The Perfect Apple Cake

By • September 26, 2009 27 Comments

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Author Notes: A long love affair with fall apples led me on my quest for the perfect apple cake. I've already got the pie thing down. When trying different cake recipes, I found the right combination, from using different techniques and varying quantities from several recipes, all mashed into one. My. Perfect. Version.This cake is moist, but with a great crumb, soft apples punctuated by fragrant nutmeg, and vanilla. Becky

Makes one 8 inch deep dish cake


  • 2 sourish apples (granny smith, jonathon, ect)
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or soy or regular milk, i just prefer the almond)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8 inch springform pan. Peel, core, and slice the apples. With half of the apples, turn the slices, and chop three or four times, to get a large dice.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt until blended, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and honey and beat until fluffy. Add each egg, one at a time, mixing in between, then the vanilla. Scrape your bowl and beat again **I know this seems like a lot of steps, when really, you just want to throw it all in the bowl at once, and mix like a maniac. But, I must stress, that going slowly in this order, really does ensure proper incorporation of all ingredients, and ultimately leads to a more tender cake, and one that doesn't fall in the oven, or rise improperly. So, please do resist the urge to mix everything together at once**
  4. Finally, beat in the milk. At this point, the batter will look kind of weird, like its curdled, don't worry, I promise it will come together when you add the flour. So, on that note, add the flour mixture, and beat until you get a smooth, creamy, beige batter. Woo hoo!
  5. Now stir in your chopped apples, and spread into the prepped pan. Arrange the apple slices, overlapping them slightly, in a circular pattern over the batter.
  6. Put the pan on the top rack of your preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. Like with all cakes, this guy is done when a toothpick (or dried spaghetti noodle, is what I use) inserted into the center comes out dry. Allow cake to cool for a little while, and remove the sides of the pan. Voila! Its yummy, all by itself, no additional adornments needed... not even ice cream, which is a revelation for me...

Voila! Its yummy, all by itself, no additional adornments needed... not even ice cream, which is a revelation for me...

  • 1 Big smile
  1. Enjoy with friends and chai tea

More Great Recipes: Fruit|Cakes|Desserts

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Comments (27) Questions (1)


6 months ago Barbara Palleja

70 minutes in the oven


6 months ago Barbara Palleja

It's in the oven as I type... I used a 9 inch spring form and thought it would be less time but its been 45 min and looks nowhere near done... Wet in center still


11 months ago Susan

I had the same experience. Only made it once but thought i must have left out an ingredient as it was very low.


11 months ago SaraN

Delicious but I'd like to know how the cake can end up that high and beautiful!! I've made this 3x and love it but 1/2 the height. Deceiving photo!


11 months ago Susan

the cinnamon and nutmeg are missing from the instructions???
where should they be added??


11 months ago arcane54

I wonder if those who made a "too dry cake" we're using the scoop and measure method for flour? I've had widely varied results depending on how I measure dry ingredients. Now, I give the four a stir to loosen it up and spoon into a measuring cup, then level off. Unless the recipe specifies flour by weight, this is my go to method.


over 1 year ago Petite fee

Made this cake over my spring break and it turned out DE-LISH! it was not dry at all! I did however, use three apples (2 grated finely to put into the batter and the 3rd on top for decoration). It did not turn out as high as the picture but the flav' and the moistness was awesome!


almost 2 years ago Jef

My wife and I were kind of let down with this. I recognize everyone's "perfect" is probably different but this is not mine. The edges were very dry and the center too wet. Brown sugar would definitely help... I used white. the search will continue for me.


almost 2 years ago veggiesfromheaven

This cake is wonderful!


almost 2 years ago Maya Muñoz

I'm surprised to see the negative comments here. The cake was not dry in the slightest, and I thought it was nicely spiced. Freshly grated nutmeg is definitely appreciated here.


over 2 years ago Synky

I was suprised at how dry this cake came out. I think that I'll try putting the second apple inside the cake not on top of it next time. Also halved the spices, which turned out nicely.


over 2 years ago MrsK

No, I live in the US. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check Sur la Table--and, perhaps also sous la table... Just kidding! Thanks a lot!


over 2 years ago robyn ann

Do you live in Brazil? Is their a way you can order off the website for sur la table here in the USA they have the best cooking and baking supplies. Good luck!


over 2 years ago MrsK

I have a silly question... but I'm going to ask it nevertheless! Does anyone know where I can get reliable (i.e., won’t leak) spring-form pans—that won’t cost the eyes from your face, as we say in Brazil? The last ones I had ended up in the trash bin, since they leaked and made such a mess in my oven... Help!


over 2 years ago Rafaela Halina Stoakes

A good way to get around this is to line a regular cake pan with foil and greaseproof paper before making the cake - then you can just lift the cake out of the pan - rather than having to use a spring form tin!


almost 2 years ago Betty

Wrap your springform pan in aluminum foil before putting the ingredients in then set it on a cookie sheet in the oven.


almost 2 years ago MrsK

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions! Wish you all a good week.


over 2 years ago Brendanmshea

Yes, I also looked for timing of the Cinnamon and nutmeg. I put it in with the batter and the cake came out great. I liked it enough to make it again.


over 2 years ago dannimachile83

Where do you add the cinnamon and nutmeg?


almost 3 years ago stephanieRD

Made this cake this weekend and I think it's a winner. It made the house smell of fall! My cake also fell a little bit after taking it out of the oven, but it still tasted wonderful! It is very moist. I would recommend doing more apple chunks for those who haven't made it yet. I think I'll do that the next time I make it.

The man of my house thought it still needed ice cream, but I enjoyed it by itself. A little scoop of vanilla wouldn't hurt anything though ;D


almost 3 years ago robyn ann

I made the cake just this morning, I substituted brown sugar for white (more flavor). The cake did not rise as high as the photo's did, however it was a good cake. I would add a bit extra brown sugar or even a 1/4 cup maple syrup (Grade B). Also I would keep the apple chunk a bit bigger like the size of a large grape also I mixed 2 whole peeled cored apples into the batter. Whipped creme was yummy on it!!!!!!


over 2 years ago adele93

i like the idea of adding apple into the batter but i was just wondering if you cooked that apple before adding it?


almost 3 years ago triplip

Mine also came out dry. I added spices with the dry ingredients, but was very disappointed and would never make again.


almost 3 years ago AnnieHynes

Mine came out really dry and I didn't add the nutmeg or cinnamon, never told me too. Disappointing