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Baking With Dorie: All-in-One Holiday Cake

part of a Serious ThanksgivingAlthough I can't quite believe it, it's almost Thanksgiving, America's favorite and most food-centric holiday.

I'm like everyone else, I love Thanksgiving—but it's not a holiday without its hassles. For me, the biggest problem, and the one I can never beat, has to do with real estate, specifically: how to get everything into my one average-size oven when the turkey is hogging most of the space for most of the day.

Since every square inch of space I can liberate is precious (and also, as I see it, a triumph of ingenuity), I try to get as much of the baking as possible done as far ahead as possible—something that's easy to do since so many sweets freeze so nicely.

I get biscuits, muffins, and scones in the freezer early, ditto coffee cakes for Friday's brunch, and I always have this All-in-One Holiday Cake ready to go.

This bundt cake includes all the ingredients we think of at holiday time—pumpkin, cranberries, apples and nuts—and cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, the fall spices, too. The only thing more you might want is maple syrup and you can get it - you can mix a little into some whipped cream and use it as a topping, or you can make a maple sugar icing to drizzle over the cake (see Playing Around).

If you bake the cake ahead—and I think you should—make sure to:

Next week, another Thanksgiving treat.

Playing around: Maple Sugar Icing. Sift 6 tablespoons of confectioner's sugar into a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Add more maple syrup little by little, until you have an icing that runs nicely off the tip of a spoon. You might need another 1/2 tablespoon of syrup to get the consistency. Put the cooled cake on a sheet of waxed paper and drizzle the icing from the tip of a spoon over the cake. Let the icing set for a few minutes before serving.

About the author: Dorie Greenspan is the author of several books on dessert, most recently Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie can also be found at DorieGreenspan.com and on the Bon Appétit website, where she is a special correspondent.

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