This moist, spiced apple cake topped with swirls of luscious, sugary-textured frosting is sure to become a fall dessert favorite.
Apple-Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
Yields: 1 (13×9-inch) cake
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 4 cups (¼-inch) cubed peeled Honeycrisp apples
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1½ tablespoons whole milk
- Garnish: chopped toasted walnuts, pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13×9-inch metal cake pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- In a large bowl, beat granulated sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, oil, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla with a mixer at medium speed until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and ¾ teaspoon salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. (Batter will be quite thick.) Fold in apples and walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan; spread in an even layer using a small offset spatula. Tap pan on counter several times to spread batter and release any air bubbles.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat butter, remaining ½ cup brown sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until well combined. Add milk and remaining 3 teaspoons vanilla, beating until smooth and spreadable, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Using a large offset spatula, spread frosting onto cake, swirling as desired. Garnish with walnuts and pie spice, if desired.