Fresh Apple Cake

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A quick and easy homemade Fresh Apple Cake that’s moist, sweet, and delicious! Top it with whipped cream or homemade frosting.

Fresh apple cake is one of our favorite cake recipes to make each Fall. Not only is it easy, but it’s full of all our favorite warm Fall flavors. We love to make it along with our Pumpkin Roll, Pumpkin Cake, and Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls.

An up-close view of the cake on a plate.

Fresh Apple Cake Recipe:

This recipe for apple cake has been in my family as long as I can remember. My grandmother used to pick little green apples off the tree in her backyard and use them to make this cake from scratch. She’d even make extra and freeze it for when family came to visit over the holidays.

This cake is very easy to make. It’s sweet, perfectly spiced, and has just the right amount of fresh, raw apple pieces. The batter is quite thick, so it’s not like making a traditional cake. You’ll want to grab a sturdy spoon for this recipe.

How to Make Fresh Apple Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and grease a 9×13-inch cake pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, oil, and eggs.
  3. Next, use a sturdy spoon to mix in the all-purpose flour, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
  4. Fold in the peeled and diced apples.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
Collage showing how to make fresh apple cake.

Recipe Tips:

  • The batter will be extremely thick. One time, Kim actually broke a rubber spatula trying to stir it. So, I definitely recommend a heavy duty wooden spoon.
  • I do NOT recommend using apple pie filling for this recipe. It will add too much moisture to the batter and create a gummy cake.
  • Honestly, the cake is sweet enough to enjoy without any sort of frosting. However, if you feel inclined to create one, consider a using a maple whipped cream or a homemade caramel sauce. It’s a Fall flavor that works perfectly with apples.
  • Use your favorite sturdy, raw apple. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonathan, or Braeburn are some great options. Peel, core and dice the apples before beginning.
  • Swap the ground cinnamon with apple pie spice for extra warming flavors.
A close-up view of the baked cake in the pan.

How to Store Apple Cake:

Room Temperature: Fresh apple cake stores well at room temperature for about 3 days.

Refrigerator: This cake will stay fresh in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

Freezer: Apple cake freezes nicely. Wrap it tightly in a layer of plastic wrap covered by another layer of aluminum foil. The cake will stay fresh in the freezer for about 2 months.

Thawing and Reheating: Place the frozen cake in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. To reheat, place a slice of cake in the microwave for a few seconds until warm and soft.

A slice of fresh apple cake on a plate.

Fresh Apple Cake

4.5 from 136 votes
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Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 15 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9 x 13-inch cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, and eggs. 
    2 cups granulated sugar
    1 ¼ cups canola oil
    2 large eggs
  • Add the flour, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Use a sturdy spoon or spatula to stir. The batter will be very thick like a paste. 
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Fold in the apples, and press the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    3 cups apples
  • Allow the cake to cool until just barely warm. Serve with plain or with vanilla ice cream.
  • See post for tips and storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 piece of cake. Actual calories will vary.
 
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 46IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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33 Comments

  1. I am making a similar cake for Xmas gifts. My recipe came from a coworker back in the 80’s.
    Interestingly mine has dramatically less oil and a cup less flour. I recall that I had to mix the batter with my hands as it was so stiff.
    My question is how long do you think I should bake it if I split the recipe into
    smaller gift pans?

    1. Good Morning Kathi, let me apologize for the delayed reply. We had a tech issue that prevented us from receiving alerts when someone commented. So, we missed a lot comments until late last night. I am so sorry. In response to your question, I would reduce the bake time down to 30-40 minutes. Thank you for asking and have a wonderful day πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Pat!

      We haven’t tried this cake in a springform pan. As far as the batter fitting, it will be very full and I’m not sure if it will bake thoroughly. If you decide to try it, I’d recommend lining the inside of the ring and bottom with parchment paper and/or greasing it well to make sure the cake doesn’t stick.

  2. I made this Apple Cake yesterday for my church family. They, and I absolutely loved it. It was the only dessert out of 10 that was all gone. Wonderful recipe!

  3. I made this cake for our Wednesday night family meal. Everyone loved it. I also shared with friends and was sent this message!
    β€œOmg that is the best cake we have ever eaten!! I love apple so knew it would if you made it it would be delicious.”
    Thanks so much for sharing. I’m making it to send to the community church dinner, too!

    1. We’re happy everyone loved the cake! It’s one of our favorites, too, and has been in my family for well over 40 years. Thank you so much for coming back to comment. Have a wonderful day! πŸ™‚

  4. I live at 4,295 in Elevation and I was wondering if I needed to tweek this recipe a little? Extra Flour? etc.

    Thank you,
    Sue

    1. Hi Sue!

      We haven’t baked this recipe at an elevation higher than approximately 1,500 feet, so I’m not sure. The batter is quite thick, so I’m not sure how the extra flour might change the way it bakes up. I’m approving the message in case another reader has tried adding extra flour and lives at a higher elevation. Maybe someone will chime in. πŸ™‚

  5. I am making this for the first time and just put it in the oven, so don’t want to rate it until I see and taste the final product. But I do have to say, in all my years of baking I have never encountered such a stiff cake batter. Its more like cookie dough. I know the instructions say it will be stiff, but it was so stiff I couldn’t get everything mixed thoroughly using a spoon- I had to use my hands. Eagerly awaiting taking it out of the oven to see how it turns out.

    1. Hi Debbie!

      We haven’t tested this recipe with almond flour or a sugar substitute, so we can’t say for sure how it would turn out. Another reader may be able to answer if he/she has tried it. πŸ™‚

  6. Made this exactly except used half a cup less of sugar. Made a glaze for the top. Everyone raved how moist and delicious it was. Will make again. Thank you for this recipe

  7. Hey gal, can I use butter instead of oil? Or half and half oil/butter? I hope this makes sense. There js a video covering the comment box as I type.

    1. Hi Aimee!

      We haven’t tried to swap the oil for butter, so I’d say try for half oil, half butter to start and see how it goes. So sorry about the video! We’ll get in touch with our ad agency to let them know. Thanks so much for letting us know. We hope you have a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

  8. Hey! I made this exactly as the recipe says and added about 3/4 cup of sour cream to the batter before adding the apples. It came out so moist and delicious! Also added a vanilla glaze to the top. Thanks for the recipe πŸ˜„

    1. Good Morning Samantha, that’s wonderful! Kim and I are thrilled you enjoyed the apple cake. Adding the sour cream was a great idea and I bet the vanilla glaze was lovely. Thank you for dropping by to leave a comment. We appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Michelle!

      We’ve never tried to make muffins or cupcakes with this recipe, so I’m not sure. If you decide to try, we’d love to know how it turns out. Have a great day! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Diane!

      I don’t know of a way to do that with this particular recipe. Maybe someone else has tried a different way and will comment. Have a great day! πŸ™‚

  9. Hello. I cook for the time the recipe recommended and a little longer but the center is really mushy but the outsides you crispy. I used a glass dish. Have you ever had this problem. Still tastes yummy but really mushy! Please help.

    1. Hi Kimberly!

      I’m sorry to hear that the cake was still soft in the center. Normally, I use a metal pan for this recipe. If you only have glass, try decreasing the oven temperature by 25Β°F and add a few extra minutes to the cook time. Glass pans tend to get very hot and can make the sides of the cake crunchier and leave the center slightly undercooked. Hope this helps if you decide to make the cake again. Have a great evening! πŸ™‚

    2. @Kimberly,

      Thanks for the info. I will definitely be making this cake again. It was yummy. I will try the metal pan next time and see if that helps. My oven is new so I wondered if it was the glass pan. Thanks again. Highly recommend this recipe. πŸ™‚ Might try the caramel topping the next time too.

      1. You’re most welcome! I’m thinking the metal pan will do the trick. This cake is fantastic with a little drizzle of caramel sauce. πŸ™‚

  10. This looks just like the recipe I have used since the 80’s! Always a hit! I drizzle a caramel type sauce called Cajeta over mine, and use toasted pecans in it. Mmmmmm making me think about whipping one up soon.
    To anyone considering making this recipe- go for it, you won’t be disappointed.

    1. Hi Jeanne!

      It’s very possible that it’s the same or very similar recipe. My grandmother was making it back in the 1970s-80s when I was little. I got it from her on a little recipe card and had to share it! It’s a family favorite. Thanks for the sweet comment! We hope you have a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

4.53 from 136 votes (135 ratings without comment)

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