Classic Apple Cake Recipe

Hi mom, welcome to Coooktophia. Today I will make Classic Apple Cake Recipe. This is a classic recipe for homemade fresh apple cake Made with lots of Granny Smith apples and deliciously flavored with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and orange zest. It’s the perfect fall recipe in boxes! Similar to my apple coffee cake but with fewer ingredients and fewer steps. Read: very easy!

Classic Apple Cake Recipe

I am so excited to share this recipe for Fresh Apple Cake with all of you today! It’s a super simple recipe made from scratch using pantry ingredients and fresh, peeled, and diced apples to keep your cake moist and fresh. This is truly a delicious recipe that you will want to make again and again. Simplicity at its best.

What is the difference between French apple cake and this Classic Apple Cake Recipe?

While some of you may not know the difference between the two, there is a difference! French apple cake is a custard-like cake flavored with rum and without seasoning. Plain apple cake, like this recipe, is a warm, spicy-flavored butter mixture that has a soft, crumbly texture. While apple cakes are delicious, they are an entirely different dessert.

Dry ingredients in a bowl

How to make Classic Apple Cake Recipe

Begin preparing your 8- or 9-inch round skillet by lining the bottom with parchment paper and/or spraying it with nonstick cooking spray. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together. This includes all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Whipping is basically the poor man’s way of sifting ingredients to make them light and airy so they are easily incorporated into cake batter with less mixing. Less mixing means less gluten, which in turn means your cake is crunchier.

Classic Apple Cake Recipe preparation

Although this is a smaller 8 or 9 inch round cake, it is filled with 3/4 pound of peeled and cored Granny Smith apples and small cubes. It is two medium sizes of green apple.

Best apple for apple cake

While any apple would work in this Classic Apple Cake Recipe, Granny Smith is commonly recommended because of its texture after baking and its low moisture content. Some other types of apples, while fresh are sweeter, bake a little less in grit and this doesn’t exactly produce the best end product. Also, while you want some liquid from the apples to keep your cake moist, some apples can leave your cake soggy which again doesn’t make a good cake. These are just some of the reasons Granny Smiths reign supreme not just for this recipe, but for the recipes for Apple Pie, Salted Caramel Apple Crumble, and Buttery Apple Crisp.

Should you peel apples for Classic Apple Cake Recipe?

Yes! I recommend peeling, digging and slicing the apples for the best apple cake. The apple peels after they are baked are a bit chewy and it’s kind of really ugly. While perfectly edible, I prefer peeling the apple.

Make the mixture

Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and orange peel together in the bowl of a stand mixer until completely smooth. This may take 2-3 minutes. Use the paddle attachment to stir.

Add the dry ingredients completely to the wet and stir until completely combined. Scrape all edges and bottom of the bowl to make sure the mixture is completely smooth and blended evenly.

How to bake apple cake?

Fold fresh apples by hand using a rubber scraper. Transfer to prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and set. This cake will puff up a bit, but because of all the fresh apples, it won’t have much height which is totally normal.

Chill the cake for at least 20 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely. While I like to enjoy apple cake warm a little with a little icing sugar, you can definitely enjoy it at room temperature in a completely plain or with some whipped cream or even vanilla ice cream. (For an extra special treat, try the homemade vanilla ice cream. Delicious!)

Should you refrigerate an apple cake?

While this cake will stay perfectly fresh on the counter for up to two days covered in plastic wrap, it will last an additional day or two in the refrigerator. You never have to keep them in the fridge, but if you’re trying to keep them fresh for a little longer, make sure you wrap them well and store them in the fridge. Of course, gently reheat it in the microwave before enjoying it.

Freezing directions

If you have toppings or happen to make this cake ahead of time, you can freeze it completely for up to three months! Wrap any remaining pieces or the entire cake in a layer of plastic wrap and then transfer to a zip-top freezer plastic bag. Freeze for up to three months. To defrost, move it to the refrigerator for 24-48 hours to defrost or simply microwave it at 50% power until heated through.

Slice of apple cake

Why did my apple cake fall off?

There are two main reasons why an apple cake would fall apart: (1) it was too warm when you were trying to slice and serve it or (2) you used too much/the wrong kind of apple. See the notes above on picking and choosing the best apples for a recipe like this one.

Classic Apple Cake Recipe Card

This is a classic recipe for homemade fresh apple cake Made with lots of Granny Smith apples and deliciously flavored with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and orange zest.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch by 9-inch baking tray with flour. Sit aside. (Alternately, you can spray with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment and spray the paper again lightly with more nonstick for extra insurance.)
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves in a medium bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, and orange zest on medium speed, 3 minutes.
  4. With mixer over low heat, slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture, until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold the apples into the mixture. Spread in prepared pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut into pieces, and serve warm or at room temperature.


Calories: 461Calories | Carbohydrates: 76g | protein: 6g | fat: 16g | Saturated fat: 9g | Unsaturated fats: 1g | Monounsaturated fats: 4g | Unsaturated fats: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 250mg | the basic: 3g | sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 555IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 81mg | iron: 2mg

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