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Apple Cake

Recipe Level: Easy

Rustic yet elegant, you're going to love this simple autumn apple cake! It's light, moist with juicy apples and full of warm spices like cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon. This is the perfect cake to enjoy with a hot cup of tea on those cool fall mornings.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* Make sure to read the entire blog post. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

This cake is fall bundled up like a warm cozy blanket. It’s full of spices and the season’s favourite fruit; crisp, juicy, apples apples! It’s an easy cake to make but it’s also a beautiful cake that one just can’t forget. The rich, full spices complement the sweet apples and the sour cream makes the cake light and moist. This fresh apple cake also has chunks of apple scattered throughout making a moist and tender cake. 

If you’ve been following the blog for a while or have baked a few of my recipes you’ll know my baking style is somewhat simple yet elegant and not overly sweet. And this apple cake is exactly that! The fanned out apples on top are what make this cake stand out. It’s not necessary but elevates the cake to the next level. If you are tight on time you can omit the fanned apples but don’t forget to add the spices and sugar on top of the cake!

Apple Cake

Ingredients

Apples, apples and more apples are the stars of this recipe! But to make the apples shine, juicy and bursting with flavour, I’m pairing them with rich brown sugar and lots of spices; cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. You can find all your spices and dry ingredients at your local Bulk Barn Foods store. The best part about buying in bulk is you can choose the exact amount you want and Bulk Barn has a reusable container program so you can cut down on plastic waste!

  • Baking apples
  • Sour cream
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown sugar & granulated sugar & turbinado sugar
  • Ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cardamom
  • Baking powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

What are the best apples to use?

Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, and Honeycrisp apples are the best apples to bake this simple apple cake. They will hold their shape and texture while they bake and will give lots of flavour. To make a decorative top for the apple cake make sure to use apples with pink or bright colourful skin, so you can see a colourful pattern on the top of the cake. Or if using Granny Smith apples try alternating a red apple to give pops of colour.

Apple Cake

Tips for the Best Apple Cake

  1. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, this is a thick cake batter and using cold sour cream, butter and eggs will make mixing the batter difficult and cause overmixing.
  2. Do not overmix the batter.
  3. Use the right type of apple! Make sure you use baking apples like; Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, and Honeycrisp apples
  4. For the decorative top make sure to use apples with pink or bright colourful skin, so you can see a colourful pattern. Or if using Granny Smith apples try alternating a red apple to give pops of colour.
  5. Use a little lemon juice on the apple slices to keep them from browning.

How To Make a Homemade Apple Cake

Step One: Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix to combine. Peel and core an apple, chop into bite size pieces and add to batter. Gently fold apples into the batter.

Step Two: Add batter to the prepared pan and set aside. In a small bowl make the topping; mix together brown sugar, turbinado sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Set aside. Core 1-2 apples and thinly slice for the top.

Step Three: Place apple slices on top of the batter by slightly overlapping and fanning them out in a circle.

Step Four: Using a spoon sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon sugar topping over the apples. Now, do this again with the inner circle; fan out apple slices and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. 

Step Five: Use all of the cinnamon sugar topping over the apples making sure to sprinkle right to the sides of the pan. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes and let the cake cool on a wire rack.

More Apple Recipes

Print

Apple Cake

Rustic yet elegant, you’re going to love this simple autumn apple cake! It’s light, moist with juicy apples and full of warm spices like cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon. This is the perfect cake to enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea on those cool fall mornings.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 19” cake 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream, full fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large baking apple; i.e. Pink Lady

Topping 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 9″ spring form pan with parchment paper and butter the sides. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, granulated sugars and brown sugar together. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and continue to beat until well incorporated. Add sour cream and vanilla extract, mix well and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl add flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cardamom and salt. Mix together.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two additions. Mix by hand, just until incorporated. Set aside.
  5. Peel and core apple. Chop apple in large chunks approx. 1/2-1 inch thick. Add chopped apples to the batter and fold apples into the batter. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Set aside.
  7. In a small bowl make the topping. Mix together brown sugar, turbinado sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Set aside.
  8. Core and thinly slice 1-2 apples for the top. Place apples on top of the batter by slightly overlapping and fanning them out in a circle. Using a spoon sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon sugar topping over the apples.
  9. Now, do this again with the inner circle; fan out apples and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Use all of the cinnamon sugar topping over the apples making sure to sprinkle right to the edge of the pan.
  10. Bake in the middle of the oven for approx. 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (you may want to slide the toothpick under the apple first). 
  11. Let the cake cool on a cooling rack for 5 -10 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges of the pan before removing. Top with extra turbinado sugar to add extra sparkle.

Notes

Store apple cake in a cake dome for up to 3 days at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let the cake come to room temperature before enjoying.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 or 16
  • Calories: 206
  • Sugar: 15.6g
  • Sodium: 146mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 27.7g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Protein: 2.7g
  • Cholesterol: 46mg

Keywords: Apple Cake, Dessert, Cake, Fall, Autumn, Spice

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

What are the best apples to make an apple cake?

Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, and Honey Crisp are the best apples to bake an apple cake. To make a decorative top for an apple cake make sure to use apples with a pink or bright colourful skin, so you can see a colourful pattern on the top of the cake.

Do I have to use a springform pan to make an apple cake?

No, you don’t have to use a springform pan to make an apple cake. Using a springform pan can be easier to release and display a cake. But you can also use a round cake pan or a square cake pan. Make sure to line the pan with parchment paper or grease well and dust with flour.

What is the best way to store an apple cake?

Store an apple cake in the refrigerator covered with a cake dome or in plastic wrap. The cake will last approx. 5 days when stored properly.

Why bake with sour cream ?

Sour cream has a light, mild flavour making it a great companion in baking as it won’t overpower flavours. It can also create light, yet dense desserts with lots of moisture.

This blog post has been sponsored by Bulk Barn Canada where you can find all your baking needs! All opinions are my own and I’m so happy to work with brands I love so I can continue to share these recipes with all of you! I hope you guys get to a Bulk Barn soon and try out this simple yet beautiful apple cake recipe!

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Sandy
Sandy
1 year ago
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So delicious and such a beautiful recipe! Everyone enjoyed it. Thanks!

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Alie Romano

Meet

Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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