I say it all the time, but I just love autumn. Maybe because I don’t get full-fledged autumn weather here so, for this gal, it’s the stuff dreams are made of. For example, last week I was more than a little excited to wake up to cooler weather. I started planning for early evening soccer practice and early morning games: Fill the large thermos with hot cocoa, pack the car with well-worn, houndstooth Pendletons, pull out my favorite oversized sweater and comfy jeans.
By the time game time rolled around, it was 90 degrees and rising. Back off, Heat. Back it up and get outta my town! Not gonna let it get me down though. It may still be summer outside, but inside? It’s all autumn, all the time (until it’s winter…woo!). And I don’t do autumn without some baking.
This easy cake tastes like fall…little bites of autumn. Bonus: it’s a cinch to throw together. Yep, it calls for a cake mix to keep it super simple, but doctor that up a little and it’s autumn-ey cake yumminess. I don’t usually measure with this cake–I just add what I’m in the mood for. Sometimes I toss finely chopped walnuts in the batter, or top the frosting with toasted pecans, maybe a little homemade applesauce thrown in the mix, too. But this time I added some of my mom-in-law’s beyond tasty apple butter. Oh my heavens, that stuff is g-o-o-d. I eat it out of the jar with a spoon. I thought it’d only make this cake better. And it did.
There are many versions of this cake around–you might have your own. This is my favorite way to make it. When I said I was sharing it on the blog, Munchie named it for you. We’ve been reading autumn-themed books and the word harvest is on her radar. ♥ Whip this cake up in no time and take a moment for yourself– enjoy a piece with afternoon tea, kick your shoes off, and relax a bit. It’s flavorful enough without the cream cheese frosting, but I won’t tell if you do indulge.
Easy Harvest Apple Spice Cake
- 1 box spice cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
- A dash or two of allspice
- freshly ground nutmeg (a few grates on a microplane grater; I don't measure, but less than ⅛ of a tsp.)
- ⅓ cup homemade apple butter (I do a heaping ⅓ cup 🙂 )
- 1 (20 to 21 oz.) can apple pie filling
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup cinnamon chips ( I use Prepared Pantry which are very small chips)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 x 13-in. pan with Baker's Joy (or grease and flour pan).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cake mix, allspice, nutmeg, apple butter, apple pie filling, and eggs. Mix on medium-low speed until combined thoroughly. The mixer will chop up the apples a bit for you. Add the cinnamon chips and mix just until combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes (I follow bake time on the box for this size pan. Adjust accordingly depending on your pan size and oven) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool completely then frost. Enjoy! ♥
- Cream Cheese Frosting: With a hand mixer, mix 1 (8 ounce) package softened cream cheese, ½ cup softened & unsalted butter, 1.5 to 2 cups powdered sugar (adjust to your desired taste & texture), 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 Tbsp. heavy cream (start with 1 and adjust to your desired taste & texture) until smooth. Spread over cooled cake.