November 15, 2023

Ask A Chef: Sean Finnerty of Parsons Brewing Company Shares the Recipe for Spiced Apple Cake

Recipe: Sean Finnerty

Q: I just had the Spiced Apple Cake at Parsons Brewing Company in Picton, Ont. It was the most delicious autumnal dessert! Could you get the recipe so I can recreate it at home? – Nick, Ottawa

A: “For me, apples just scream autumn,” says chef Sean Finnerty. After he created the cake for a special Harvest-themed dinner, Sean got so many questions about the dessert from customers and even staff, that it has become a permanent fixture of the menu. “The mixture of sweet and tart Ontario apples, paired with gingerbread spices and rich ice cream is the perfect end to a hearty meal.”


  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 3 3/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple sauce
  • maple syrup, to serve
  • vanilla ice cream, to serve


Yield: 20 Cakes

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease large muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. Peel and remove core from apples, cut into half-inch dice.
  3. Spread onto parchment lined baking tray and bake at 375°F for 10 minutes.
  4. In medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Cream butter and sugar together with stand mixer, hand mixer or spatula for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  6. Slowly add in eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  7. Stir in applesauce.
  8. Add in flour mixture and gently mix until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Be careful to not overmix or your cakes will be tough.
  9. Divide apple chunks evenly between muffin wells. Scoop cake batter on top of apples and fill to 3/4 full.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in to the middle comes out clean.
  11. Cool and de mould.
  12. Serve with warm maple syrup and vanilla ice cream.
Author: Alexandra Whyte

By Nazar Melconian (Sean's portrait)/courtesy of Parsons Brewing Company (apple cake).