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Apple Cake recipes

It is nearing the peak of apple season here in Michigan. Looking for great apple cake recipes that have either chunks of apples or grated apples in them.

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  1. Kate Zuckerman, in "The Sweet Life", has an outstanding Spiced Apple and Sour Cream Cake.

    Scroll down a bit:


    4 Replies
      1. re: itryalot

        I've just baked the apple bars from Dorie G on the same page as the Kate Z recipe and can tell you that the corner I just tasted is delicious! Hoping my little one will keep quiet for long enough for me to make the topping now...

      2. re: JoanN

        JoanN, thanks for posting this recipe. I took a break from pie and made this cake last night. Yum! The crunchy sugar on the top makes it. I had a slice warm from the oven. Let's see if my co-workers like the rest!

        1. re: JoanN

          That's a very good baking book, nice combination of baking science, technique, and recipes. One of the best out recently.

        2. This makes a delicious cake. No icing needed. I listed the walnuts as optional, but I always add them.

          Fresh Apple Cake

          1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
          2 cups sugar
          3 eggs
          3 cups sifted flour (all purpose)
          1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
          1/2 tsp. salt
          1 tsp. cinnamon
          1/8 tsp. nutmeg
          2 tsp. vanilla
          3 cups peeled, chopped apples
          1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


          1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and lightly flour either a 10-cup tube pan or Bundt pan.
          2. Combine butter and sugar in mixer bowl and cream until smooth.
          3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
          4. Sift flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together and add to creamed mixture. Mix on low just until combined. If necessary, finish combining by hand. Do not overmix.
          5. Stir in vanilla. Fold in apples and nuts.
          6. Pour into prepared pan. Bake approximately one hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand on cooling rack for 15 minutes. If using a tube pan, run knife along sides and remove from pan, keeping cake attached to the bottom until cool. If using a Bundt pan, gently turn onto cake plate.

          5 Replies
          1. re: TrishUntrapped

            What kind of apples will yield not mushy results? I am a novice in baking with apples.

            1. re: itryalot

              Granny Smith.

              Here's a great recipe from the NY Times. I make it with more apples:


              1. re: scoopG

                Hey scoopG, that is a good recipe - aka (somewhat annoyingly) as Apple Dapple Cake and was published in Newsday by Sylvia Carter (one of my heroines) a few years ago. Have made it for years.

              2. re: itryalot

                Agree with Scoop, Granny Smiths are great in apple cake. If not available, Cortlands are good too.

                1. re: itryalot

                  McIntoshes go to mush very fast but they have a wonderful flavor. Use them for applesauce or apple betty. Granny Smiths are good for:

                  ROMAN APPLE CAKE: In a bowl put 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp cinnamon. Rub in 1 stick butter. Take half of this and set aside. Add to the other half 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp soda, and either 1/2 cup sour milk or 1/2 cup sweet milk plus 1 tsp vinegar. Pour the batter into a greased pie pan or 8-inch square pan. On top put 4-6 apples peeled and sliced. Put the reserved crumb mixture on the apples. Dot with butter and sprinkle on some more cinnamon. Bake @ 350 for close to an hour. Good warm. I started baking this cake in 1956 and must have made it at least 500 times. It's reliable.

              3. I don't know where I got this recipe, but it's a delicious and fairly simple loaf made with corn-meal mix and sliced Golden Delicious apples.

                Warm Apple-Corn Loaf, Friuli-Style

                1 8½-ounce box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
                2 large eggs, beaten
                1 4-ounce stick of unsalted butter, melted, plus a little extra
                ¼ cup milk
                2 tablespoons sugar
                ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
                ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
                1 lemon, zested and juiced
                2 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8-inch slices

                1. Pre-heat oven to 375°.
                2. Place the muffin mix in a large mixing bowl. Working with a whisk, slowly blend in the eggs, melted butter, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest and lemon juice. Do not over-blend; it is OK if there are a few lumps. Stop blending when the mixture is fairly smooth.
                3. Butter the inside of a 5-inch x 9-inch by 2¾-inch loaf pan. Pour ¼ of the prepared batter into the pan, then cover batter with ¼ of the sliced apples in a thin layer. Repeat this step three more times, ending with a top layer of apples.
                4. Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 20 minutes, turn loaf out of loaf pan and serve in slices.

                1. These all look so good; I will have to pick one and start from there.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: itryalot

                    Thanks for the great recipes, now that we're heading back in to cooler temps I will definitely be trying both of these.

                  2. On her last visit, my MIL made a Paula Deen apple cake recipe that was wonderful. She thought she left the recipe here, and I can't find it. We both scoured the internet for it, and can't find it either.

                    It was unglazed, made in a bundt pan, and had chopped G Smith apples in it, along with walnuts, & coconut, I think! We would love to have it back, does anyone know the recipe I mean?? TIA!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      Here's a link from the Food Network - it's a Paula Deen recipe for apple cake baked in a tube - not a bundt - pan. Could this be the one you're thinking of?


                      1. re: Deenso

                        Not sure, but I sent it to my MIL since she made it, I don't remember juice being in it, but she will let me know. Thanks for the help!!

                        1. re: Deenso

                          Well, I sent it to my MIL and she says it is NOT the recipe she used. Which doesn't call for juice, and does call for buttering, sugaring & dusting the pan with cinnamon, before adding the batter.

                          She even emailed Paula Deen's org, and they sent her that same one, but it wasn't the one we had!! We are convinced it was a figment of her imagination! But it was delicious!

                          1. re: Phurstluv

                            Found this one that attributes the recipe to Paula Deen: http://debbiesmochame.blogspot.com/20...
                            Here's another one from one of her cookbooks: http://bannisterbutterbroadcast.blogs...
                            Neither say anything about dusting the pan with cinnamon but maybe your MIL will recognize them...

                            1. re: ScarletB

                              Thanks, will check them out. Appreciate it!!

                          2. re: Deenso

                            I made this one a couple weeks ago---really delicious and had everyone asking me for the recipe.

                        2. no chunks or grated but apple butter, this cake is wonderful!


                          1. It's not quite a cake, might be a cobbler of some sort? This is a recipe I found that was simply labeled "Dutch Apple Dessert". Whatever it is, it's good!

                            5 Large Apples, chopped
                            1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
                            1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
                            1/2 Cup Butter
                            1 Cup Baking/Quick/Biscuit Mix
                            Crumb topping of your liking

                            Combine biscuit mix and butter, then in a separate bowl combine the remaining (minus crumb topping) . Stir the dry into the wet, and pop into a buttered pan (9x9 works). Top with your favourite crumb topping, and bake at 325 till done (about 30-45 minutes). It comes out like a dense, slightly wet quick bread.

                            1. A long-overdue thanks to 'plum' for saving my bacon with this link to Scott Peacock's warm apple cake with caramel glaze!

                              This was developed when he was chef at a southern Georgia quail plantation as a breakfast item, and it is fabulous! I served it as dessert after a dinner of southern fried quail just a couple days ago to a pair of hunters, and they asked for more after lunch.... and when I packaged up the last 3 pieces for them to take, they asked for forks so they could eat it on their drive home!

                              Staymans and Winesap are my favorites, and you should be able to still get these in Michigan. Grannys are a relatively new hybrid, and I go for the more 'originals' that we grew in our orchard as a kid in Ohio.

                              btw, the caramel is really easy; don't be intimidated!


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lil magill

                                I'm so glad you saw that link, lil magill - and I'm planning to try this recipe with the Cortlandt apples I bought at the farmer's market this weekend!

                              2. from the Cafe Beaujolais cookbook. I made it twice recently and it came out great both times. One key feature: no need to peel the apples. Really.

                                Boozie's Apple Cake

                                4 cups apples, unpeeled and cored into 1/2 inch chunks
                                2 cups flour
                                2 tsp baking soda
                                3/4 tsp salt
                                2 tsp cinnamon
                                2 eggs, beaten
                                1/4 cup white sugar
                                2 cups brown sugar + 1/4 cup water
                                1 tsp vanilla extract
                                1/2 cup corn oil
                                1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

                                Bake walnut meats in 325 oven for 10-15 min. Remove browned skins by
                                rubbing or tossing in a sieve or strainer. (I skipped this to be
                                Sift together flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon, set aside.
                                Chop apples. (I tossed them in the white sugar to keep them from browning.)
                                Beat eggs, sugars, water, vanilla and oil.
                                Mix in flour.
                                Add nuts.
                                Mix with apple chunks.
                                Turn out into greased 9x13 pan.
                                Bake at 325 for 65-75 minutes. The cake will appear moist but not wet.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: BernalKC

                                  I made this today, though without the walnuts. I've been baking apple cake about once a week to use up my homegrown golden delicious apples (and freezing half.) I usually use the Joy of Cooking recipe, but that calls for sour cream and butter. This is easier and less expensive -- maybe not quite as tasty, but still pretty good. So thanks. I wanted to mention that it only needed to cook 50 minutes in my oven.

                                  1. re: Glencora

                                    I hadn't really thought about the dairy-free-ness until your comment. But I certainly don't miss it, or find it less rich in flavor. But I can't really imagine it without the nuts. You should try it again with the nuts.

                                    I was making it again this morning when one of those paniced moments hit. No brown sugar in the pantry! To late to turn back, no time to head to the store... So I subbed white sugar + molasses for the 2 cups of brown sugar. I measure everything by weight, so the 2 cups of brown sugar became 350 grams of white sugar and 50 grams of molasses. I had to mix the molasses, sugar, and water for a while to blend the molasses before adding the eggs and the rest. My cake came out nicely, maybe a bit wetter, with a bit of the molasses character. But I think I probably should have used more and maybe gone light on the water. Anyone know if there is any accepted equivalents for subbing molasses for sugar?

                                    I also was inspired by some of the other recipes here to add some allspice. Didn't subtract any cinnamon, just added the allspice. Yum.

                                2. I recently made this cake and it was delicious. I decreased the amount of white sugar slightly and substituted 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce for half the oil:


                                  I also have to mention a recipe I turned to when I had lots of apples: Marian Burros' famous Fruit Torte, the most requested recipe in New York Times history. Many bloggers reference it. (Lynne Rossetto Kasper talks about being newly married and "working out an assembly-line process for making many tortes", putting 24 in a friend's freezer!) The torte is very fast to put together, versatile, and delicious. The original recipe, from The Elegant But Easy Cookbook, lists a number of fruit choices, including Italian plums, sliced apples or peaches, blueberries, or a combination. I often use frozen blueberries. Burros suggests sprinkling the top of the fruit with sugar, lemon juice, flour (if fruit is very juicy), and cinnamon, and notes it is especially good served slightly warm, topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I always get compliments and am embarrassed because it is so easy!


                                  1. This cake calls for sliced apples, but i imagine that chunked apples would work too. What this lacks in fanciness it makes up for in moist deliciousness:

                                    My mom's apple cake:

                                    350 oven, 1 hr 15 mins.
                                    4-5 sliced apples, tossed with cinnamon and brown sugar
                                    Mix together:
                                    3 cups flour
                                    3 tsp baking powder
                                    1/2 tsp. salt
                                    1/2 tsp. vanilla
                                    2 cups sugar
                                    1 cup oil
                                    1/2 cup orange juice
                                    4 eggs

                                    Grease and flour tube pan. Pour a little more than half of the batter into the pan, spread about half of the apples, and then cover with the rest of the batter. Use the remaining apples for the top. (I sprinkle a little more cinn. on top before baking.)
                                    Be sure to bake so it’s not soggy, but don’t overbake

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: yannie

                                      I think i made something like this a few weeks ago based on a recipe on the internet -- i didn't have any OJ so I substituted Apple Juice... and it turned out great!

                                      1. re: cheesehead in recovery

                                        i suspect that might even be better! i once was 1/4 c. short on canola oil and swapped in olive oil instead. it made the cake a bit darker, and more complex, in a good way.

                                      2. re: yannie

                                        I used 4 cups flour,2 cups sugar, 4 tsp. baking powder, and salt. Made a well and fill center with 4 eggs, 1 cup of oil and 1 cup orange juice. Mixed well and beated the dough until creamy. Layered half with half of the apples sprinkled with half the cinnamon and sugar and repeated the process again, covered the top with apples and sprinkled it with the rest of the cinnamon and sugar. Baked in a pam spray wonder pot one and half hours at 350 degrees. Turned off the oven and let the cake remain in the oven an additional hours.

                                      3. Here's one more, after Smitten Kitchen:

                                        Very delicious.

                                        1. I posted this in another thread since I didn't see this one, but has anyone tried the Cook's Illustrated Upside Down Apple Cake from the September issue? Just wondering if I should make it for Thanksgiving or go with a tried and true apple pie that I have made before.


                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: valerie

                                            Try Balzano Apple Cake (uses 5 Apples and only 1/2 cup of flour):


                                            1. re: Norm Man

                                              Have you actually made this? I'd like to hear from someone who has.

                                              1. re: Glencora

                                                Me too, I don't see how it could work with so little batter to that many apples.

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  I have made this cake many times and it's a real winner. However, I modified the recipe to use a half stick of butter instead of a whole stick and 3/4 C flour instead of 1/2 C. If you want, you can also use a tsp of vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean. The batter should be about the same consistency of pancake batter. I use 3 large apples or 4 medium ones.and usually only half peel the apples and slice them about 1/4" - 3/8" thick. After you've made this once or twice, it goes together quickly and effortlessly.

                                                  1. re: Sam D.

                                                    The thinness of the batter makes sense for apple-coating purposes. Thanks, I'll try this.

                                            2. re: valerie

                                              I just made Cook's Illustrated's Apple Cake (the one in the bundt pan from Baking Illustrated) & it turned out very well. I used a variety of unknown apples from a recent apple-picking expedition, rather than the recommended Granny Smith's, so it was a little wetter, but still very good. Beautiful looking, with a lovely butter cake below the apples. Not a typical apple spice-type cake. And better the next day.

                                            3. I've made this one several times, and it's very good, kind of rustic and homey.


                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: mcf

                                                I made the smittkitchen recipe once before and really liked it (her recipes tend to be very good and reliable for me), but it was more of a brunch type cake - less sweet, more coffee cake like maybe. It's been a while. I've tried a few others and have one that ran in my local paper, The Oregonian, that had a lovely caramel sauce. I can try to find it if you are interested.

                                                This is my current favorite for a different kind of apple cake - very dessert like and moist and delicious!

                                                1. re: ScarletB

                                                  I'd like to see that caramel-sauce cake recipe, when you have chance. Thanks!

                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                    I was able to find it online in a different format. The recipe was posted in the Oregonian after a recipe request for this cake at the Daily Cafe. Here's a link: http://www.food-lists.com/lists/archi...
                                                    The Oregonian noted in its intro that the cake is really moist because of a high ratio of oil to flour. They added 1/2 cup flour and an extra egg to make it not as moist and crumbly. Recipe as written does not include their changes.

                                                    1. re: ScarletB

                                                      thanks! i'm kinda sad the caramel isn't baked with the cake. ah well.

                                              2. Oh, this one is so good!: It is from "Classic Home Desserts" by Richard Sax. My notes/additions are in parentheses. The recipe in the original book is massive, so I halved it here for 8x8 brownie pan or similar.

                                                Margret's Apple Cake

                                                FOR BATTER:
                                                • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
                                                • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
                                                • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
                                                • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                • (scant 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
                                                • (some grated nutmeg)
                                                • 3/8 teaspoon salt (or scant 1/2 teaspoon)
                                                • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
                                                • 1/2 cup sugar
                                                • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
                                                • 1 large egg
                                                • 1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt thinned with milk (I used buttermilk)
                                                • 1 cup peeled, cored, diced apples (1/2 inch dice.) (I used Granny Smith and two apples made way more than a cup. I think you can go up to 1 1/2 cups apples.)

                                                FOR TOPPING:
                                                • 1/4 cup sugar
                                                • 1 1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) gall-purpose flour
                                                • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
                                                • 3/8 cup (scant 1/2 cup) chopped (roasted) pecans or almonds

                                                1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 8”x8” (or similar-sized) baking pan; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt; set aside.

                                                2. BATTER: In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until creamy. Gradually add the white and brown sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk or yogurt mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the apples just until blended; do not overmix. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.

                                                3. TOPPING: (Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon.) In bowl or food processor, cut together the cinnamon mixture and butter until crumbly (I used my fingrers.) Stir in the nuts; scatter over the cake batter in an even layer.

                                                4. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 45 minutes. Cool; cut into squares; serve from pan.

                                                1. My SIL gave me the following recipe. I haven't tried it yet, but she says it is very good. It is more dense than cakey.

                                                  2 cups flour
                                                  2 cups sugar (or 1 cup splenda to make it healthier!)
                                                  1/2 cup butter
                                                  2 eggs
                                                  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
                                                  1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
                                                  1/2 tsp nutmeg
                                                  1/2 tsp baking soda
                                                  1/2 tsp salt
                                                  6 apples peeled & chopped (small)

                                                  13X9 sprayed pan - 45-50mins @ 350

                                                  I switched out the apples for pears the 2nd time and added 1/2 tsp clove - so good like this!

                                                  Beat sugar, butter & vanilla until smooth - add in 1 egg at a time.
                                                  Separately mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, (clove,) - and slowly add into wet mixture
                                                  Add chopped apples (or pears) last
                                                  Spread mix evenly in pan and bake!

                                                  1. Go to the website -- frenchfridayswithdorie.com. by Dorie Greenspan. There is a recipe for a French apple cake with apple chunks. I have not made it yet, but it does look very good and I just went apple picking last weekend so I have a variey of apples.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                      1. re: toveggiegirl

                                                        I have an abundance of pears to use up. Wondering if I could substitute the apple for pears in most, if not all, of these recipes? Your thoughts please.

                                                        1. re: millygirl

                                                          Pears work in a lot of recipes in which apples are used...I canned a bunch of pear sauce that turned out delicious. recipe was for applesauce...

                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                            Thanks Cherylptw. I thought so but sometimes you just need confirmation from the pros.

                                                            Now I have to decide which of these recipes to commit to. They all sound wonderful.

                                                          2. re: millygirl

                                                            pear sauce, I might have to give that a try....did you add much in the way of spices or sugar?

                                                            1. re: geminigirl

                                                              Cardamom is good with pears. You can also use cinnamon and as with apples, how much sweetening is a matter of preference and apple choice. I like to use maple syrup to sweeten apples, pears, plums, in which case little if any other spicing is needed..