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!

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.  Scroll below to the recipe card to watch a video showing how we make it.

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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Comments

  • Susan wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Debbie wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Deb! Great idea freezing the leftovers for another meal! (I wouldn’t have so much will power against this apple cake!) 🙂

  • Karin wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for sharing Karin!

      • Karin wrote:

        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

        • Martha wrote:

          We’re so glad you’re enjoying the recipe Karin! (We love it too!) Thanks for writing to us tonight!

  • Margi in Ky wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      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.

  • Pam wrote:

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

    Thanks!

  • Dolores Menzella wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Dolores – Great suggestion!

  • Dolores Menzella wrote:

    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.

  • Nita wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds like a great adaptation Nita! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Vicki Holkins wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Vicki! We’re so glad you found us!

  • rose vilichka wrote:

    love your recipes wish you would come out with cookbook

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Rose! (We hope to someday…) 🙂

  • Irene the Queen wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you for taking the time to write to us Irene! So glad you enjoyed the cake as much as we do!

  • leona wrote:

    Can I use a cup applesauce and a half cup oil

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Leona – I haven’t tried it with applesauce replacing the oil but I think it should work. Please let us know how it comes out!

  • mayte sanchez wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Mayte – so glad you enjoy the recipe too!

  • Joy D. wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad everyone enjoyed the cake Joy! I hope you do too!

  • Kathy wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Sharry wrote:

    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

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Martha wrote:

    Great suggestion Christine! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Diana Rad wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Diana! (Love the idea of adding rum to the glaze!) 🙂

  • Jean from Lake Ariel wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      We’re so glad you found us Jean! 🙂

  • Barbara wrote:

    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!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you for writing to us Barbara! So glad you are enjoying the cake as much as we do!

  • Barb wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Delpha Foster wrote:

    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.😊

    • Martha wrote:

      I agree Delpha! 🙂

  • Barbara wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Barbara! I’ll have to try this in the 9×13 baking dish the next time we make it!

  • Lisa wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lisa! (I agree!)

  • Bernice Vaughan wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Barbara J Cooper wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Barbara!!

  • Liz wrote:

    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. 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Liz!

  • Barbara wrote:

    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!

    • Barbara wrote:

      I used light olive oil, I almost always use olive oil rather than any other kind, and Gala apples. Just a bit more info for bakers!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Barbara! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Elicia Johnson wrote:

    This turned out very well.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe Elicia!

  • Penny Barry wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Penny! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Mary wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Custard sauce is a great addition Mary! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Barbara wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Barbara! So glad the recipe was a hit!

  • L M wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks – let us know how it comes out!

      • L M wrote:

        Turned out amazing! Fluffy moist muffins, they might have risen even more than the original cake.

  • Barbara wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      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!)

  • Kelsey wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Dana wrote:

    Made this last week, my husband loved it! Making it again, he can’t get enough of it!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you (both) enjoyed the cake Dana!

  • Shantha wrote:

    I baked cake for the first time and it was extremely good and every one liked it . Thank you very much

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Shantha! Glad you all enjoyed the recipe!

  • Jeffrey wrote:

    Must be the best apple cake ever! Foud this recipe 3-4 months ago and have made it 6 times as of today my mother inlaw requests this cake often!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks so much Jeffrey! So glad you are enjoying the recipe!

  • KAREN MARIE DE ROSE wrote:

    Absolutely the best apple cake I have ever baked. The texture was light, airy and totally delicious .

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Karen!

  • Susie Jensen wrote:

    Very yummy and very moist. I love the dense texture. I used Honey Crisp apples and they worked great. Folding the apples into the batter was a workout for my arms. The batter was very thick! But it baked up nicely.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Susie! We’re so glad you enjoyed the cake!

  • Colleen Cunningham wrote:

    I took this cake to a friend’s house, and boy, was it a hit! They said it was like a cross between cake and pie: a pake. 🙂 It is moist, delicious, and even got two thumbs up from my husband. I did leave out the nuts, as he doesn’t like them. He said I could make it any time…which I will!

    • Martha wrote:

      LOL – so glad the cake was a hit Colleen!

  • Cindy wrote:

    Do you think you could use a loaf pan for this?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Cindy – We haven’t tried baking this in a loaf pan, but I do think it will work – it will probably make 2 to 3 loaves depending on the size of your loaf pans, and obviously the bake time will be different.

  • Gin Thaler wrote:

    Thanks ♡♡♡for the awesome recipe ~!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Gin!

  • Judi McDermott wrote:

    I just made this waiting for it to cool. It looks delicious! Wish I could share the picture with you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you love the cake Judi! (If you’d like, you can send us a picture at [email protected]) 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Jacqueline Arney wrote:

    Sorry but I must say this is the most horrific cake I’ve ever made in my life. It is just so much sugar that it literally cracks apart because of this sugar maybe somebody should try the recipe themselves before they post something like this because it was horrible

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jacqueline – Thanks for taking the time leave your feedback. (We did make the cake – the photos you see in the post are ours!)

  • Linda Remillard wrote:

    I have made this cake several times & it is absolutely delicious! My question is will it be just as good if I make it in advance & freeze it? I want to bring it on a long weekend trip to mountains with friends & I will be pushed for time just before. I would love to make it this weekend but would need to freeze it…

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Linda – My apologies for the delay in responding. This cake is so moist, I do think it would freeze well as long as you wrap it tightly. Enjoy your weekend!

  • Ronald G Wolberg wrote:

    This recipe is great. Thank-you for sharing. Found it and made it right away. Valerie

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks – glad you liked it!

  • Florrie Gramm wrote:

    Super yummy moist cake! My husband loved it. It’s the perfect Fall cake!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Florrie!

  • Anna wrote:

    Yummy , haven’t eaten it yet but the batter was so tasty. Made a great size cake and easy to make. I will be making it again👍👍👍

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you live the cake Anna!

  • Lisa Davis wrote:

    I made this cake for a family dinner. Everyone loved it! I followed the recipe as written and it turned out perfectly. I greased and heavily floured the pan as suggested and it turned out of the pan just fine. I completely cooled the cake and sliced with a very sharp knife and the slices came out clean. I will definitely make this my go to for a fall dessert.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lisa – So glad you enjoyed the cake!

  • kkester wrote:

    When I was about 14 y/o I meet my mother’s good friend from East Texas. She made the most delicious fresh apple cake. She gave me the recipe and told me that she had won 1st prize in the county fair with this apple cake recipe. The only difference: combine apples, nuts, and sugar into a large bowl. Stir well and often (every fifteen mins) dicing larger pieces of apple into smaller pieces for 2-3 hours…this is very important as it starts to break down the apple pieces making them tender, and easier to slice the cake.

    • Martha wrote:

      Great suggestion! Thank you for taking the time to share it with us!

  • richard schmidt wrote:

    i want to bake this for my Quaker meeting tomorrow-i have to transport it via bus and subway and i want to avoid it becoming a gooey mess-is it alright if i keep the glaze separate and pour it on the cake when i get there? we set up the potluck table 2 hours before worship

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Richard – Yes – The glaze will set up a bit as it cools so if you have a way to warm the glaze up a little before pouring it on the cake, that should work fine. Hope you enjoy the cake!

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