Cinnamon Apple Cake Recipe is a soft and fluffy cinnamon cake with a layer of spiced brown sugar apples cooked in a skillet. You can use any apples you want to make this delicious dessert!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
I could tell you that this cake was a result of having a bunch of apples that desperately needed to be used. But honestly, seeing apple and pumpkin desserts popping up on social media got me in the mood for a fall dessert. The apples were perfect for that. This Cinnamon Apple Cake is easy and so incredibly delicious! The cake is soft and fluffy and the apples perfectly spiced and sweet.
I used the cake part recipe from my very popular, Best Apple Crumb Cake recipe. If you made it and love it, you will love this Cinnamon Apple Cake too! A generous dusting of powdered sugar and a cup of latte and you are set for a delicious afternoon break.
If you love apple desserts, you may also like to try my caramel apple cheesecake, apple crumb muffins or my delicious fritters.
- baking powder, baking soda, salt
- vanilla extract
- brown sugar
- spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
How to make Cinnamon Apple Cake?
This recipe makes generous pieces, baked in 8" square pan. I lined the bottom with a square of parchment paper for easy removal of the pieces. I also didn't have to grease and flour the pan.
- Start by peeling and coring apples. Chop into small squares and saute in butter. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and brown sugar.
- Cook until fragrant and softened but not turned into mush. We are not making applesauce here.
- Next, make the cake batter. It's one of the easiest you can make, no mixer needed. Simply whisk all the ingredients together.
- Pour half of the cake batter into a square pan and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, spread cinnamon apples over the cake and pour the remaining batter over the top. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted in a few places comes out clean.
- Cool cake completely in pan and dust with powdered sugar.
Kitchen tools you need:
- non-stick pan: it's perfect for making the cinnamon apples
- 8" square cake pan but round cake be used as well
- large mixing bowl
- measuring spoons and cups
What apples can I use to make this cake?
Any you have on hand! I had 6 red delicious apples and that's what I used. If you have apples from the orchard, they will be perfect for this cake. The fact that we are cooking the apples in a skillet with spices and brown sugar before using them in the cake, lets you use any kind of apples you like. Just cook the apples until soft but not mushy. They won't release moisture into the cake batter, be under or overcooked. They will make a perfect layer of spiced brown sugar apples.
The best way to store this cake or any leftovers is in a container with a lid. It will prevent this cake from drying out.
More delicious cake recipes:
If you like this recipe and make it, let me know in the comments below! Don't forget to rate it if you enjoyed it!
Cinnamon Apple Cake
for the apples:
- 6 apples I used red delicious
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
for the cake:
- 1.5 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
to make the apples:
- Peel and core apples. Cut into ½" pieces.
- Melt butter in a non-stick skillet. Add apple chunks. Add spices and brown sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon. Saute apples until very fragrant and softened, but not mushy. The time of cooking will depend on the apples. Set aside to cool completely. You can prepare the apples a day ahead.
to make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 8" square cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and salt. In a measuring cup whisk buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs. Add to dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth.
- Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spread cinnamon apples over baked cake. Pour the remaining cake batter on top. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes OR until the toothpick inserted in a few places comes out clean.
- Cool cake completely. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut and serve.
- I had 6 red delicious apples and that's what I used. If you have apples from the orchard, they will be perfect for this cake. The fact that we are cooking the apples in a skillet with spices and brown sugar before using in the cake, let's you use any kind of apples you like. Just cook the apples until soft but not mushy. The won't release moisture into the cake batter, be under- or overcooked. They will make a perfect layer of spiced brown sugar apples.
- This recipe makes generous pieces, baked in 8" square pan. I lined the bottom with a square of parchment paper for easy removal of the pieces. I also didn't have to grease and flour the pan.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate.
Pauline tolley says
Can we have the ingredients in grams etc not sure about using cups or what size cups very confusing
Thank you from Spain
Hi Pauline! In the recipe box, click the button that says "metric". It will convert to grams. I hope this helps!
Dalene Appleton says
Hi from sunny South Africa 😉
I been meaning to leave a message for ages. Oh my word this recipe is the very best. During lockdown level 5 I came across your recipe and made it for my husband several times I must add. He absolutely loved it and now I make it for family.
We serve it slightly warmed with cold vanilla custard over. I had a problem with our oven so used a Halogen table top oven with a round 9" shallow cake tin.
I tried what you suggested, substituting buttermilk for milk & lemon juice and it worked absolutely perfectly.
Was just curious. Could I use this recipe as individual cakes (ie muffin tin size)??
Thank you soo much for sharing your recipe.
Do you pour all the liquid from the apples in with the base layer of the cake or do you withhold some of the liquid?
Dalene Appleton says
I pour all the liquid onto the cake base layer.
Hello, I just like to thank you for the cinnamon apple cake recipe.
We have a Bramley Apple tree that doesn’t know when to stop, so it’s apple everything at this time of year. Most apple cakes are a bit heavy and boring, but yours sounded very interesting, I liked the sound of the layer of caramelised apples through the middle, so I made it this morning. Cooking the first layer for 10 minutes works like magic. I used a Bundt tin, because I didn’t have an 8” square one, so it needed a little longer in the oven. We need to save it till later but have eaten the bits shaved off the bottom to give it a flat base. Really good! I’m thinking a drizzle of caramel icing over the top of the ring ...
Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much! I am so glad the cake was a hit! Caramel drizzle is always a good idea. 😀
I made this tonight and it was so good. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Thank you so much for trying my recipe, Lucy!
Stephanie Calahasen says
I just made this and it is my new favorite dessert! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect! I served it with icecream.
Can a box cake mix be used instead
Hi Linda! I did not test this recipe with cake mix. Sorry!
Can I use canned apple pie filling? Thanks Tom
Will substituting oil with applesauce work? Or, maybe half applesauce and half the amount of oil? Can't wait to try this!!
Denise Tesson says
I am just wondering if you can use whole milk instead of buttermilk? Somebody let me know. Thank you!
Hi Denise! If you are using whole milk, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar. I hope this helps!
I just made this and could barely wait for it to cool before digging in - it’s SO good! Exactly what I was looking for in an apple cake recipe. I didn’t have buttermilk so I used someone else’s suggestion of almond milk and it turned out perfectly. Will definitely make this again! Thank you!
Made it with lactose-free dairy products. Great recipe, came out delicious!
Thank you so much! I am so glad it was a hit!
Morgan Juniper says
I used 6 large honey crisp and doubled the cake recipe to make a 9x13. I also found i was out of flour! Oh no! Lol so i used Krusteaz pankcake mix and omitted the baking soda and baking powder. I kept everything else the same. It was wonderful!
Vicky Valle says
I’m so excited to make this cake! I’m sautéing my apples tonight, and finishing my cake in the morning. Do I refrigerate the apples tonight? If so, should I warm them before adding them to the batter?
Hi Vicky! No need to reheat them, just let them sit in room temperature so they are not fridge-cold when you add the cake batter. I hope this helps! Let me know how you like the cake!
Vicky Valle says
The cake looks wonderful! I wish I could send you a photo of it in my new Le Crueset Apple Pie dish. This dish was MADE for this recipe!
Di Lollo Mary says
To make butter milk how much cider vinegar or lemon juice
3/4 tablespoon, then make up to 3/4 cup
Hi, what is the size for a round pan?
Hi! I was wondering if i could just place the layer of apples at the bottom and bake all at once? it would be so much more time conservative!
Hi! I bet you can but that will be a different recipe. This cake is fun because of the three layers that are created. Hope this explains it a bit!
I have never heard of baking half a cake and then pouring wet on a baked cake. What is the difference if i pour in the whole batter?
Hi Dominic! The purpose is to create a base for the sauteed cinnamon apples. It's not a typical cake recipe but it's fun to have the apple layer in between cake layers. Hope this helps!
If you double it, how long to bake? Thanks
Amy Wahl says
I doubled the recipe and used a bundt pan! Came out beautifully.
Amy Wahl says
After eating the cake we all decided it was very dry. The flavor was yummy but texture was way too dry.
Hi Amy! I've made this cake many times and it's never dry. I think you might have measured the flour incorrectly. The crumb of the cake should be soft and not at all dry. Since you doubled the recipe, it's possible the cooking time was also too long.
I made this cake last night and cooked it for just a bit longer. My toothpick came out clean last night, but when I cut the cake this morning, it seems gooey inside. Has anyone experienced this? Could it be from the apples and not from the cake being undercooked? Thanks!
Oh this is a thing of beauty! Can't wait to try it.
Can you use reg. milk if u don't have buttermilk?
Hi Linda! Yes, regular milk will work just fine. You can make homemade buttermilk by mixing apple cider vinegar or lemon juice with milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. I hope this helps!
Thank you! I rarely have buttermilk on hand, so this is a great tip.
You are very welcome, Jane! I always make my own too! 😀
I made it with Almond Milk and it turned out great!!
This is such a family favorite! It's so delicious and hard to resist!
WOW!! This looks absolutely delicious!! YUM!!
Wow! This looks soooooo crazy delicious! Yummmmm.
helen berkshire says
Question; would you double the recipe for a 13x9?
Hi Helen! Yes, double for a 13"x9" pan. Let me know if you make this cake! Thank you!
Emily Hill says
Holy yum! I could eat the entire pan of this cinnamon apple cake!