I love fall spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar – they all just seem to be perfect complements to each other, and are more powerful flavors together rather than apart. J. is not a fan, so it’s rare I eat a lot of spiced flavors unless it happens to be in my coffee or I splurge for a dessert of my own. But since we were hosting 15 people for Thanksgiving, I knew there were enough other mouths to feed to make this cake. So, as promised, here’s my other scrumptious baked good from my baking day before Thanksgiving – Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
(And if you missed my first one – make sure to check out my Parker House Rolls recipe!)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated apple (1 – 2 large apples, I used Gala)
- Butter for greasing pan
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel and grate your apples. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with butter (or oil).
In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and other spices. In a separate large bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, brown sugar, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Then softly mix in the grated apples.
Pour batter into your greased pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until cooked through and a toothpick comes out dry. Allow to cool completely before frosting. If possible, make the cake the day before so it can cool overnight.
For the the frosting: In a stand mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer) beat the room temperature cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix for another minute. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and let it set in the refrigerator for about 20 – 30 minutes.
And voila – spice cake ready for any occasion! The one downfall of fall spices is that they can sometimes taste very dry. The applesauce and grated apples give this cake a natural sweetness and keep the cake moist and tender, plus apples + cinnamon, you can’t ask for a better combo!