It is very rare that food columnist Judi Leaming ever make a cake and yet this week all of these recipes prompted her into action.

This week's recipes come from three different sources even though I found them all on the Internet. It is very rare that I ever make a cake and yet this week all of these recipes prompted me into action.

The first recipe for All-in-One Holiday Bundt Cake is from acclaimed cookbook author Dorie Greenspan and comes from her 2006 book titled "Baking: From my Home to Yours." You can learn more about Dorie and this book by following her on Facebook. She is especially recognized for the precise and organized way in which she writes the directions for her recipes so pay attention to them here! This cake combines the flavors that I think of as autumnal – pumpkin, cranberries, apples and pecans in a wonderfully soft textured cake that goes well with a cup of coffee. The author offers a suggestion for drizzling a delicious sounding maple syrup icing over the completed cake but I was so anxious to taste it that I didn't take the time to drizzle it on.

The Kraft foods website was my source for Washington Apple Cake. Yes, I know there are a lot of good apple cake recipes around but our son-in-law, Mark, enjoyed this cake so much that I thought you might like to try it. The original recipe calls for this cake to be baked in a tube pan but it gave alternative instructions for a 13x9-inch pan, and that is what I used for this. The "surprise" substitution that I made – and highly recommend – was to use butterscotch flavored instant pudding instead of the vanilla called for in the original recipe. This cake, too, has a suggested Glaze topping and I highly recommend that you use it.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake is more a dessert than an actual cake. You'll notice that the recipe calls for 2 cups of pumpkin puree which is more than the content of a 15-ounce can (contains 1 3/4 cups puree) and less than the content of a 29-ounce can (contains 3 1/2 cups puree) Therefore I measured 2 cups of puree out of the 29-ounce can and refrigerated the remainder to use in the All-in-One Holiday Bundt Cake.

All-in-One Holiday Bundt Cake

(Dorie Greenspan's recipe from "Baking: from my home to yours")

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger)

10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree

1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

1 cup cranberries, halved or coarsely chopped

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Confectioners' sugar (for dusting) OR

Maple syrup icing:

6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9- or 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt (or tube) pan. Don't place the pan on a baking sheet – you want the oven's heat to circulate freely through the Bundt's inner tube.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ground ginger. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to LOW and add the pumpkin, chopped apple and grated ginger (if using). (Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled.) With the mixer still on LOW speed add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. With a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries and pecans. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a think knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack.

Note: Just before bringing the cake to the table, dust it with confectioners' sugar or drizzle it with maple syrup icing. Simply sift 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar into a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Add more maple syrup, little by little, until you have an icing that runs nicely off the tip of the spoon – you might need another 1/2 tablespoon syrup to get the right consistency. Put the cooled cake on a sheet of wax paper and drizzle the icing from the tip of the spoon over it. Let the icing set for a few minutes before serving.

Washington Apple Cake

(adapted form

1 (2-layer size) yellow cake mix

1 (3.4-ounce) box JELL-O butterscotch flavor instant pudding mix (dry)

4 eggs

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream, divided usage

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 12-cup tube pan or a 13x9-inch baking pan; set aside. Beat first 5 ingredients and 1/2 cup sour cream together in the large bowl of an electric mixer until well blended. Stir in apples; pour into prepared pan. Bake tube pan for 1 hour to 1 hour, 5 minutes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean OR bake cake in a rectangular baking pan for 38 to 40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow tube pan to cool for 15 minutes then loosen cake from side of pan and invert onto wire rack and gently remove from pan. Cool cake completely. Just before serving, whisk powdered sugar, cinnamon, remaining sour cream and 1 teaspoon water until well blended. Drizzle over cake and let stand until glaze is firm. Serves 16.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

(adapted from

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

4 eggs at room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 1 teaspoon pure orange extract

1 (2-layer size) spice cake mix

1/2 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan and set aside. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, spices and extract in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat just until well blended. Pour into prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle dry cake mix over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle chopped nuts over top of cake evenly. Drizzle melted butter evenly over the top of this, trying to evenly and completely cover the dry mixture. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool on wire rack completely before serving. Cover tightly and refrigerate any leftovers. Serves at least 12.