Elise Johnson’s Fall Recipes for Butternut Soup, Apple Cakes and More


Apple Cakes with Butter Icing

If this Apple Spice Cake does not knock your socks off, I don’t know what will! A delicious butter icing gets soaked up in this spice cake filled with apples. This is probably one of our family’s favorite spice cakes.


  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups canola oil
  • 3 large eggs, one at a time.
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4-5 medium apples peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Butter Icing

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat 12 (3 1/2–inch) cast iron pans with nonstick cooking spray. (Depending upon the size of your small cast iron skillets, you may have a little extra cake batter. I made a couple of small loaves for my neighbor!)
  2. In an electric mixer, cream together light brown sugar, granulated sugar and oil.
  3. Add your dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.
  4. Fold in apples, vanilla extract and nuts if using.
  5. Divide batter between your 12 (3 ½-inch) cast iron pans. (You can make a large cake in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, but the individual pans are so sweet for special occasions!)
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (55 minutes is needed in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan).
  7. Make the butter glaze just before the cake is ready to come out of the oven. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the brown sugar, butter and evaporated milk to a boil, stirring constantly.
  8. Once the mixture starts to come up to a rolling boil, immediately remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt.
  9. When the cake(s) comes out of the oven, poke a few holes in it using a chopstick. Pour the icing over the top and allow it to harden a bit. Enjoy plain or with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream!

Now, please do not ask me how many calories are in this recipe. I’ve never been brave enough to calculate. It’s the holidays, so enjoy!

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