Carrot Cake and Apple Muffins

So much for fall.  I live in Louisiana, and either the weather powers that be did not get the “it’s fall y’all” memo or the barometric pressure has a rotten sense of humor.  The weather did tease us last week with a mere hint of crisp air and turning leaves.  This week however, it is hot as hot sauce down here in the deep south.  Hot and humid Louisiana weather with no sign of fall in sight times call for a little improvising.  If the weather won’t cooperate with my fall fest at least this recipe for Carrot Cake and Apple Muffins will!


Now we all know cinnamon and apples evoke thoughts of  fall through taste and smell.  Beginning with that thought,  I took an inventory of available ingredients in the cupboards of the Places In The Home test kitchen.

carrot cake and apple muffins

I also took an inventory of how much time I had before game time, realizing a part homemade, part not so homemade recipe was called for.  Hello, Carrot Cake and Apple Muffins- a new taste of fall favorite recipe and crowd-pleaser.

recipe ingredients

Carrot Cake and Apple Muffins


carrot cake mix

½  cup flour

½  teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½  teaspoon allspice

2 eggs

1 cup milk

2  Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup apples, peeled and chopped

¼ cup brown sugar

1 15 ounce can fried apples with cinnamon, pureed


Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease or spray bottoms of  muffin cups or line with baking cups.

dry ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour and kosher salt.  Set aside.

sliced apples

brown sugar cinnamon apples

In a small bowl, mix together the chopped apples, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and allspice.

cinnamon apples

Place fried apples in food processor and puree until smooth.  Reserve ¼ cup of pureed apples for muffin mixture.  Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to remaining processed apples and gently stir.  Allow mixture to sit at room temperature while completing recipe and baking muffins.  The apples and cinnamon marry together and wow!

fried apples

Add oil, eggs, one at a time, and milk to dry ingredients, stirring well.  Stir in the vanilla, chopped apples and ¼ cup of the pureed fried apples, gently combining all together.

cake batter

Pour batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake 20 minutes or until knife inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.  Serve warm with fried apple puree.  Makes 18 muffins.

muffin pan


Must Love Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

The calendar officially reads September.  I don’t really need to consult a calendar to know a change is in the air.  A glance out our kitchen window in the late afternoon gives it away.  As the dog days grow shorter and first signs of changing colors make their presence known,  thoughts of fall naturally come to mind.

fall leaves

If you’re a fall baking enthusiast like me, now’s the  time to take inventory and stock up on the essential seasonings of the season.  To know me is to know my number one fall baking requirement- must love cinnamon. This leads me to my second fall baking requirement- September is time to bake something, anything, that includes this most delicious fall baking ingredient. Let me introduce you to the recipe for Must Love Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake.

cinnamon sticksvia


Must Love Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake


1 cup quick cooking oats

1 ½  cup boiling water

1 ½  cup all-purpose flour

2  teaspoons ground cinnamon

½  teaspoon nutmeg

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon sea salt

½  cup shortening

1  cup granulated sugar

1  cup firmly packed brown sugar

2  Tablespoons dark Karo syrup

3  eggs

For topping:

1  stick butter

1  cup shredded coconut

3/4  cup packed brown sugar

2-3  Tablespoons milk

1  teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pecans, chopped



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or spray with cooking spray a 9 X 13 baking pan.

Combine quick-oats and boiling water together in a small mixing bowl and let stand 20 minutes. In a separate mixing bowl combine the  flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and sea salt.  Using a whisk,  blend the dry ingredients together to eliminate lumps.


In a large mixing bowl add together the granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar and the shortening.  Mix ingredients together on medium speed until combined.  Add in eggs, one at the time.  Beat in the oatmeal.

creamed sugar

Gradually add flour mixture to the wet mixture, beating until well combined. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.

cake batter

Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

For the topping:

coconut topping

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine 1 stick butter, coconut, 3/4 cup brown sugar, vanilla and  milk together.  Stirring constantly, cook mixture until it boils.  Stir in chopped pecans.

brown sugar

Pour topping over the cake and spread evenly over top of cake.  Allow cake to cool before serving.

must love cinnamon oatmeal cake