Quince Spice Cake

In other “waste not, want not” news, I created a new recipe using up the boozy shredded quince left over from making holiday liqueurs, and it’s really good. This is based on a combination of the Joy of Cooking’s applesauce cake and apple spice cake recipes, but I subbed the butter for oil (like their apple spice cake recipe does) and used thick, spicy stewed quince puree instead of applesauce. Highly recommend, would make again.

In my oven, this cake got a little darker than expected on top. Not sure if it’s just because the quinces go caramel-bronze already when cooked (versus the pale tan of applesauce), but this cake is so tender and fragrant that I’ll be genuinely sorry when I’ve used the last tub of quince sauce from my freezer. An abbreviated recipe follows.

For me, holiday baking is somewhat like a mental illness, similar to the obsessive-compulsive cleaning performed by a woman 35 weeks pregnant. I tell myself I’ve done enough; all the baking is finished; go sit down. Then I just find myself coming to in the kitchen, my stand mixer ringing like an alarm, waking me from my fugue state. 🍐 🍞 🍐 After making quarts of quince ratafia, I had two half-gallon jars of booze-soaked shredded quince with spices and sliced ginger mixed in, so I pulled out the big chunks of cassia bark, cloves and long peppercorns and simmered it all on the stove for a few hours until it was very tender. Then I whizzed it up into a thick sauce and baked it into the quince version of an applesauce cake. It got a little caramelized on one edge, but is otherwise a fine loaf. 🍐 🍞 🍐 #baking #baked #bread #quickbread #cake #quince #spice #ocd #mentalhealth #therapy #food52 #foodgawker #foodstagram #instafood #instayum #cakesofinstagram #gluten #sugar #holidaze

A post shared by Heather Arndt Anderson (@heatherarndtanderson) on

Quince Spice Cake

Preheat oven to 350 and grease/parchment-line a 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75″ loaf pan.

Stir together in a large bowl:
1.5 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a tsp’s worth of some combination of cloves, mace, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom)
1 couple good pinches of kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Also stir together in a different bowl or large jar or whatever, until well-blended:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup stewed quince puree
1 tbsp of good vanilla or bourbon

Mix the wet stuff into the dry stuff, but don’t go crazy or you won’t get a nice dome on the cake and you’ll make it tough. Then stir in:
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries

Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and if you want, sprinkle the top with sparkling sugar. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out dry (cover loosely with foil toward the end if it starts getting too brown on top). Makes one lovely loaf.