Fresh Apple Spice Cake

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 9 to 12 servings
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1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup dark rum, 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 oranges) 

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 cloves 

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and 1/4-inch-diced (3 to 4 apples) 

Vanilla ice cream, such as Haagen-Dazs 

Caramel sauce, such as Fran's, heated 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-by-2-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.
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