A to Z loaf or layer cake

May 5, 2017

Author Notes: Tasty, utterly reliable, easy to put together from staples or with a special main ingredient...bake in Bundt, loaf, layer cake or cupcake pan. Like banana bread, but with about 50 interchangeable main ingredients...fruits, vegetables, jam or yogurt. I've lost track, but I've made about 3/4 of the variations. Serve with icing or glaze for dessert. Or pack plain for lunches & snacks. Recipe may be vegan, and easily halved to make smaller batch. Adapted from Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Book, 1990, 3rd ed. Lemon glaze from makers of Bertolli olive oil.Nancy

Makes: 1 bundt or tube cake, 2 loaves or layers, 24 muffins
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min


For the cakes

  • 2 cups A-to-Z ingredient (see list below). But use only 1/2 cup if using citrus juice or dried fruit
  • 1 cup brown sugar. But use only 1/2 cup if using dried fruit or tomato. And omit totally if using jam, marmalade, mincement or honey.
  • 1/2 cup eggs (2 large). Or silken tofu, pureed.
  • 1/2 cup nut (raw, your choice), chopped
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • flour & oil, to prepare pans
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder

Lemon glaze icing (optional)

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's or icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
In This Recipe


  1. Prep A-to-Z ingredient. Peel, pit, chop or puree, as needed. Let frozen fruit thaw & drain.
  2. Heat oven to 350F. Lightly oil & flour pans. Use 1 large, like 9x13", Bundt or tube pan, 10" spring form OR 2 of 8-9" round cake pan, 9x5" loaf pan, 12-muffin tin.
  3. Mix dries. In a second bowl, mix wets. Combine & pour batter into prepared pan. Bake large cake 40-45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Start checking loaf or layer for doneness at 20-25 minutes; for cupcakes, check at 15-18 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. Let cool. Serve plain, with a standard cream cheese icing or lemon glaze (recipe here).
  5. For the optional glaze, mix together confectioner's sugar, lemon flavorings, olive oil. Add more lemon juice or water for thinner texture. Drizzle on top of cakes/cupcakes, or between layers.
  6. A-to-Z options. FRUITS-banana, apple, apricot, berries (one or mixed), cherries, coconut, cranberries, fig, grape, peach, pear, pineapple, plum or rhubarb. VEGETABLES-carrot, eggplant, pumpkin or other winter squash, sweet-potato or yam, tomato, zucchini or other summer squash. DAIRY-sour cream or yogurt. CITRUS JUICE or DRIED FRUIT-use single type or mixed. SWEET THINGS-jam, honey or mincemeat.
  7. Keeps: days at room temp; week in the fridge; 2-4 months in freezer.

More Great Recipes:
Cake|American|Honey|Lemon Juice|Vegetable|Fruit|Serves a Crowd|Vegetarian|Vegan|Breakfast|Dessert