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Best Apple Cake Ever

The Best Apple Cake Ever! The perfect sweet and spicy cake, baked with chunks of apples and walnuts and smothered in a sweet, buttery vanilla glaze. So easy to make too!

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If you’re still looking for an easy – and really delicious – dessert to serve over the holidays, have we got the recipe for you!   My sister-in-law Pam shared this recipe with us over email with the subject line: “Best Apple Cake Ever!”

Pam celebrated her birthday last month, and a friend of hers showed up with this cake – the best apple cake ever.  In fact – the cake was so good, that three of them ate the entire cake in about 24 hours. Pam then made this apple cake for us for Thanksgiving – and it was so good that Jack and I immediately looked at each other and said, “We’re making this for our blog!”

The Best Apple Cake Ever! The perfect sweet and spicy cake, baked with chunks of apples and walnuts and smothered in a sweet, buttery vanilla glaze. So easy to make too!

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This apple cake is moist and delicious with the perfect amount of sweetness and spice – plus large chunks of apple and chopped walnuts add great flavor and texture to the cake too.  Once this apple cake comes out of the oven, a wonderful sweet buttery vanilla glaze is poured over the top which soaks in to make the cake even more delicious.

The Best Apple Cake Ever! The perfect sweet and spicy cake, baked with chunks of apples and walnuts and smothered in a sweet, buttery vanilla glaze. So easy to make too!

Not only is this apple cake really delicious – but it’s also very easy to prepare.  See how we make it here:

 

So – give this recipe a try and let us know if you too think this is the best apple cake ever!

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Best Apple Cake Ever - A Family Feast

Best Apple Cake Ever


  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

Baking spray with flour, or shortening and flour to grease the pan

For the Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 large apples, peeled and cut into large pieced (Note: The original recipe calls for tart green apples, but we used some red Cortland apples we had on hand and it was delicious!)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sift two additional times and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil and both sugars, and mix until well blended.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and mix again.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter and mix thoroughly. By hand, fold in apples and walnuts and mix until evenly combined.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool in the bundt pan for 20 minutes.
  8. While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine all of the glaze ingredients. Bring to a boil and allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute.
  9. Remove the cake from the pan, onto a serving plate. Spoon the glaze over the warm cake.
  10. Cool for a little longer before serving.

 

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  1. Hi there! Do you think I could use dark brown sugar in this recipe?
    I can hardly wait to try it!!

    • Hi Susan – Yes – either light or dark brown sugar will work. We used light – so if you use dark, the color of the baked cake will likely be darker but still very delicious!

  2. OMG! I made the cake today and served it to a group of ladies visiting our new beach house. I froze what was left over because if I didn’t, I would pick away at it until it was gone. It was fantastic and I will make it again and again. The only thing I did different from the recipe (other than use the organic gala apples I had on hand) was use demerara sugar instead of brown as that is what I had in my pantry. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  3. I have made this cake 3 times in the past 3 days (lots of group functions going on!) YUM YUM YUM! I could not find my bundt pan so I used my angel food pan instead, came out great! I also made this in a 9 x 13 pan, baking time was reduced to just one hour. I also poured the glazed over the warm cake and let it soak in for a few hours before serving. I think the trick to clean slices is this cake needs to be completly cooled.

    • Thanks for sharing Karin!

      • I am seriously making it again for the 4th time! I am using probably 4 generous cups of apples (grannys, pink ladies), cut in small pieces not large, still baking in my angel food pan because the bundt pan remains MIA. The baking time is closer to 90 minutes for me with this amount of apples and the pan. I glaze right away and then let cool for at least 4 hours (or overnight) I get nice clean slices that stay together. This recipe is simple and SO delicious

  4. Read and made this the same day. Had everything in the house and was going to a party that night. After I really greased and floured the pan it came out minus most of the top. Pieced it back together and took it to the party anyway where it was the rave of the night. Not a crumb to take home. Maybe next time in the angel food pan or just a 9×13. Regardless of looks the cake was wonderful.

    • Hi Margi – I’m sorry that the cake didn’t come out cleanly from the bundt pan, but I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it anyway! It should work fine in the other pans – you might just need to adjust the cooking time a bit.

  5. Karen.
    That was the best apple cake ever!!!! My husband loved it…

    Thanks!

  6. Dolores Menzella :

    Hi Martha: I just made this cake for Thanksgiving and it is a delicious, moist cake with a wonderful crusty top. I had trouble slicing it but suggest using a cerated knife which worked great. Definitely in my recipe book, thank you.

  7. Dolores Menzella :

    Hi Karen: Did you butter the bundt pan well and then flour it? You have to butter every groove well. I just made it and that seemed to make it very easy to remove from pan. I served the cake facing up because it has a wonderful crusty top to it. Give it another try.

  8. This was a huge success. Everyone loved this cake. I used two large apples, Gala, I think. Then I added just a little orange zest, sprinkled a bit of lemon juice on the apples and also added a couple of spoons apple sauce. It was delicious. I do like to experiment a bit by adding or modifying just a bit.

  9. I am sooo enjoying your recipes! The ‘Best Ever Apple Cake’ truly is that! De-licious!

  10. love your recipes wish you would come out with cookbook

  11. Irene the Queen :

    This was a wonderful recipe! I followed it precisely. Did not cut it until the next day and it cut beautifully with serrated knife. My family loved this cake. I was worried when it was a hard job mixing the apples and nuts into the batter but it was ok and turned out beautifully. You must put the sauce on top…what a treat! Thank you, everyone wants this cake again!

  12. Can I use a cup applesauce and a half cup oil

  13. mayte sanchez :

    This is really the best cake I have ever tasted! Thank you so much!

  14. Made this for my boys’ teacher school function after reading the mouth watering comments. The boys received raving reviews. I glazed the cake while it was still slightly warm, kept a bit of the glaze as it thickened and spooned it on top after for an icing effect. I cubed the apples too rather than using chunks. Now, will be making this for today to taste for myself.

  15. I am baking this for my Book Club this coming Thursday and will make it Weds. evening and let the glaze sink in overnight. I may even try poking holes in the cake with a skewer and letting it really sink in or would that be too much?

    After reading comments below about various outcomes from baking times I thought I’d stick in my 2-cents. My “old” oven cooked like a slow cooker. I even had a family member walk out one Thanksgiving because the turkey took hours and hours to bake. My “new” (7 year old) oven is the exact opposite – a microwave in comparison and I’m never exactly sure how long to bake items, especially cakes and cookies so I have to do lots of checking. Kind of a pain because every time you open the oven door the temperature drops. Both have been gas ovens and they are notorious for uneven baking. I miss the electric oven I had way back when.

    • Hi Kathy – You can definitely poke holes in the cake to let the glaze sink in even more. 🙂 And you are correct – every oven seems to be different and cooks/bakes differently. We do try to calibrate our oven as best as we can using an additional thermometer so our recipes are accurate but there may be differences from house to house! We hope you enjoy the recipe!

  16. Made this delicious cake this afternoon. I only had 1 lg apple soI used that and 4 small ones. Seemed like dough was thick, and too many apples, but I went with it. just ate it. SOOOO yummy! I think next time I’d either double the glaze or serve it with whipped cream. but it is going into my recipe box TY Martha
    PS wouldn’t print for me either good thing I knew how to write it by hand lol

    • Hi Sharry – Glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for letting me know about the issue. Would you let me know which browser you were using? (I find that Firefox is most problem free…) That information will help us continue to troubleshoot the issue!

  17. This is a fantastic recipe! I made it for an Oktoberfest dinner party the other night and it was exactly the right way to end the meal and everyone raved about it!! As I incorporated the apples I was a little worried, because the batter is pretty chunky but it baked up perfectly! Also, I replaced half the oil in the recipe with unsweetened applesauce, which I learned a long time ago in a low-fat cookbook as a great way to reduce fat in any baking recipe. That book says to replace all the oil with applesauce but I’ve never been fully satisfied with that result. But I’ve often found that recipes with a lot of veg oil in them take a long time to bake and end up kind of tough on the edges. The half and half swap with the applesauce solves that problem for me and I do it in a lot of different muffin and cake recipes, like carrot cake and some brownie recipes, even when I’m not concerned with reducing the fat. The applesauce never adds an overt apple flavor – it’s all about texture and moisture in the finished product, but that’s not even a little worry with this recipe! I baked it at about 335 and after an hour it was almost done, by an hour and 10m it was perfect, and no tough outer edges! It was a great cake!

  18. I have made this cake several times and always get rave reviews!! I add 3 tsp of Meyer’s Rum to my glaze – O la, la!

  19. Jean from Lake Ariel :

    Hi Martha and Jack,

    We found your blog a short time ago and have already made this cake and the bubble and squeak and enjoyed them both.

    We agree this is the best apple cake ever, not too sweet and delectable moist. I made the cake exactly as directed and it was easy and turned out perfectly.

    I am enjoying your blog and look forward to making more of your recipes. Thanks for sharing your recipes with us.

  20. I have been making this apple cake for a long time and finally getting around to making comment. This is absolutely the best apple cake recipe you can find and I have made it many many times. It’s always a huge hit and people continue to ask me for the recipe. I give this as gifts, make for dessert when we have company and it’s always on the dessert table at Christmastime. It’s a winner!! I make it exactly as written except I use only 2 apples. Sometimes I only put 3 cups of chopped apples in it and it is perfect no matter what. The glaze is wonderful and I’ve added rum a couple of times as suggested by one reviewer. You will love this apple cake!!

  21. Apple Dapple Cake is the name by which I know this cake. It’s absolutely delicious and one of my go to dessert recipes. I do modify it in one way. I use only 3/4 cup oil as the amount stated in the recipe makes it just too oily for my taste.

    • Thanks Barb! This cake recipe came to us after being passed down from several people – it’s very possible it’s the same recipe! (Great to know you can cut back on the oil and still have good results.) Thanks for sharing!

  22. Delpha Foster :

    I have made this cake for years except I use margerine instead of oil. I also use pecan & I don’t put a glaze over it. And it is the best apple cake their is. It’s so good with coffee.😊

  23. I know this as Apple Dapple Cake and have been making it for years, both in a Bundt pan and a 9×13 baking dish. I have found over the years that the oil can be reduced to as much as 3/4 cup. There are so many apples in the cake it doesn’t need 1 1/2 cups oil to make it moist. Every time I take it to parties and potlucks, I am asked for the recipe.

  24. Making it for a second time, got lots of raves! It is a perfect autumn dessert.

  25. Bernice Vaughan :

    What kind of flour do you use?
    Self raising, plain or can you use cake flour.
    I went to the Apple Orchard so I have plenty of apples and would like to make this Apple cake. Thanks!

    • Hi Bernice – We used all-purpose flour in this recipe. (I’ll update the ingredients list to clarify.) Thanks for our question and we hope you love the recipe!

  26. Barbara J Cooper :

    I’ve made this cake several times & I always get compliments how great it is. So glad l tried it. Would highly recommend it.

  27. This is one of the first things I baked when I started baking way back in 1969. It’s a delicious cake, have never had a problem with it and I always bake it in a bundt pan. The batter is supposed to be thick, in fact that’s one of the things I remember my neighbor had written on the recipe card, “batter will be very thick.” Sometimes I cheat and use a can of apple pie slices and the cake turns out just as good. The only apples I don’t use in this are Red Delicious, but I think any other kind are good. 🙂

  28. Made the cake just as the recipe stated. I dusted my pan with sugar rather than flour and skipped the glaze. Everyone loved it! I have one of the heavy cast aluminum Bundt pans and the cake popped right out after allowing the cake to rest 20 minutes. I did not need to use the freezer idea. This is now part of my preferred cake list. Highly recommended!

  29. Elicia Johnson :

    This turned out very well.

  30. I loved this recipe. I made it for the 2nd time. First time there was too many apples. I used 2 1/2 cups of apples this 2nd time and I liked the texture. I will probably cut up just 2 large apples the next time. People at church asked for the recipe. Loaded with apples! Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

  31. I make a similar cake from my mother in law. She would serve with a handmade custard that was so good.

  32. This cake came out great. I had 5 medium apples that needed using, so I chopped 3 of them and grated the other 3. I decided to cut the oil to 1 1/4 cups since I added the grated apple. It came out super moist. Also, I skipped the sifting. I will definitely make this again. Thanks.

  33. Made it in a tube pan. I reduced oil to 3/4 cup as other comments stated, and reduced sugar by half a cup (but used sugar to coat the pan). It was absolutely delicious.

    I will modify your recipe to try to bake healthy-ish breakfast muffins this week:
    – Will substitude 1/2 cup flour with old fashioned oats
    – Will reduce oil to 1/2 cup and use 1/2 cup 6% fat plain yoghurt
    – Will reduce sugar to a cup
    – Will add 1/2 cup pepitas
    – Will use 3 small russet apples in small diced and 2 grated carrots.

    I feel I’m taking a gamble here and it’s not really the same recipe in the end, but will let you know how it turns out!

  34. I know this cake as Apple Dapple Cake, love that name and the cake. It’s always a crowd pleaser and easy to transport to picnics and pot lucks.

    • Thanks Barbara – we’ve had one other reader write to us before who called this recipe by that name as well. (I love the name too!)

  35. Best apple cake! WOAH! I actually didn’t ice the cake because I thought it was sweet enough without it! So yummy!

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