Baking in Burma – Brianna’s Apple Cake

Brianna is one of my favorite persons in the world and Brianna’s cake is hands down one of my favorite cakes in this universe.

I call this Brianna’s cake but the recipe of this cake is a family secret of a woman named Sally.  She donated this cake recipe to a church cookbook in Dexter, New Mexico and Brianna in turn gifted the recipe book to me at the end of my stay in the United States.  Thus, all the recipes in this book are Brianna’s to me from now on.

Baking in Myanmar is not very easy.  For starters, less than 0.1% of the country’s population own a real oven, according to renowned Statistics-Made-Up-By-This-Blog.  When you are one of the lucky few to own an oven, or if you are like myself and have befriended those with an oven, the only other thing to worry about is to find the necessary ingredients – again, not so easy either.  Therefore in the end, the secret to baking in Myanmar comes down to one’s fortitude to tweak the original recipe and ruthlessly substitute unavailable key ingredients.

But we were in luck on one Sunday afternoon at brunch.  That means I was able to procure an impressive 80% of the necessary ingredients.  We made chilled mimosas, quinoa salad and a dozen prawns that we brought back in ice-coolers from a beach last weekend.  And then, there was Brianna’s apple cake that we all savored with freshly pressed coffee and of course with some gossip from the open mic the night before.

Another Sunday well spent.

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Brunch 2

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Sally/Brianna’s Cake – tweaked version:

Cake: Mix 1 cup oil, 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 3 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1.5 tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon, 3 tsp vanilla extract, and 3 cups chopped apples. Butter a bundt pan or any pan you can find in a typical Burmese kitchen. Bake at 300 degrees for an hour and fifteen minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let set for 10 minutes.

Frosting: Melt 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar. Add 1/4 cup cream, any kind will do. Bring to a full boil and pour over the warm cake.

6 thoughts on “Baking in Burma – Brianna’s Apple Cake

  1. Pingback: Air Bagan Crash on Christmas. Could have been worse. | An Edible Woman

  2. I am going to Burma next week and want to take a gift for a young cousin who likes to bake. What is difficult to get in Burma but easy to get here in Canada? Muffin pans or other pans? Baking chocolate, vanilla? Any suggestions gratefully received.


    • Hi! They sell silicone muffin pans at markets here. If your cousin likes nice baking ware, get three-layered tea sandwich trays or cute cupcake wrappers. Mason jars, Cliff bars, specialty flour, good quality vanilla beans, gourmet cheese, etc would likely be appreciated. Cranberries or blueberries are expensive here. Lots of things which cannot be bought can be made or substituted (eg buttermilk). There was a wine crackdown earlier in the year so any good ole bottle of wine will do the trick…


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