Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake on a plate with honey butter.

This cinnamon sugar apple cake is just one of those things that is very regular but somehow elevates the day a little bit. It’s low maintenance, highly snackable, and 100% as warming, fragrant, and cozy a basic apple cake should be. 

This apple cake is:

  • light and fluffy
  • loaded with fresh apples
  • sweet but not overly sweet
  • magically crispy with that layer of cinnamon-sugar on top
  • a nice vehicle for some whipped cream or honey butter
  • excellent with coffee
  • and a sweater
  • and a fall candle
  • coming to you, warm, fresh-out-the-oven, in just under an hour.

How to Cut Apples for Apple Cake, In My (Un)Professional Opinion

First of all, let me just establish that I do not peel my apples for anything. No thanks, man. I just cannot be bothered to spend any time removing a perfectly good, edible, nutritious peel. You go ahead and make the rules in your own kitchen.

Here are some apple cutting options for you:

Three types of sliced apples.
  • Finely diced (top): classic apple cake situation. You’ll get tiny pockets of juicy apple tucked into your cake. Very normal and delicious.
  • Thinly sliced (middle): my personal favorite. I use a mandoline (affiliate link) to slice the apples super thinly, and then I run through them again with a knife to create bite-sized, paper-thin pieces of apple. This allows you to still get those pockets of apple in your cake, but helps distribute the apples a bit better so you’re not ending up with such heavy chunks of apple in the cake.
  • Shredded (bottom): the pieces of apple will magically sort of “disappear” into the cake. No pockets of apples – just lots of that naturally wonderful apple sweetness. This is my second favorite way to cut the apples.

Here’s How to Make Apple Cake

Mix your apples into the batter.

Cake batter with apples in a bowl.

Top with that buttery cinnamon sugar sand.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake in a pan before baking.

Bake, slice, and now eat, like, a lot of apple cake.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake with bite taken out.

This cake was the perfect weekend treat (not to mention Monday snack and Tuesday 2nd dinner), and guess what’s right around the corner?  Wednesday breakfast.

Add some honey butter and coffee and you are in Cozy Fall Business.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake with bite being taken.

In our house, we have no problem eating the. whole. thing.  As in, two adults and one entire cake. A little piece here, and a little piece there, and three more pieces after dinner, and suddenly it’s time to make another apple cake.

Check out our video for how to make Apple Cake (1 min):

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12

Description

This simple cinnamon sugar apple cake is light and fluffy, loaded with fresh apples, and topped with a crunchy cinnamon sugar layer!


Ingredients

Apple Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped apples (see notes)

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix ingredients in order given, stirring until just combined.
  3. Pour batter into a buttered 9×13 pan.
  4. Combine last 3 ingredients to make a topping and sprinkle / spread it evenly over the batter.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve with honey butter or whipped cream if you want. APPLE CAKE IS THE BEST!

Notes

Apples: I found that two average sized apples was about the right amount to get 2-ish cups of cut apples. For cuts/textures, see the photo and notes in the post! I like to use a crispy, sweet apple like Honeycrisp for this cake, but honestly, I think just about any type of apple would work.

Types of Oil: Canola or vegetable oil is what I normally use, but olive oil is also really delicious in baked goods – it just has a unique, distinct, olive oily flavor. Also, I haven’t tried it yet but I’d be willing to bet that an equal amount of coconut oil or butter would work, too.

Honey Butter: Mix 2-3 tablespoons softened butter with 2-3 tablespoons of honey. Add a sprinkle of sea salt if you want to take it over the top (you do).

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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One more thing!

This recipe is part of our collection of easy baking recipes. Check it out!

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