Apple season is here and while I do love a classic apple pie this apple cake is much easier and less time-consuming to make when we want a cozy fall treat. Not to mention it works well as a dessert or sweet breakfast food.
You’ll only need 2 medium-sized apples for this cake. One gets diced and folded into the batter and the other is sliced to decorate the top of the cake. Any baking or pie apple would work well in this recipe. I used Paula Red and Liberty apples as that is what my local farm market had available.
Sadly there is no PYO apple orchard on the island. Something I sorely miss from my childhood growing up in New England. This is why we took matters into our own hands and planted an orchard in our garden this spring. The trees won’t produce much fruit until a few years from now but just knowing what will be one day makes me giddy. We picked out heritage apple varieties for baking and for fresh eating. I just placed another big order of fruit trees to arrive next spring so we can expand the garden and create the orchard of our dreams.
But let’s get back to this yummy cake. The batter is quite thick and results in a very moist sponge in part thanks to the diced apples. I’ve added a bit of rye flour in place of some of the all-purpose flour for its earthy flavor, which pairs well with all of the spices in this cake.
Tips and Tricks
- In one of my rounds of recipe testing the cake stuck to the sides so I recommend greasing and flouring the cake tin. This seems to happen when the fresh apple pieces end up touching the sides of the pan, but flouring the sides should do the trick. Also cut an 8″ round piece of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of the pan, which is something I always do when making cakes.
- Squeeze a lemon wedge over the apples while you are prepping them to keep them from oxidizing and turning brown.
- Check the dates on your leavening agents. If your cakes haven’t been rising as they should it’s probably time to toss the old ones and get new batches.
Just like you would with apple pie, I highly suggest serving a slice of this spiced apple cake with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 150 g
- 1/4 cup rye flour 30 g (or more all-purpose)
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar 150 g
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt 3 g
- ½ teaspoon baking powder 3 g
- ½ teaspoon baking soda 3 g
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder 4 g
- ½ teaspoon clove powder 2 g
- ½ teaspoon allspice powder 2 g
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg 1 g
- 2 medium baking apples
- ½ cup milk 120 ml, 125 g (use non-dairy milk for vegan option)
- ½ cup light tasting oil 120 ml, 105 g – canola, grape seed, extra-light olive oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup 60 mL, 75 g
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 8 g
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 5 g
- Preheat oven to 350˚F/175˚C with rack in center. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper then flour the sides. Tap out any excess flour.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
- In a separate bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients: milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and vinegar.
- Peel and core apples. Diced one apple and thinly slice the other. Squeeze a lemon wedge over the pieces and slices to keep them from turning brown. You should have roughly 1 heaping cup of diced apples or 140 g. Save the slices to top the cake.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until evenly combined about 30-60 seconds. Fold in diced apples. The batter will be on the thicker side.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth with the rubber spatula.
- Arrange the apple slices over the batter. Mix spoonful each of maple syrup and oil together and brush the tops of the apple slices with it. Then sprinkle cinnamon powder over the apple slices.
- Bake at 350˚F/175˚C on the center rack for 50 minutes or until the sides pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean.
- Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Run a butter knife along the edges to make sure the cake has released from the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto the cooling rack. Then place a serving plate over the bottom of the cake and flip the cake right side up by gripping the cooling rack and plate together and flipping them over. Cool to room temperature before cutting into the cake.
- Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar before serving.
- Wrap or cover the leftover cake and use it within 3 days.
- This recipe can be made in an 8-inch square pan with the same cooking temperature and time or made in a standard muffin tin and baked at 400˚F/205˚C for 20 minutes.
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