Fall baking; it's apple time!

This is a simple and tasty fall baking favorite! It could be either an apple cake or with a few changes pumpkin cake. And, check out the caterer's serving technique included with this recipe!

Fall baking; it’s apple time!

Fall and baking just seem to go together. Fall baking is just a tasty way to use our ovens to warm up our homes. Delay turning on that furnace for the first time and allow the aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, apples, pumpkin, and cloves to contribute to the memories of the changing season.

Below is a recipe that can either be an apple cake or, with a few adjustments, pumpkin cake.  It started as an old Better Homes and Gardens cookie recipe that has been simplified and adjusted through the years to produce one of the most moist sheet cakes that I’ve tasted.  Add cream cheese frosting and it’s heaven!

The instructions will also incorporate a simple caterer’s technique.  Preparation of individual dessert bites which will enhance the presentation of your baked goods and simplify serving.  You will offer tasting portions for your family and guests and eliminate the need to cut and serve at your next party.

Apple Cake Bites

Preheat 350 degrees

Dry ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour1-1/2 cups sugar2 teaspoons baking powder1 teaspoon baking soda¼ teaspoon salt2 teaspoons ground cinnamon¼ teaspoon ground cloves


Wet ingredients:

4 beaten eggs1 16-18-ounce bottle chunky-home-style applesauce*1 cup cooking oil

Stir all the dry ingredients in one large mixing bowl.

Stir all the wet ingredients together in a small bowl and then add to the dry ingredients.  Stir just until everything is combined.

Spread batter into a greased 15 x 10 x 2 inch pan.  Cook 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool.

*  Make sure it is chunky applesauce.  If you prefer to make a pumpkin cake, add a 16-ounce can pumpkin instead of the applesauce. 


Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-oz cream cheese (softened)½ lb butter (softened)2 teaspoons vanilla3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar **

Beat together the softened cream cheese and butter with the vanilla.  Once fluffy, gradually add enough powered sugar to taste.

** I like to prepare cream cheese frosting to individual taste - adjust powered sugar accordingly.


Individual Serving Technique

I’m spilling a caterer’s secret!  Make individual, small portion servings!  These individual servings allow easy display on your serving platters.  You could mix and match bites with one of other favorites (i.e., chocolate cake, brownies, miniature tarts) and it allows for easy handling of the treats for your guests.  And, most importantly, quick cleaning afterwards!

Invest in nested biscuit cutters (Wilton is a good choice) as you will have several different sizes to work with.  Also have several different size paper cupcake holders on hand.  Be creative and pipe the frosting on the individual bites.

As far as the leftover scraps - Well now the baker can taste the creation to ensure its culinary worthiness.  Once that is ensured, the scraps could be combined with the leftover frosting formed in balls and rolled in your choice (powered chocolate, cinnamon sugar, ground nuts, etc) and placed in the small cupcake holders as cake balls.  You just might be surprised at the compliments you get on the cake balls!


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Sally Van Cura October 01, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Hi Bob - Thanks for the comment! This recipe is a favorite because of its simplicity. You can combined about 10 ingredients (including the chunky applesauce) and put it in the oven to produce a wonderful treat. I usually make this cake in the morning while everyone is sleeping. There is no need for a mixer (it keeps it quite) and everyone wakes up to the warm feeling of scented fall flavors. Although, if you are ready to make your own applesauce, let me recommend Ina Garten of the Food Network's homemade applesauce http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-applesauce-recipe/index.html. Her applesauce calls for a combination of tart and sweet apples and the taste is quite wonderful. Don't forget to let me know how you like her recipe. Thanks.
Sue Szumigalski October 01, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Sally, I've been privileged to taste your creations, and let me join the bandwagon and tell everyone that these cakes are simply WONDERFUL! The individual pieces are great for serving at a holiday doing, and if by chance there happens to be some left over, the cake stays moist and delicious in the refrigerator. A wonderful recipe for any time of the year.
Sally Van Cura October 01, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Hi Sue - Thank you for your kind comments! By the way, you just told everyone that we have raided the refrigerator for leftover sweets! Is there a recipe you'd like to share?
Sharon Lavorato October 01, 2012 at 11:21 PM
HI Sally-tried this recipe at work today for a lovely cancer patient of mine-she just loved it -gave some to her grand children and they said yum Grandma!!!!!
Sally Van Cura October 02, 2012 at 10:47 AM
Hi Sharon - Thank you for the wonderful story. Isn't it such an easy recipe?


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