Cakes/ Classic Desserts/ easy/ Fruit Desserts/ Holiday/ quick

Apple Cake

December 9, 2014

This simple and homey apple cake makes the perfect dessert or snack for fall.

This simple apple cake makes the perfect snack for fall |

As soon as fall begins, my family gets all sorts of cravings. In the past few weeks, they’ve had almost constant requests for one specific dessert: caramel apple pie. If you’ve ever tried it, you understand why!

Although baking is becoming easier and less time-consuming for me, I will forever adore simple desserts. I love classic, nostalgic dishes, but if I’m being completely honest, my laziness probably has something to do with it, too.

So instead of apple pie, I made this apple cake recipe for my family  this weekend. When requests started pouring in for second slices and recipes, I knew I was forgiven.

This cake is moist and tender, and the spices give it a warm flavor that’s perfect for the season. Plus, it’s loaded with tiny, juicy apple slices and it smells divine! For best results, slice 2 apples into small ¼-inch pieces.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Sugar: You can use either 1 cup light brown sugar, half a cup brown sugar (either dark or light) plus half a cup granulated sugar, or 1 cup granulated sugar. Brown sugar adds a wonderful flavor and moisture to the cake, so I like to include it.

Buttermilk: Although I love using buttermilk for this cake, I’ve also tried this cake using plain yogurt and milk. All options are great. If you use just milk, replace the 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder in addition to the 1 teaspoon that’s already in the recipe.

Spices: I usually use 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ginger or cloves, but you can use your favorite spices. With this amount, the cake isn’t overly spiced but rather balanced. I don’t recommend leaving out the spices, and to use at least cinnamon for some flavor.

Apples: This cake is loaded with apple pieces. You can always add more or less according to your desired taste and consistency.

This simple apple cake makes the perfect snack for fall |

Ideas for add-ins and toppings

  • Add orange zest to the batter.
  • Add up to 1 cup cranberries.
  • Add 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped nuts: walnuts, pecans, or almonds are great.
  • Add 1/2 cup nuts plus 1/2 cup shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened).
  • Add 1/2 cup walnuts plus 1/3 cup raisins.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (in addition to the vanilla extract).
  • Add 1 tablespoon rum or Calvados.
  • Toss the apples with some lemon juice and Calvados for extra flavor.
  • Before baking, sprinkle the top of the batter with a mixture of 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon for a crunchy topping.
  • Sprinkle the top of the batter with flaked almonds before baking.
  • Top with cream cheese frosting after the cake has completely cooled. If you do, keep the cake refrigerated.
  • Drizzle cake slices with a simple vanilla sauce.
  • Or – just make this perfect cake as-is and dust the top with some powdered sugar.
5 from 3 votes
This simple apple cake makes the perfect snack for fall |
Apple Cake
YIELD: 1 8-inch or 9-inch cake

  • 1 1/3 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon combination of your favorite spices (ground nutmeg, cloves, ginger)
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) buttermilk
  • 250 g (about 2 cups/2 medium) apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch cubes (cut first, then measure)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease and flour an 8" or 9" round springform pan (8" pan will yield a taller cake).
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and spices. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with buttermilk in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Do not over mix. Fold in apples.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.
  6. Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  7. Cake can be frozen for up to 2 months.

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  • Reply
    December 9, 2014 at 6:17 am

    מאדדדדדדדדדדדדדדדדדדדד אוהבת!!
    מה לעשות – אנחנו מתים על עוגות תפוחים, והמשפחה (המורחבת) מוכנה לאכול כל יום עוגה כזאת.
    עם חמוציות וגם אגוזים
    ניראה לי שעם קרם הווניל שלך כל פרוסה תהיה חגיגה 🙂

  • Reply
    Jess @ whatjessicabakednext
    December 12, 2014 at 11:49 am

    This cake is stunning, Shiran! Nothing beats a classic, apple cake!

    • Reply
      December 13, 2014 at 7:38 am

      Thank you so much Jess!

  • Reply
    Phoebe @ Feed Me Phoebe
    December 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    The texture looks amazing! Would love to try a gluten-free version of this cake. xo

    • Reply
      December 13, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Thank you! If you try a gluten-free version, I would love to hear how it turned out!

      • Reply
        October 12, 2020 at 4:02 pm

        This cake is amazing. Soft, moist, and just lovely. Thanks for such easy yet amazing recipe!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    This looks amazing! I love the old-fashioned feeling recipes that remind me of times with my grandparents. Thanks!

    • Reply
      December 13, 2014 at 7:43 am

      Me too! those are my favorites!

  • Reply
    December 14, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Shiraz thanks for such a wonderful Apple cake live traditional cakes with spices


    • Reply
      December 14, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      It’s my pleasure Rosemary!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    What type of apples should be used?

    • Reply
      February 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      You can use your favorite apples, to name a few: Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, McIntosh, Honeycrisp.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Just made this cake though I made to small changes – I grated two apples instead of cutting into cubes and I omitted the buttermilkand used the same quantity of vanilla yogurt. This turned out DELICIOUS 🙂

    • Reply
      June 19, 2015 at 8:32 am

      These substitutions sound great! I’m glad you like it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Wow… indeed yummy…

    • Reply
      September 19, 2015 at 5:43 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    October 13, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I would Luv to make this cake…however, I’m confused on spices. Ms Shiran is it 1/2 tsp of “each spice”…or 1/2 tsp apple pie spice blend.

    Thank You!

    • Reply
      October 14, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Cynthia, it’s 1/2 teaspoon in total, so for example 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg plus 1/4 teaspoon cloves.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Bought some apples this week and wanted to make something with it. Voila! Found this recipe. I made this today and it was fantastic – light, fluffy and a nice crumbly texture. This is not my first time making one of your cakes and I’m never disappointed!!! The only thing I do is cut back a bit on the sugar, since the sugar in my country comes from cane (sweeter than the us products). You need to make publish a book! Definitely would buy it!

    • Reply
      August 26, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Thank you so much Crystal! I’m so glad you enjoy the recipes 🙂

  • Reply
    September 9, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Shanah tovah from the north. I have been keeping my summer weight down to 57kg but the holidays and this website are going to ruin that! I am making apple cake and stumbled on yours and the vanilla sauce. So those who don’t care if their cake is pareve will bite into a bit of heaven a la Shiran.
    I recently came to the conclusion that I’d much rather eat dessert (anything with butter, cream, chocolate, caramel, nuts) than real food. Your desserts fit the bill!
    Thank you and happy holidays!

    • Reply
      September 10, 2018 at 7:24 am

      I’m glad you enjoy the recipes, Nicki! Shana Tova!

  • Reply
    January 9, 2019 at 1:53 am

    looks amazing!
    would this work in a loaf pan?
    (תבנית אינגליש קייק?)

  • Reply
    April 1, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Hi! I don’t have a spring pan. Can I use a regular cake pan? I have so many apples

  • Reply
    July 15, 2020 at 4:53 am

    This is the best apple cake recipe ever! The texture of the cake is amazing – it is so fluffy!

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