Aunt Maggie’s Spiced Jini Cakes


Now for a special cookie from the Smokey Mountains of Virginia, Aunt Maggie’s Spiced Jini Cakes.  Not a fancy delicate cookie but rather a taste that was inspired by what Aunt Maggie had within reach in her kitchen.

I found this recipe in Secrets of the Great Old Timey Cooks – Historic Recipes, Lore and Wisdom by Barbara Swell. This impressive collection of recipes, and cures is adorned with photos of life in the 1920’s and 30’s in the Smokey Mountains of the United States. Barbara states, ” There’s a fire that still burns in the soul of these great cooks.”



This recipe was found in a handwritten, recipe book yellowed, tattered and stained that belonged to Barbara Swell’s grandmother. The best kind of recipe book. Aunt Maggie, the woman who wrote the recipe was a neighbour of her grandparents and lived in Salem, West Virginia. There is no date on this recipe but it is old and well loved. It is the kind of every day cookie that might also have been made for Christmas. This unusual recipe makes a tasty cookie that combines spices, coffee, chocolate, coconut and apples with the usual ingredients .

I’ll share the recipe from this book to inspire others to pull out the mixing bowl and fill the house with the aroma of freshly baked cookies.

Aunt Maggie’s Spiced Jini Cakes

  • 2 cups sugar                      2 chopped apples 
  • 1 cup shortening               3 cups flour 
  • 2 eggs                                    1/2 cup cold coffee
  • 1 cup coconut                      1/2 tsp. salt, cloves, nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp. each of soda, cocoa, cinnamon, and vanilla 

Beat sugar, shortening, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy. Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with coffee. Stir in coconut and apples. Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until done. ( If you don’t like coffee, you can substitute milk, buttermilk or sour cream. 

Thanks to Barbara Swell  for sharing that tasty recipe from your grandmother’s recipe collection.


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