The Monday Treat – Spiced Pumpkin Apple Cake with Maple Frosting

Pumpkin cake photo and pumpkin illustration for recipeThanksgiving is just around the corner. Great excitement; the paper turkeys can once more grace the window sill. That’s not a metaphor for something. I mean actual paper turkeys. And also paper pumpkins and garland. Gotta love a theme.

I remember our first Thanksgiving. Chicago. Snow. Fantastic parade featuring Pilgrims wearing Ugg boots.

And though it’s not snowing here in NY, it’s the kind of weather where a cup of tea and a slice of cake is most appreciated. This spiced pumpkin apple cake has all the flavors of fall, and, if you ever so slightly under cook it, it takes on a texture somewhere between cake and pie, damp and soft. For a cakier cake, add a tbsp more flour and cook for the full hour. Once baked and cooled we’re on to the really good part; a beautiful buff maple glaze, or a full on cream cheese maple frosting.

Either way, it’s a perfect Monday treat.

Leaves illustration for autumn pumpkin apple cake recipe

Spiced Pumpkin Apple Cake

3/4 cup of pumpkin puree (I use Whole Foods organic unsweetened pumpkin)
1 apple
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 ½ tsp pumpkin spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, ¼ tsp nutmeg)
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup plain yogurt
Oil or butter for greasing the cake tin
 
  • Preheat the oven to 350f
  • Grate the apple and squeeze out the juice in your hands. Put into a mixing bowl with the pumpkin, flour, sugar, baking powder and spices
  • In a separate bowl or jug mix the eggs, yogurt and oil until smooth then add to the dry mix and stir to combine
  • Scrape into a greased cake tin (I use a loaf tin about 9 by 6 inches) and bake for 50 – 60 mins (you want to top to be slightly browned)
  • Cool for 30 mins in the pan before turning out
  • Leave for another 30 mins to cool before frosting

Maple Glaze

This sweet, almost smoky glaze is an elegant and simple finishing touch

1/4 cup + 1tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup confectioners (icing) sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
 
  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, and mix in the maple syrup until you have a thin spreading consistency
  • Drizzle over the cake and leave to set for an hour

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

So this is full on frosting greatness. It really is totally delicious – the kind of frosting you might want to eat with a teaspoon out of a shot glass if you have a sweet tooth. It’s delicious on coffee cakes too – for a full size cake (frosting and filling, double this recipe)

75g cream cheese
25g butter
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup confectioners (icing) sugar
½ tsp good vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
 
  • Make sure the butter and cheese are at room temperature, then cream them together in the mixer until soft and smooth (or by hand, but it’s going to take 5 mins of mixing)
  • Add the vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup and stir to combine
  • Sift in the icing sugar and mix until incorporated into a thick spreadable paste – if it’s too hard, add a few drops of milk
  • Spread over the cake
Leaves illustration for autumn pumpkin apple cake recipe

If You Can Make That You Can Make This

  • Decorate the top of the cake with walnuts or pecans
  • Add a handful of walnuts to the batter
  • Or pecans
  • Or dried cranberries
  • Use the icing to top a coffee cake
  • Or try this spiced apple loaf cake
  • Or be adventurous and try one of these cakes
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7 Responses to The Monday Treat – Spiced Pumpkin Apple Cake with Maple Frosting

  1. Dee Mondschein says:

    I love pumpkin bread/cake, and the addition of apple sounded good, but I was wary of the maple– and pleasantly surprised!

    Love the website and the drawings and stories. It’s like a J. Peterman catalogue for cooks!

    Keep ‘em coming!

  2. Caroline Temmink says:

    I love idea of a glaze on the cake. I have some people in te family who aren’t that keen on icing so I could use the glaze and then maybe put the frosting on cupcakes (it sounds too good not to have any frosting!). Yum!

    • Kate says:

      It’s really good frosting, but as you can see from the picture, I made it with the glaze this time – it’s really easy and quick – and tastes much more complex than it is. It’s good on apple cake and on plain loaf cakes too. Somehow the maple syrup stops it being too sweet – I know that doesn’t sound entirely rational, but there’s something about the smokiness … also, it’s a very glamorous buff color. Lovely.

  3. as you know, i only seem to cook on holidays.. and i knew you wouldn’t fail me with thanksgiving inspiration. this sounds amazing!

  4. Kate says:

    I just made a variation on this frosting for a banana bread I discovered on 101 cookbooks – 1/4 cup icing sugar, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 4 tbsp lemon juice. Very nice.

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