Apple Spice Cake

Thanksgiving is just one week away and it is never to early to start planning your menu. In fact, I would hope that you have at least started thinking about what you will be cooking next week. With every successful Thanksgiving dinner, there are a number of staples that I couldn't imagine not having. These include turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and of course pumpkin pie.


While I would agree that every Thanksgiving meal should have these staples, I love to throw in some fun new recipes into the mixture as well. A word to the wise however, try the recipe at least once before the main event. You want to be sure that it is a good recipe and that it is worth sharing with your friends and family.


I do love pumpkin pie, especially for dessert on Thanksgiving. But if I am being honest, it can get a little old. I enjoy having a few options for my post-meal treat. I came across this recipe for an apple spice cake while browsing the pages of Ina Garten's new cookbook, Make It Ahead. It is a sweeter cake, so I think it would balance the sweet yet savory flavor of pumpkin pie very nicely.

Do you have any other favorite Thanksgiving desserts?

Apple Spice Cake


1 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup dark run, such as Mount Gay 1 cup golden raisins 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature 3/4 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 teaspoons grated orange zest 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon ground gloves 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and 1/4-inch diced vanilla ice cream caramel sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13x2-inch baking pan.
  2. Place the pecans on a sheet pan and toast them for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. Set aside. Combine the rum and raisins in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 60 seconds. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, and orange zest on medium speed for 3 minutes. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves into a medium bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, just until combined. Drain the raisins, discarding the liquid. With a rubber spatula, fold the raisins, pecans, and apples into the batter. Spread into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool, cut into squares, and serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of warm caramel sauce.