Autumn Apple Cake

Apples, cinnamon and rum-soaked raisins capture autumn in this moist Bundt cake. Coffee cake? Snack cake? Impressive post-meal dessert? It works for all three – you decide.

Autumn Apple cake on a bed of fallen leaves

Autumn in L.A.

Feigning Hollywood starlet ennui, tanned summer leaves serenely suicide from weary trees, “Too hot,” they lament, “I cannot stay a moment longer.”  L.A. subtly shifts into autumn, leaving paroxysms of sunset hues to the other coast.

Autumn Apple Cake

Adapted from Richardson’s Canal House Inn apple raisin cake.


  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup dark spiced rum
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cut into ½” dice
  • Glaze and Icing
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰ F. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan, knocking out excess flour. Combine golden raisins and rum in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Set aside and let soak.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk together oil, eggs, sugars, and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in apples and drained golden raisins. Spoon batter into pan.
  3. Bake until tester comes out clean, about 75 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 10 minutes and then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine unsalted butter, brown sugar and honey and heat on medium until sugar is completely melted and glaze is thickened and bubbling. Brush over top and sides of cake. Combine powdered sugar with enough water to make a glaze and drizzle over cake. Serve plain of with sweetened whipped cream

Sliced Autumn Apple Cake

Load of Crock

crockpotIn my 20+ years of being out on my own,  I’ve avoided buying a crock pot, viewing it as a tool for the home cook and not the utensil of the “serious chef” (Funny how I tend to borrow and use my co-worker’s slow cooker more than she does).  Well,  I ran into this little cutie today at the supermarket  – 1.5 quarts and only $9.99.  How could I resist?  I’m in a stew mood and I can’t wait for Fall.

Phoren’s Pho

These chilly nights have brought my thoughts and cravings from gelato to warm, comforting, Autumn soups.  The season’s first:

Phoren’s Pho

1.5 lb.  bone-in beef short ribs

1.5 lb.  beef shank, cut into 2 or 3 pieces

½         onion, sliced

1          1 inch piece ginger, smashed

½         bunch scallions, white parts smashed and greens chopped

2          garlic cloved, smashed

1          fresh red chile, stemmed and halved

6 c.      water

1/8 c.   soy sauce

2          whole star anise

1          2 inch cinnamon stick

8 oz.    dried flat Asian rice noodles

Mint sprigs, cilantro sprigs, lime wedges

Pat meat dry and brown meat in batches in a soup pot.  Set meat aside.  Brown onion, ginger, scallions, garlic and chili. Add water, soy sauce, anise, cinnamon and meat with juices.  Simmer, covered for 2 to 2 ½ hours.  Transfer meat to cutting board. Discard bone and membrane and cut or shred into small pieces.

Strain broth through a chinois, skim fat, add meat back in and season with salt.  Meanwhile, heat unsalted water in another pot until boiling, remove from heat, add noodles, cover and soften 6-7 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

Place noodles in bowls, add scallion greens, cilantro and mint sprigs.  Ladle in soup and flavor with lime.

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine


Today, I’m playing hooky from work, opting instead to watch the rain through the back windows, slurping coffee from a never-ending mug, writing and reading. The back door is open – I love the smell of rain, especially after a long, dusty summer.  Perhaps, at some point, I’ll gather the impetus to get some things done, but, for right now, I’m enjoying my lazy autumn afternoon.