This apple cake recipe is a great cake to serve for all types of occasions. While it is especially good during apple season, it is a treat to have all year long.
You really cannot go wrong when it comes to apple cake. The simple cake is a great way to show off the apples, especially during peak apple season. The plain cake pairs perfectly with the apples and blends well with the cinnamon sugar flavor to make a very mouthwatering bite.
Apple Cake Recipe
The apple cake recipe was given to my mom by a family friend when she got married. It's a basic 4-3-2-1 cake recipe and can easily be made in one bowl. The hardest part of this cake is getting the food processor down to cut the apples to the right size. (True disclaimer, I've become pretty lazy and just begun cutting the apples by hand, which probably takes the same amount of time.)
The cake is made in a tube pan but can also easily be divided into cupcake tins for little muffins. Don't be alarmed that the batter in this cake is THICK! When the apples are added in, it becomes a bit smoother but is still pretty thick. The thick batter allows for the apple slices to stay in place, and not all sink to the bottom when baking.
Why I Love This Apple Cake Recipe
- Easy and Simple - The batter for this cake can all be made in one bowl. No mixer or stand mixer is required.
- Fall Flavor - The apples get to show off their flavor in the best way possible. The simple flavor of the cake really lets the apples shine.
- A Strong Balance of Flavors - This cake isn't overwhelmingly sweet. It's the perfect balance of sweet and tart, thanks to the apple flavor.
Ingreidents Needed To Make This Apple Cake
See below for all the details on what you'll need to make the full recipe.
- Apples - I like to use Granny Smith apples to give the cake a tart and balanced flavor.
- Eggs - Both the egg yolk and egg white go into the batter.
- Oil - The oil keeps the cake nice and moist.
- Orange Juice - The OJ helps form the crumb and adds a nice subtle flavor.
- Sugar - Sugar goes in the cake and coats the apples.
- Cinnamon - Cinnamon coats the apples alongside the sugar to highlight the sweetness.
How To Make Apple Cake
- Prepare. Preheat the oven to 325 and grease a tube pan. Set to the side.
- Cut the apples. Core, peel, and slice the apples into thin slices, about ¼ of an inch thick. You can slice the apples by hand or with a food processor. Cover with cinnamon and sugar, set to the side.
- Make the batter. In a large bowl, mix together all of the remaining ingredients with a whisk. Set to the side.
- Assemble the cake. Pour the apple mixture into the batter and fold in with a wooden spoon or spatula to fully combine. Pour the mixed batter into the tube pan, making sure the cake is fully distributed.
- Bake the cake. Bake the cake for 55-65 minutes. Allow to fully cool in the tube pan.
Make Ahead and Storage
This cake can be made 2-3 days ahead of time if needed. The cake does spoil quickly, so if making it ahead of time, try and keep it in the fridge. The cake is best made on the day of. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days. The cake can also be frozen and stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Variations and Tips
- Seasonal Fruit - The base of this cake works well with most fruits since it is such a simple batter. Try it with figs, strawberries, blueberries, pears, or plums. Pretty much any fruit will work.
- Cupcakes - This cake batter works excellent as cupcakes too. Use the same recipe, and fill the cupcake tins about ⅔rds of the way full.
- Be Patient - This is a thick batter and will take a long time to cook in the oven. Don't rush the baking process and make sure it is fully cooked before taking it out to cool.
I would recommend using Granny Smith apples for this cake. They are tart yet sweet. If you cannot find Granny Smith apples, try Honeycrisp.
The chunks will not spread out as much in the cake as the slices will. If looking for a chunky apple cake, try making my apple crumb loaf.
A tube pan works best for this cake. A cupcake tin, bundt pan, or cast iron pan will also work when baking this cake.
- 5-6 granny smith apples
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 and ½ cups, plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Peel, core, and slice the apples. The apples should be about ¼ inch thick. You can do this by hand or use a food processor to get an even cut.
- In a medium-sized bowl, toss the apples in the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Make sure the apples have an even coating. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, flour, remaining sugar, oil, orange juice, and baking powder. Combine all ingredients until smooth using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or whisk.
- Pour the apple mixture into the batter. Mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula until the apples are evenly distributed around the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan. The batter will be thick, so use a spatula to make sure the batter is evenly distributed in the pan.
- Bake the cake for about 55-60 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the pan.