Garten’s easy cake can be served alone or with additional toppings. “My fresh apple spice cake is
amazing,” she explained on an episode of Barefoot Contessa. “But it’s the rum-soaked raisins that put it right over the top.”
She noted that she uses golden raisins because “they’re a little sweeter” and “look great in the cake.” Garten poured dark rum over the raisins, sharing that the alcohol has “sort of like a caramel-y flavor and it’ll be great with the apples.” She microwaved the mixture for 60 seconds “so the raisins plump up and the rum gets into the raisins.”
Garten made the cake by first combining sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, and oil. “Just think how all these flavors are so delicious together with apple,” she said before beating the mixture together in a stand mixer “until it’s light and fluffy.”
Garten next combined the dry ingredients in a sifter: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, cloves, and salt. She sifted the flour and spices together, then slowly added it to the wet ingredients with the mixer running at a low speed.
Ina Garten’s apple spice cake can be made ahead of time
While demonstrating the recipe on her cooking show, Garten shared how it was a hit when she sold it at her Barefoot Contessa store. “It’s not fancy. Just really delicious and earthy,” she said. “And you always want to come back for more.”
Garten drained the raisins and added them to the batter, along with toasted pecans and diced granny smith apples, before folding everything together.
“And the good thing is, you can make it ahead,” she noted. “It only gets better.”
Garten poured the batter into a greased and floured rectangular pan and baked the cake for 35 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.
She allowed it to cool before flipping the cake over onto her hand, removing the parchment paper, and putting it upright on a cutting board to slice into big pieces.
“With a cup of tea in the afternoon, it’s a perfect snack,” she noted.
You can find the full recipe on the Food Network website.
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Of course, Garten demonstrated how to make the dessert even more decadent with a couple of easy additions you won’t want to skip.
“If you want to make a great dessert out of it, I’ll show you what I do,” she said. Garten plated the square of apple spice cake and placed a scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside it. She recommended taking the ice cream out of the freezer and allowing it to soften in the refrigerator for half an hour before scooping.
“And not to leave well enough alone, I have some warm caramel sauce — store bought,” she noted. “You don’t have to make your own caramel sauce.” She drizzled the sauce over the plate, cake, and ice cream.
“I would say that’s a dessert that everybody is going to be very happy to try,” she added.