I did a lot of baking for Thanksgiving this year. My celebrated twice, one day with one side of the family, another day with the other side of the family. I decided to make two different cakes, one for each day. Both are out of the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. This post is about the cake I made for Thanksgiving proper. The cake I made for Thanksgiving Round 2 will come out later in the week.
Let me start off by saying that this Thanksgiving Cake is probably my new favorite holiday cake! I am considering a Thanksgiving fruit cake since it is loaded with dried fruit! Cranberries, raisins, figs, and fresh apples really cause a party to brew in your mouth. The fact that this cake is then topped with a caramel sauce (homemade, of course!) makes this cake even better tasting!
Step 1: Making the Caramel Sauce
I actually made the caramel sauce over the weekend leading up to Thanksgiving week. It’s the same caramel sauce I made a couple of months ago when I baked the Harvest Apple Cupcakes. At that time, the caramel sauce went into a meringue frosting that was piped beautifully on top of the cupcakes.
This caramel is great for so many reasons! It found its way into both of the recipes I made this week. It also keeps for weeks in the fridge, so it’s perfect for topping ice cream, dipping sliced apples, drizzling over apple pie, or (let’s be honest) tasting by the spoon. This attempt at the caramel sauce was more successful than the first time I made it for the cupcakes. Practice really does make perfect, it seems!
Step 2: Baking the Actual Cake
The night before Thanksgiving, I was in the kitchen. Luckily for me, work ended early that day so it gave me a bit more free time. First I prepped all of the dried and fresh fruits. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to peel the Granny Smith apples. What a time saver!
The figs were diced, the raisins covered in a bit a flour, the cranberries chopped, and the apples ready to go. This recipe was also supposed to have pecans in it, but while I was toasting the nuts, I forgot about them. So they burned. Into the garbage they went! But, after tasting the cake, I don’t think anything was missing due to the lack of nuts.
Now that all the “hard work” was done, I was ready to assemble the cake batter. There really isn’t anything special about this cake recipe. Butter, sugar, flour, eggs, etc., etc. It came together really easily. But, what was cool about this recipe is that it gets baked in a springform pan!
Thankfully, I read the recipe before starting. As I’ve mentioned before, this cookbook does have some errors and omissions in it (check out the review of the Blueberry Jamboree). So it doesn’t state that the cake should be baked in a springform until it tells you to undo the latch. Silly cookbook editors!
Once the batter was made, I added the different fruits and mixed it all together. Then, I poured the batter into the heavily greased and parchment lined pan, and threw it in the oven.
This cake did bake in under the time the recipe said it would. After about 65 minutes, the cake was done. And despite the recipe saying it may be hard to tell, I was confident. BUT I did leave it in the oven for a few more minutes just to be sure!
Once the cake was out and cooling for about 10 minutes, I took some of the glaze I made out of white sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt. This was poured onto the cake and was allowed to seep into the still warm cake. It looked so glossy and pretty. The caramel sauce I made would be used later to make a butterscotch drizzle for serving. Sadly, I don’t have photos of that.
Step 3: Serving and Eating
The next day, Thanksgiving, was the day this cake would make its debut! And it was a hit! In fact, it was so yummy and popular that I forgot to take a picture of what a slice of the cake looked like from the inside. Thankfully, we were able to bring a bit of home and my mom snapped a picture before my brother wanted to take a bite!
As I’ve said earlier, this was definitely a cake I’d bake again for Thanksgiving. It was a big hit and I really liked it. It was also very similar in ingredients and taste to the cupcakes I made in the recipe linked above.
Stay tuned later this week to read about how my Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting turned out!