This apple cake recipe is full of warm spices and easy to make with fresh, juicy apples! The moist cake is drizzled with a buttery, brown sugar glaze while warm and is the perfect dessert for fall.
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Fresh Apple Dapple Cake
Warm, fragrant and full of delicious apple flavor, this easy apple cake recipe is one of my favorite seasonal treats to make with freshly picked apples! It’s also known as the old fashioned apple dapple cake.
Full of juicy, tender apple chunks and warm spices, it’s the essence of fall flavors baked into a homemade cake. Topped with a buttery, brown sugar glaze while still warm, it soaks into the cake and adds the best caramel apple taste.
Why This Recipe Works
- Moist and tender: This apple cake has a soft, moist crumb like my pumpkin bundt cake and apple pie cupcakes which are two other favorites for the season!
- Juicy apple pieces: Really apple chunks add the best soft, sweet baked apple taste.
- Warm fall flavors: Spiced with all the flavors you love in apple pie but with less time and effort!
- Enjoy right away: There is no need to wait for it to cool down, after topping with the glaze, serve warm and enjoy!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- All-purpose flour: Adds structure to the cake.
- Sugars: Granulated and brown sugar add sweet taste and moisture.
- Baking soda: A leavening agent to add lift and rise.
- Warm spices: Ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg add fragrant warm taste.
- Sea salt: Enhances the flavors in the cake.
- Vegetable oil: Gives the cake a tender crumb.
- Egg: You will need one large egg and one egg yolk.
- Vanilla extract: Adds another layer of flavor.
- Apples: I prefer Granny Smith apples as their tart flavor compliments the sweet apple cake.
- Glaze: Salted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla.
Best Apples to Use
While tart apples, like Granny Smith, are often used for baking you can use a mix of tart and sweet apples if preferred!
- Tart apples: Granny Smith, Jonathon, Jonagold, McIntosh or Braeburn could be used.
- Sweet apples: Honey Crisp, Gala apples, Fuji apple or for a sweet-tart apple try Cortland.
- Spices: Instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg, use apple pie spice. Or substitute the nutmeg for ginger.
- Nuts: Add a 1/2 cup of pecans or walnuts to the batter with the apples.
- Sliced apples: Classic apple cakes are made with finely diced apples. If that is too chunky for you, try thinly slicing them with a mandoline.
- No peel: I love to use peeled apples, but you don’t mind the texture, skip peeling your apples.
- Use another fruit: Pears are another great fall fruit that this cake would work with!
How to Make Apple Cake
- Combine dry ingredients: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk to remove any lumps.
- Cream butter and sugar: In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, mix together oil, sugar, and brown sugar on a low speed. Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Combine wet ingredients with the dry on low speed until just combined.
- Add apples: Gently fold in the peeled and finely chopped apples into the mixture. Pour the batter into prepared 8-inch baking dish and spread out into an even layer.
- Bake: Bake 45 minutes at 325°F, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Make glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring butter, sugar, brown sugar, and cream to a boil. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon 1 minute, or until the sugars have melted down. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Glaze cake and serve: Add glaze to the warm cake and serve immediately or enjoy cake at room temperature.
- All-purpose flour: I recommend making this cake with all-purpose flour for the best results. Learn how to measure flour accurately so you don’t end up packing your measuring cup too full!
- Dairy free: As is this cake is dairy free! To make the glaze dairy free just use a vegan butter and heavy cream.
- Line baking pan: Lining your cake pan with parchment paper makes it so easy for removing it from the pan!
- Serving: Serve a slice of warm apple cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
Apple Cake Toppings
While I love the sweet buttery brown sugar glaze as it adds a delicious caramel apple taste, you could enjoy the cake plain with just a dusting of confectioners sugar if preferred. Just sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving or the sugar will melt into the cake.
Other topping suggestions include:
- A drizzle of caramel sauce would taste delicious!
- Try a simple powdered sugar glaze or maple glaze.
- Caramel cream cheese frosting or cinnamon buttercream would be two indulgent options to frost the cake with after it has cooled.
- Make a simple cinnamon sugar topping with cinnamon, sugar and butter. Spread on the apple cake before baking.
Instead of an 8-inch square baking dish, you could use a 9×2 inch deep dish pie plate, 9×5 inch loaf pan or 2 8-inch pie plate. A smaller 8-cup bundt pan work.
If you double the ingredients you could try a 9×13 inch pan or tube pan. Baking time may vary if you use a different sized pan!
After the cake has cooled, store at room temperature for up to 2 days or for longer storage place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days place.
It’s best to freeze this apple cake without the glaze. After step 5, cool completely, cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap or foil and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and then add glaze.
Your buttery caramel glaze may thicken as it sits. Just warm it up on the stove and it will thin as it gets warm.
More Apple Recipes
Easy Apple Cake Recipe
- 1 8×8-inch baking dish
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 Granny Smith apples , peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- dash of vanilla
For serving: Vanilla ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line in parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix the oil and sugars. Mix the eggs in one at a time with a hand mixer. Then add the vanilla and and mix until the batter is smooth. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Gently fold in the apples. Pour the batter into the baking dish and spread evenly.
- Bake 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring butter, sugar, brown sugar, and cream to a boil. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon 1 minute, or until the sugars have melted down. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and then immediately pour evenly over the warm cake.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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