Serves a Crowd

The Perfect Apple Cake

September 26, 2009
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes One 8 inch deep dish cake
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

What You'll Need
  • Ingredients
  • 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
  • Voila! Its yummy, all by itself, no additional adornments needed... not even ice cream, which is a revelation for me...
  • 1 Big smile
  1. Ingredients
  2. 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.
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt until blended, set aside.
  4. 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**
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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...
  1. Voila! Its yummy, all by itself, no additional adornments needed... not even ice cream, which is a revelation for me...
  2. Enjoy with friends and chai tea
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LauriL
  • SaraN
  • Petite fee
    Petite fee
  • Veggielover
  • Maya Muñoz
    Maya Muñoz

34 Reviews

Melinda R. November 2, 2020
This was not the apple cake of my dreams. It was fine. Good, but not spectacular. I am still on the quest for the best apple cake.
Donna March 1, 2024
I have a great Apple Cake recipe. My Mom gave it to me. Every time I make it, family and friends rave about it. It is quite simple to make. You can email me at [email protected] and I will email the recipe to you.
Sophia F. February 4, 2018
Following advice of anothe commenter i grated one apple into the batter, and chopped two up and mixed it in. Also used rice flour instead. It turned out delicious and moist, with a fluffy inside and lovely crust.
LauriL September 29, 2017
Hi Beckly....made you cake for the first time last night. I am not a baker so I was having my husband read off the steps as I prepared the batter. We got to the step of putting in the apple pieces and he said.."when do we put in the nutmeg and cinnamon?" Low and behold the steps did not include those additions. We added it before the apples and wont be able to taste it until tonight at book club. Just thought you should take note. Thanks.
joyce September 20, 2016
use this recipe however used almond/oat and flaxseed meal instead of flour. Coconuts sugar replacement (1/3 cup only), +1 apple, and added walnuts (used fresh nutmeg as well). It rose beautifully but my oven took about 1 hr for baking. Moist, and delish.
Joanne B. September 7, 2016
I made this. It rose nicely but was so plain and dry. Needs more apples inside and out!
Barbara P. March 7, 2015
70 minutes in the oven
Barbara P. March 7, 2015
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
Susan October 15, 2014
I had the same experience. Only made it once but thought i must have left out an ingredient as it was very low.
SaraN October 15, 2014
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!
Susan September 23, 2014
the cinnamon and nutmeg are missing from the instructions???
where should they be added??
arcane54 September 17, 2014
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.
Joanne B. September 7, 2016
Of course we know how to scoop. Still too dry and too bland.
Petite F. March 10, 2014
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!
Jef October 12, 2013
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.
Veggielover September 15, 2013
This cake is wonderful!
Maya M. September 4, 2013
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.
Synky March 14, 2013
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.
Emilia R. February 23, 2013
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!
robyn A. February 22, 2013
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!
Emilia R. February 22, 2013
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!
Rafaela H. March 11, 2013
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!
Betty November 11, 2013
Wrap your springform pan in aluminum foil before putting the ingredients in then set it on a cookie sheet in the oven.
Emilia R. November 11, 2013
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions! Wish you all a good week.
Brendanmshea February 11, 2013
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.