While I'm still forming my opinions of Giada and Ina's new shows, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the fact that they even have new shows! I feel like I've been waiting six months for their new shows to premier. Yesterday while watching Giada at Home, I saw her make a Halloween Spice Cake that looked absolutely divine. If you know me well you know that Halloween is my favorite holiday and Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love all the flavors and smells of Autumn, and Giada's cake seemed like the perfect way to marry some of my favorite scents and flavors.
Halloween Spice Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting
For the cake: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
In a large bowl, beat the sugars, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract to blend. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cake for 10 minutes. Un-mold the cake and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into slices for serving.
- The batter didn't look *quite* like Giada's. It also had a gritty taste to it. I may have added the dry ingredients too quickly or in too many batches. Giada did two batches of dry ingredients, I did three. I may have seized up my batter before it had a chance.
- I picked up regular Mott's Applesauce. I couldn't find specifically labeled "unsweetened" applesauce, but when you shop at a discount store, they won't have everything. I don't think it hurt the cake at all!
- I used kosher salt instead of sea salt, and it tasted fine to me. I've heard varying opinions on sea salt vs. kosher salt, and I think that nearly any kind of salt will do for most baked goods. All salt does is cut down the sweetness, so I think you're fine no matter what you use.
- You could put this in a regular cake pan if you wanted. I almost used my heart-shaped silicon pan for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I realized I haven't yet used my loaf pan, and I love any excuse to use gadgets and goodies I haven't used yet.
- Overall this cake isn't too spicy, it has just the right amount of Autumn spices to make you think of Autumn and football games. Enjoy this with some mulled cider during the Bears game!