Mini Apple Spice Cakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s tough to choose between pumpkin and apple desserts when it comes to fall baking. I say why not bake up one of each? These Mini Apple Spice Cakes, topped with a rich Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, are the perfect addition to any fall breakfast or brunch. They are loaded with apple and warm spices, sure to be a hit on a cool fall morning.

The Mini Apple Spice Cakes are easy to make quick breads that only take a few minutes to put together. The batter includes both brown and white sugar, along with a generous amount of cinnamon, ginger and cloves to spice it up. I used shredded apple – not apple sauce – because it gives the breads a great texture, while helping keep them moist. You don’t need to peel your apples before shredding them, as any bits of peel will be small enough that you won’t notice them in the finished cake.

The cream cheese frosting is an optional topping for these cakes, but I really recommend it. The tangy cream cheese pairs very well with apples in all kinds of cakes, not just this one, and the cinnamon ties in nicely with those apple spices. You can add on a thin layer if you want to keep things simple, or dress them up with a swirling design like I did above to make these loaves particularly eye catching.

These loaf cakes are perfect for a fall weekend brunch or holiday breakfast. They smell amazing when they’re baking and are really packed with fall flavors. The mini loaves are big enough to stand out in a sea of muffins on a brunch platter, too. They’re big enough to share – but you can treat yourself to a whole one with a big mug of coffee or tea if you feel like treating yourself.

This is one recipe where I’ll whip up a double (or triple) batch to hand out as holiday treats to family who come over to visit – a great take home treat size. If you plan to give them away, look for single-use mini loaf pans that you can bake directly in, wrap up and pass out!

Mini Apple Spice Cakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup shredded apple (not applesauce)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease three 3×5-inch mini loaf pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by shredded apple and vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in the remaining flour mixture and mix until no streaks of flour remain.
Divide batter evenly into prepared mini loaf pans.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow loaves to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
5 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
1 – 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Blend in cinnamon, vanilla extract and milk. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar until frosting is thick and spreadable.
Apply to cooled cakes.

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