but I say it was a great start to our relationship. I should add, he now always wants pancakes! Saturday, or Sunday I make pancakes.
    Thank you for the giveaway. Hope I win.

  10. Kara M. says:

    Yummy! That looks delicious, I’m definitely making it!

    One of my first memories in the kitchen would be making banana bread. I loved making it then and I still use my mom’s recipe today!

  11. I don’t really have a first memory in the kitchen. I suppose that is because I have a really bad memory 🙂 and because my mom always let us in the kitchen from the time we were little. My favorite thing my mom taught me to make is apple pie. I always get great compliments when I make her recipe.

  12. This looks delicious! We’re having a lazy summer morning here and I am going to grab my girls and cook this up today! (found it via Pinterest)

    This cookbook looks fantastic, too. My first kitchen memory is standing impatiently by my grandmother’s side as she rolled out dough for her famous sticky rolls. She was trying to teach me but all I was interested in was sneaking bites and bits of dough while she wasn’t looking! I’m a sucker for anything baked to this day.

  13. first of all, I’m very impressed that you made that dinner at such a young age!

    My first meal was made from a little flyer type cookbook and I made butterflied pork chops as the main dish. I used my mom’s electric skillet to make them and I remember them being tasty enough that I made them a few more times. I wonder what happened to that little cookbook now…

  14. I remember helping my mother make cookies (mostly just putting them on the cookie sheet) – I must have started when I was 5 or so. Maybe that’s why I’m so fond of cookies 🙂

  15. Shaina, it both shocks me & doesn’t that you created such a fabulous meal when you were so small. I can only imagine how fun it is to cook with you and your kiddos. This puff (love that word!) looks awesome. xo

  16. I remember baking with my mom growing up. Mixing ingredients was my job 🙂 Shaina, this apple puff looks so decadently delicious!

  17. Sarah H says:

    I remember making and decorating sugar cookies with my mom as a child. I also remember when she made pies, she would use the pie crust trimmings and add butter and cinnamon sugar, bake and YUM!! Good memories.

  18. This was my very first cookbook – and I still use it. 🙂 My grandmother gave it to me before she died. I hope to buy one for my daughter very soon.

  19. I think a first kitchen memory was sitting on the floor licking frosting out of a bowl :

  20. My first cooking was German potato salad I made with my Mom for an International Day Girl Scout project!I remember thinking it was weird because it had sugar, bacon, vinegar & was served warm.

  21. This looks so yummy–I am totally going to make it with my kids tonight! My earliest memory of helping in the kitchen is making cinnamon rolls with my mom. She let me spread the butter around with my hands, then the brown sugar, etc. We rolled it up nice and tightly together, then she showed me how to slice it up into individual rolls. I love baking!

  22. This looks great! My first cooking memory is watching my father make Charoset (apples, walnuts, cinnamon, and red wine) for Passover. He used a big knife and I couldn’t wait until I got to make it!

  23. To be fair to history … it was actually my GRANDfather (not father) making the Charoset! Whoops!

  24. Sooo…I was watching PBS and a cooking show came on after one of the shows that I was watching. (I think I must have been about 6 or 7) I grapped a pencil and a piece of paper and watched intently while writing down the ingredients. I showed my mom the recipe and had to go to the store for some broccoli but other than that she had the ingredients on hand. I made the concoction of spaghetti noodles with broccoli, carrots, and a bunch of other stuff. (Not sure if I had the recipe correct or not, it looked horrible!) My mom wouldn’t try it, but I knew Grandma would so I hopped onto my bicycle and rode to Grandma’s house with my masterpiece. She ate it!! She even said it wasn’t half bad! I can’t even remember if I tried it! Good ‘ol Grandma! I’m still addicted to watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks but now I know at least I have the correct ingedients!

  25. Such a pretty presentation, this looks delicious!

  26. heather b. says:

    my aunt gave me a kids cookbook and an apron one year. i can’t remember what all was in there, but i have a memory of making little pizzas on english muffins.

  27. Sarah F says:

    Every Christmas we would make homemade sugar cookies with my Mom. We would make the frosting and dye it different colors. We spent hours decorating those cookies. It’s now a tradition that I do with my son as well. My Mom still makes those cookies too for when we come home for the holidays. They are still hands down the best Christmas cookies going! I love cooking with my little guy and teaching him where his food comes from.

  28. I just remember being little and thinking it was so weird that my stepdad was putting garnish on the plate. He’s a former caterer so that was important to him. I can appreciate it now.

  29. One of my early memories was helping my mom make pasta sauce. She would add all the ingredients and I remember stirring and watching her. I remember when I saw her put sugar in the sauce…I was like WHAT? I couldn’t believe that wonderful SUGAR was put in something like pasta sauce. She told me it was her little secret thing. I remember thinking how cool it was that my mom shared her *secret* with me. Of course, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized lots of people put a bit of sugar in their pasta sauce. 😉

  30. one of my earliest memories in the kitchen was watching (and helping) my mom make her butterhorn sweet rolls. a family tradition.

  31. love, love, love the pictures of your kids cooking!!!

  32. Looks yummy, Shaina.

  33. What a delicious recipe! One of my first memories of cooking was making, from scratch, Swedish Potato Sausage, aka Curve, with my dad for Christmas. We were stationed in England and it was the first year our family wasn’t able to go to my grandparent’s house for Christmas. So my mom tracked down some sausage casing from the village butcher (who thought she was a crazy American!) and I helped my dad mix up the filling and squeeze it into the casing using a cake decorating frosting bag my mom had donated for the purpose. We followed the sausage making with limpa (rye bread), rice pudding, and fruit soup. I didn’t do all of it, but I had such fun with my dad making the sausages. It became our tradition each year we weren’t able to make it to my grandparent’s for the holiday.

  34. valerie says:

    one of the memories i will never forget was when my great great grandmother was teaching me how to make tamales with chicken and veggies. I remember I kept spilling the maza all over the place because it was slippery and sticky at the same time. She kept telling me in spanish to becareful because if i keep spilling the maza badluck will make the tamales taste bitter lol. after that i was very careful ofcourse and scared they would taste bitter because of me. but in the end they came out OK as she had commented. now as i look back she taught me very well because i make tamales so darn good, i have everyone coming back for seconds. thanks grandma!!

  35. Claire McTiernan says:

    I recall helping my mother make peanut butter cookies. My job was to press the fork on the top of the cookie to make the design. I was so proud of the criss-cross pattern I made!

  36. This looks so good I am going to try it when my grandaughters come down.

  37. I remember the first time I ever cooked on my own was for a badge in girl scouts, I was probably 6. My mom supervised but let me do everything. I remember her talking to her friends the I made dinner all by myself.

  38. Heidi W. says:

    I remember trying to make Christmas cookies just like my Grandma made them. Needless to say they were not as good:)

  39. I don’t remember my first cooking experience but when I was older, early junior high, I cooked worms for my little brother. Yes, real worms. We dug them up, I washed them off, and boiled them. I took half of them and dipped them in melted chocolate chips and made “wormy o’s”, just dried them in circle shapes. The other half I placed on a plate with a little ketchup. My brother preferred the worms with ketchup. The only reason I got in trouble for doing this was because I used my mother’s good dishes to plate the worms.

    I obviously didn’t use a cookbook but would love to win this one.

  40. As a kid, I remember “baking” cakes. I would mix all sorts of ingredients together and my mother would help me bake them. As I recall they were usually pretty bad (I don’t think I used much sugar) but my parents would sit down and we would all try them. After a while I learned to use a recipe.

  41. I remember making a Menu for our “cafe” and having Mom order from it. We had many many many things on the menu, including 6 different temperatures to order your water.. ice cold, cold, room temperature, warm, hot, boiling… haha.

  42. Trish R says:

    I remember going to my Nana’s after school when I was around 7 or 8 and making cookies – several times a week!

  43. One of my first memories of cooking was when my grandma taught me how to make homemade bread. Her’s is the best!

  44. I love your photos, Shaina. When my friend Susan and I were in the 7th grade, we made puff pastry from scratch. We had each other for company and a lot of time to kill. I haven’t made it since – it was a ton of work…but now that I think of it, it would be a great job with kids. I am glad you loved my book – Thanks for taking the time to share it with your family and here. xo Michelle

  45. This recipe and book look amazing – thanks for sharing them! My first memory in the kitchen is helping my grandmother make cabbage buns. Getting flour out of her huge metal flour bin, rolling out the dough into little squares, and piling in the filling. I was never the best at getting them to seal tightly, but Grandma was always encouraging. The smell of them baking still takes me back to her kitchen and makes me feel like a part of her is still alive and with me. Great memories!

  46. this looks fantastic!! thank you for sharing :O)

  47. super cool idea! Love how you get a “slice o pancake”

  48. I love to make this kind of recipes.. really looking very delicious and try out this upcoming birthday

  49. I seriously can almost smell that from the photo. Yummmmm! I am so going to try this, I just need to figure out how to get my kids to try it with the apples in it. They say they don’t like (gasp) cooked fruit…this recipe may convince them! Thanks!

  50. I really want to try this dish.. This will be a good bond for my daughter and I.. The dish is easy to make. Thanks a lot for sharing this to us..

  51. Veta Rivett says:

    A debit card. i.e. If I don’t have the money, I don’t buy it.

  52. I just made this and it was AWESOME. I added a banana and some flaxseed and a little bit of bourbon. I will definitely make this again with multiple variations. really, I ate half and my guest ate the other half. it was so good.

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