Easy and delicious, this moist apple cake is bursting with cinnamon apple flavor. An old fashion cake like grandma would make with only a few pantry ingredients and your favorite fresh apples.
This is one of the best desserts ever when combined with a scope of vanilla ice cream.
It is apple season in Michigan, and I need to do a few apple recipes. Apple cake sounded great, but I wanted an old fashion apple cake. So, I copied from the best, my wife.
I looked around some, but then my wife pointed me to her own recipe in the "Holmes School Cookbook." It used only things we all have on hand, so I used that as a model. Excellent.
I cooked this cake unsupervised by the author, so I slid in a few minor changes.
First, I cut it in half. This is "cooking for two," and a 9X13 cake is a bit much for the two of us.
Second, I doubled the cinnamon. I love cinnamon.
Third and my biggest sin, I shredded one of the apples. Sometimes when I use diced fruit, I end up with steam pockets but also I wanted to release the juice more. She wanted chunks of apple goodness. Take your choice, but I suggest half and half.
A very easy 5. So much better than you think it could be.
Granny Smith and Gala apples are both excellent choices. I find Cortland, Granny Smith, Gala, Ida Red, Honey Crisp, or Roma also work well. But really, the apples you love and have in the house are usually the best choice for you.
I would suggest avoiding Red Delicious or Macintosh apples, which don't cook well.
👨🍳How to Make Apple Cake?
Large chunks of apples release steam when cook and can cause pockets in the cake. Smaller dice will work well.
I like to shred half the apples. It will keep some apple texture while releasing the juices and a great deal of flavor.
A 9-inch round or 8-inch square are excellent choices. An 8-inch round is also a good choice, but the cake will be thicker and take a bit longer to cook (not much.)
The original cake was double of this recipe and bakes in a standard 9X13 cake pan.
This is one of those "sticky" cakes. Even in a non-stick pan with butter and flour, there is some sticking. A piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan helps.
A sprinkle of granulated sugar will give a nice crust on top. Some people will add a pinch of cinnamon to the sugar.
Another good topping is a simple glaze. ⅔ cups of powder sugar, ⅛ teaspoon vanilla, and 3-4 teaspoons of milk.
Most people will store it overnight at room temperature. I prefer to keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can also freeze for 3-4 months.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350° with the rack in the middle. Prep a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and flour. Parchment paper on the bottom is suggested.
Dice or shred two medium apples. I suggest half shredded and half with smaller dice of ¼ inch or less.
Mix all ingredients well and move to the prepared pan.
Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of sugar.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. About 45 minutes.
Cool before serving.
Easy Apple Cake
- 2 apples - medium or large, shredded or diced
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup oil
- 1 egg
- ½ cup walnuts - chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar - optional for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 350° with the rack in the middle. Prep a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and flour. Parchment paper on the bottom is suggested.
- Dice or shred two medium apples. I suggest half shredded and half with smaller dice of about ¼ inch.
- Mix all ingredients well and move to the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. About 45 minutes. Cool before serving.
My Private Notes
- Use the apples you have but, I'm not a fan of delicious or MacEntosh apples in recipes like this.
- The apples can be shredded or diced.
- I suggest a 9 inch round pan, but an 8 by 8 would work. I believe a 9 by 9 is not a good choice.
- Most people will want to double this recipe. Use a 9X13 pan. Cooking time will be about the same or a bit more. Use the toothpick test.
- Another good topping is a simple glaze. ⅔ cups of powder sugar, ⅛ teaspoon vanilla, and 3-4 teaspoons of milk. Skip the sprinkle of sugar on top of the cake if doing the glaze.
- Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for 3-4 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's note: Originally Published October 6, 2016. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.