Spiced Apple Cake

I was at the bottom of the barrel, so to speak, of the apple supply that I had been carefully rationing since my last visit home, and I wanted to make something extra special as a sort of “last meal” until next season.

As luck would have it, the timing aligned perfectly with a book club meeting, so I would again leverage my ever-gracious captive audience to be my testers.

Many of my recent pilots have been pretty heavy on the fat and sugar, so this would also be an exercise in creating a healthier dessert. Sure, apples help to accomplish this. But another healthy tip I learned early on is you can substitute a lot of the oil in a recipe with applesauce and achieve just as delicious results with up to half the fat.

So that’s exactly what I did with this lovely spiced apple cake.

When possible I love to mix-and-match apple varieties, bringing in a medley of flavors to add some depth and complexity to a recipe. Again, this is a trick borrowed from home. Our best presses of cider include an eclectic mix of apple varieties. This also means that every batch is unique and special in its own way.

Even when peeled, cored and diced, using a variety of apples yields a pretty blend of colors that hint a bit at the level of tartness or sweetness they will contribute.

Even though I use a nonstick bundt cake pan, I add a small dusting of flour to prevent sticking, then sprinkle a bit of brown sugar around them bottom for a sugary crust on top of the cake.

As you fold the apples into the cake batter, it will look like there will be barely any cake. But trust me, you’ll be grateful for their abundance later. As the cake bakes, the apples will cook down and help make the cake meltingly moist.

Spread the batter evenly throughout the cake pan, bake at 350 degrees for around 40-45 mins, and out comes a beautiful cinnamon-brown cake. You’ll know it’s done when the edges are darkened, firm and begin pulling away from the side of the pan, and the surface is firm and begins to crack. (Don’t worry about the appearance of the cracks; you’re just going to be flipping it over anyway).

Allow the cake to cool a bit on a rack before carefully flipping it over onto a platter. Let cool a little bit more and then dust with a fine dusting of powdered sugar.

Served warm, this lovely spiced treat practically melts in your mouth. It’s a great afternoon snack or could even pass for breakfast. Either way, chances are it won’t last long!

Spiced Apple Cake


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups diced apples (I used a mix of varieties)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly flour and sprinkle a bit of brown sugar (about a tablespoon) in the bottom of a nonstick bundt cake pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat vegetable oil and eggs on medium speed until foamy.
  • Add in all of the remaining ingredients except the apples. Mix well.
  • Fold in the diced apples by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes, or until dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in bundt pan over a baking rack for 10-15 minutes, then carefully flip onto a platter. Dust lightly with powdered sugar if desired.

Note: This cake is at its best when best served warm. Leftovers can be wrapped and stored in and airtight container the refrigerator for up to a few days. Bring back to room temperature or warm in the microwave a bit before serving.

Adopted from: Persnickety Plates

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