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Spiced Apple Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Giada de Laurentiis's recipe for spiced apple walnut cake
TODAY Show: Giada de Laurentiis's recipe for spiced apple walnut cake. -- November 3, 2015Samantha Okazaki / TODAY


  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 3 medium green apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and diced into ¼- to ½-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


For the cake:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally butter and flour a 10-inch fluted tube or Bundt pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the apples, maple syrup, eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In batches, mix the dry ingredients into the apple mixture. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the icing:

In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, cream, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons water, and vanilla. Process until smooth, adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the icing is pourable. Spoon the icing over the cake and allow to set for 20 minutes before slicing.