Give your loved ones something new to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday by serving them this delicious and eye-catching Fall Harvest Spice Cake.

But don't just use this recipe for Thanksgiving. Incorporate it into all of your fall or autumn themed celebrations.

Things You Will Need

(1) Package of spice cake mix (You may also use carrot cake mix) - 18.25 Ounce Package

(1) Cup of water

(2) Medium-sized eggs

1/3 Cup of vegetable oil

1/2 Cup of apple butter Maple Butter Cream Frosting (recipe will follow cake recipe)

(3) Cups of coarsely chopped walnuts

1/4 Cup of melted semisweet chocolate cups

1/4 Cup of chopped almonds

(2) Tablespoons of dried cranberries, chopped

(3) Tablespoons of dried apricots, chopped

(2) Tablespoons of raisins

Maple Butter Cream Frosting:

(4) Tablespoons of softened butter

1/4 Cup of maple syrup or maple pancake syrup

(3) Cups of confectioner's sugar

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease and lightly flour (2) 9-inch round baking pans.

Step 2

Combine the cake mix, water, eggs, oil and apple butter in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Beat the combined ingredients with an electric mixer until it's well blended. Beat at a medium speed for about (2) minutes.

Pour the properly mixed batter into the (2) 9-inch round baking pans that you have already prepared.

Step 3

Bake for about 40 minutes. Test your cake to make sure it's done by inserting a wooden toothpick into the center. When it comes out clean, it is done.

Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and allow them to cool inside the pans on a wire cooling rack for (10) minutes.

Remove to racks and cool completely.

Step 4

Prepare the Maple Butter Cream Frosting:

In a small bowl, beat the butter and syrup until it's all well blended.

Beat the confectioner's sugar a small bit at a time until its smooth.

Step 5

Place one layer of cake on a serving plate.

Frost the top of the cake with Maple Butter Cream.

Top with the second layer.

Frost the tops and the sides of the cake with the frosting.

Press the walnuts into the side of the cake. Make certain the sides of the cake are completely covered by the walnuts.

Step 6

Apply chocolate onto the cake with a pastry bag; piping it on, forming the shape of a tree's trunk. (If you do not know how piping chocolate is done, please refer to the end of this step for that information).

Chocolate Piping Instructions:

Melt the chocolate by placing it in a reclosable sandwich bag and microwaving it on high for about (1) minute. Microwaving times will vary depending on your microwave. Do not over heat the chocolate as it may have a scorched taste, but make sure it is completely melted. If after a minute your chocolate is not melted, continue heating it in the microwave in intervals of 20 seconds until it is melted properly. Knead the chocolate in between microwaving intervals.

Tightly twist the top of the bag against the chocolate.

Snip a tiny bit off the corner one of the corners of the sandwich bag.

Hold the bad very tightly and "pipe" the chocolate through the opening in the bag.

Step 7

In a medium sized bowl, combine the almonds cranberries, apricots and raisins.

Place this mixture onto your piped tree trunk to form leaves. It will give a beautiful fall leaf effect. Don't forget to add leaves to the base of your tree too! Not only will it cover up any jagged lines you left when piping the chocolate on, but it will also depict a gorgeous autumn scene of fallen leaves!

This recipe will serve about (12) guests.

Refrigerate left overs; though there probably won't be any!

Tips & Warnings

You'll want to read all the instructions and gather all your ingredients before preparing this delicious cake.