Preparing for Thanksgiving

Alyssa Miller

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love joining together with my immediate and extended family over the break to celebrate, cook and enjoy each other’s company.

Some of the fondest memories I have from past Thanksgivings come from helping my grandmother in the kitchen. She is the best chef that I know, and I was always astonished at how much food she was able to make all on her own.

My grandmother has a few Thanksgiving staples that she makes every year, such as stuffing, roasted potatoes and pecan pie. However, my favorite dish has always been her wildly popular cinnamon apple cake.

While this year’s Thanksgiving will look much different than it has in the past, I am planning on baking this cake over the break to remind me of simpler times.

My Grandma’s Iconic Cinnamon Apple Cake


  • 1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
  • ½ cup stick margarine softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups chopped peeled Rome apple (about 2 large)
  • Cooking spray 


  1. Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Step 2: Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, margarine, vanilla, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
  3. Step 3: Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Combine 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture and apple in a bowl, and stir apple mixture into batter. Pour batter into an 8-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.
  4. Step 4: Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.
  5. Note: You can also make this cake in a 9-inch square cake pan or a 9-inch springform pan; just reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes.

I encourage anyone who is looking to try out a new recipe over Thanksgiving break to make this cake. Not only is it simple and easy to follow, but the product is definitely a crowd pleaser!