I didn't have baking soda so used baking powder instead, used a little less sugar (3/4 cup) since I don't like things overly sweet, and also threw in some raisins and a little bit of milk to make it easier to spread out the batter. I think they're great! It only took 30 minutes for them to bake. They didn't rise, so this recipe is like a bar (think lemon bars). Doubling the recipe in an 8 X 8 pan would make it thicker, more like an apple cake. It doesn't really make 16 bars, unless you like them very small. I cut it into thirds for a total of 9 bars. Using a type of apple that's sour is a good suggestion.
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I didn't have baking soda so used baking powder instead, used a little less sugar (3/4 cup)...