The leaves outside my window are turning yellow and brown and orange. I love fall. I love the cool, crisp weather. And some of my favorite fall memories are of picking apples in Rhode Island and then going home to drink some cider and make an apple dessert. One of my all-time favorite fall desserts is Fresh Apple Spice Cake (p. 165 in O Taste & See Some More!). In fact, I make it so often-and get so many rave reviews of it-that it made it to my Top Ten Favorites list!

It’s dense and moist. It keeps well, even without refrigeration. And the secret to it’s “deliciousness” is in the glaze! Oh yum, yum, yum! I made it yesterday with Mia…

Mia is from Rhode Island, as we are, and is studying in Italy this semester. She came to visit us with her boyfriend and had written ahead to ask if she could help me in my kitchen. I love finding young girls who want to learn to cook! So we planned out a dinner menu together which included homemade pasta…

and two types of homemade ravioli..

…Pumpkin and Agnolotti (with roast beef)…  We served the Pumpkin Ravioli with Browned Butter and Sage and the Agnolotti with Truffle Oil.

Oh my goodness! They were delicious!

But that’s another blog…or come to one of my Taste of Italy weekends for some personal cooking classes. I decided to make my Fresh Apple Spice Cake with Mia since her boyfriend had told me he preferred fruit desserts to something with chocolate. And he’s not even a health freak!

We began by getting together our ingredients…

I usually quarter my apples and then peel them, but just yesterday it dawned on me for the very first time that a vegetable peeler might make getting the apples ready even easier…

And it worked so well! I’ve peeled pears that way before…not sure why I’d never thought to try it with apples. After they were peeled, I quartered and cored them…

…then sliced each quarter into three slices…

…and then cut the slices into small squares…

So that’s about the size you want to cut up your three cups of apples. About 2-3 apples, depending how big they are. This is, in fact, a good way to use up a couple of apples that aren’t real crispy. I’ve used lots of types…so I won’t begin to list all the possibilities here. Any baking apple is fine; I’ve never used Red Delicious or Granny Smith. If you do, and find they work well, feel free to comment below!

Mia and I began by beating together our sugar, eggs and oil. I use olive oil so often in most of my recipes that I made a point to write “Vegetable Oil” on the picture of the ingredients…I don’t think olive oil woudl work too well in this recipe!

Then we added all the dry ingredients…

I see that wire whisk still in the photo but actually at this point we switched to a wooden spoon, because the batter gets very thick. To this very thick batter we added vanilla, the chopped apples and walnuts.

We spread the cake batter into a greased tube pan.

You could also use two large loaf pans. And I’ve even baked the batter as muffins. I haven’t tried using a rectangular cake pan but I think it would work, though the baking time would be less. I realize everyone doesn’t have the same kitchen equipment so I like to give options…

While the cake is baking, you can mix up the delicious glaze for the topping in a saucepan…sugar, buttermilk or sour milk, baking soda, butter and vanilla…

Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for four minutes. I don’t know why it’s four minutes…but that’s the way the recipe came to me years ago. And I do like that better than watching a candy thermometer and trying to read a miniscule number on it! The mixture will foam up…

…stir it every once in a while. And keep an eye on it-I don’t think I’ve ever had it boil over, but it’s come very close!

 The tube pan baked for an hour and ten minutes at 350° F (180° C). Loaf pans take about an hour. I thought the cake looked a little more pale than usual, but the timer dinged and a toothpick came out clean…so we took it out.

As soon as it came out of the oven we poured the glaze over the top…

…and brushed it with a pastry brush so every nook and cranny got covered…

We just let it cool completely in the pan…then ran a knife around the outer edge and lifted it out…

It was as good as I remembered! And Mia’s boyfriend had a second slice.

I hope you’re enjoying fall…and you’ll try the Fresh Apple Spice Cake soon!



Fresh Apple Cake

Yield: Serves 12-16


  • 3 C. (375 g) flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 C. (250 ml) oil
  • 2 C. (500 g) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C. (200 g) pecans or walnuts
  • 3 C. peeled, finely chopped apples, approximately 3 large apples
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 C. (125 g) sugar
  • 1/4 C. buttermilk (or regular milk with a little vinegar to sour it)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla


  1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oil and sugar and eggs. Beat well.
  3. Add the flour mixture, beating until thoroughly mixed. The batter is extremely thick! Add the vanilla, nuts and apples.
  4. Spread batter in a greased and floured tube pan or 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350° F (180° C) for 1 hour and 15 minutes for tube pan, 45 minutes to 1 hour for loaf pans or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool. (Do not turn upside down or remove from pan.) While hot, brush with the glaze below.
  5. Glaze:
  6. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Spoon the glaze over the hot cake. Cool completely and remove from pan.


  1. 11-11-2020

    Great sounding recipe I need to try soon. Thanks for the great pictures and the inspiration. This will be a great cake to take to a church gathering, or small group get-together.

  2. 11-11-2020

    I decided to make Mulligatawny soup and Fresh Apple cake for my guests this week. All ready — but alas they couldn’t stay for a meal! My neighbors were grateful recipients of the food and as so often happens they said, “we need both of those recipes”. My reply, “They are both in my daughter’s cookbook” Thanks, Debbie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *