Baking/ Christmas/ Dessert/ Recipes/ Snack

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

28/10/2020 (Last Updated: 02/11/2020)

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake is deliciously easy to make with just 10 mins prep time. Add a hot cup of tea and call the friends around for a cosy afternoon catch up or warming dessert!

Two apple cake slices showing the sweet apple cinnamon layer inside.

Why We Love This

This easy apple cake is so quick to whip up as a tasty dessert or afternoon sweet treat, especially smothered in a dollop of cream.

The super simple cake batter comes together in minutes. No need for a stand mixer, all you need is a regular mixing bowl and a trusty wooden spoon.

Just like Pain d’epices (French Spice Cake) it fills your house with warming spices that make you feel like it’s the middle of the holiday season.

Top down view of the finished cinnamon apple cake.

What is Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake? 

This cake starts from a sweet vanilla base, loaded with crunchy apple pieces and amped up with sprinklings of cinnamon sugar and sumac (a tangy Middle Eastern spice) for a hint of citrus.

It’s so delicious, you might be tempted to eat this cake batter before it even hits the oven! Resist though, and you’ll be rewarded when its spicy apple crunch melts into sweet vanilla heaven.

This cake is usually baked in a rectangular baking dish or loaf pan, making it super easy to cut into neat slices. However, any moderately deep baking dish will do the trick.

If you want a cake with a bigger hit of citrus, try our Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake!

What You’ll Need

A few baking staples like brown sugar, butter, eggs and milk, along with vanilla essence and cinnamon. You’ll also need:

  • Apple – We love the tart flavour of Granny Smith apples, but any kind of apple will do nicely. No need to peel them, simply chop them finely for even distribution when layering. This is the best method so you end up with nice small chunks of apple in the centre and visibly baked on top. You could also finely slice using a mandolin if you prefer, or grate the apple straight into the batter. Grated apple will pretty much melt and disappear, giving you nice apple flavour throughout the cake but no visual effect. It’s totally up to you!
  • Sumac – This Middle Eastern spice (pronounced soo-mak) comes from the flowers of a wild berry bush. It gives a deliciously tart citrus flavour that pairs perfectly with apples and cinnamon. If you don’t have sumac, you can use a splash of lemon juice or a 1/2 tsp of freshly grated lemon rind.
  • Self Raising Flour – This gives structure and lift to the cake without need for extra baking powder. You can substitute with the same amount of all purpose flour and 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder if you need.
The first layer of cake batter topped with cinnamon sugar, sumac and chopped apples.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Use a Greased Baking Dish – This will help the cake come out clean and help the sides look their best for serving. You can use butter or vegetable oil, or line with baking paper if you prefer.
  • To Check It’s Done – Press a skewer into the cake – if it comes out clean, it’s done!
  • Leftovers? Break it into crumbs and make it into chester squares!

FAQs

How long does this cake last?

It will last up to a week if stored in an air-tight container, assuming it doesn’t get eaten well before then!

Can I freeze this cake?

Yes you can, it should last a month or two in the freezer. Wrap tightly in two layers of cling wrap or pop in an airtight freezer-safe container. You might like to slice it into portions first to make it easier to take out exactly what you need when you’re ready to eat!

Variations

  • Layers or No Layers – You have two options when it comes to assembling this cake, and it’s totally up to you! You could:
    • Pour in all of the batter and just top with the diced apple, cinnamon sugar and sumac, OR
    • Pour in half the batter, add a layer of spiced apple goodness, another layer of batter and the remaining spiced apple on top! This is our favourite method, spreading out more of that sweet spicy apple flavour throughout the cake. Yum!
  • Add Texture – Add a handful of raisins, currants or your favourite chopped nuts (such as walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts) in with the diced apples in the centre layer and/or sprinkled over the top of the cake.
  • Use Jam – Spread a layer of your favourite jam in the centre (we love strawberry or fig and cinnamon) for an extra burst of flavour and sweetness.
  • Use Pumpkin Spice – Swap the cinnamon and sumac for a pumpkin spice blend made from 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
  • Make it Decadent – Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, custard (or all three!).
Cinnamon sugar apple cake cut into slices and ready to serve.

Try these delicious cake adventures next:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and star rating below!

Two slices of cinnamon sugar apple cake on a plate next to a small bowl of sumac spice.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake is deliciously easy to make with just 10 mins prep time. Add a hot cuppa and call the friends around for a cosy afternoon catchup or warming dessert!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Cake
Cuisine: English
Servings: 6 slices
Calories: 460kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 170˚C / 340 ˚F. Grease a medium rectangular baking dish with butter and set aside.
  • Add 2/3 of the sugar and the butter to a large bowl. Mix for a minute or two until creamy, using a wooden spoon (or an electric mixer if you prefer).
  • Add eggs and vanilla essence and mix until well combined.
  • Add the self raising flour gradually while blending. Once it has all been incorporated, add the milk and keep mixing until the batter is nice and smooth .
  • Pour half the batter into the greased baking dish. Top with half of the diced apple, cinnamon sugar, remaining brown sugar and sumac.
  • Pour the remaining cake batter over the top, then sprinkle over the remaining apple, cinnamon sugar, brown sugar and sumac.
  • Bake for around 40-50 minutes, until a skewer pressed into the cake comes out clean and the top is deliciously golden brown.

Recipe Notes

  • Apple – We love the tart flavour of Granny Smith apples, but any kind of apple will do nicely. Chop them finely for even distribution through the cake. This is the best method so you end up with nice small chunks of apple through the cake and visibly baked on top. You could also finely slice using a mandolin if you prefer, or grate the apple straight into the batter. Grated apple will pretty much melt and disappear, giving you nice apple flavour throughout the cake but no visual effect. It’s totally up to you!
  • Sumac – This Middle Eastern spice (pronounced soo-mak) comes from the flowers of a wild berry bush. It gives a deliciously tart citrus flavour that pairs perfectly with apples and cinnamon. If you don’t have sumac, you can use a splash of lemon juice or a 1/2 tsp of freshly grated lemon rind.
  • Self Raising Flour – This gives structure and lift to the cake without need for extra baking powder. You can substitute with the same amount of all purpose flour and 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder if you need.
  • Use a Greased Baking Dish – This will help the cake come out clean and help the sides look their best for serving. You can use butter or vegetable oil.
  • To Check It’s Done – Press a skewer into the cake – if it comes out clean, it’s done!
  • Layers or No Layers – You have two options when it comes to assembling this cake, and it’s totally up to you! You could:
    • Pour in all of the batter and just top with the diced apple, cinnamon sugar and sumac, OR
    • Pour in half the batter, add a layer of spiced apple goodness, another layer of batter and the remaining spiced apple on top! This is our favourite method, spreading out more of that sweet spicy apple flavour throughout the cake. Yum!
  • Add Texture – Add a handful of raisins, currants or your favourite chopped nuts (such as walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts) in with the diced apples in the centre layer and/or sprinkled over the top of the cake.
  • Use Jam – Spread a layer of your favourite jam in the centre (we love strawberry or fig & cinnamon) for an extra burst of flavour and sweetness.
  • Use Pumpkin Spice – Swap the cinnamon and sumac for pumpkin spice blend made from 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
  • Make it Decadent – Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, custard (or all three!)

Nutrition

Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    janiece
    08/01/2020 at 12:31 pm

    Is the 2/3 cup of sugar in step 2 additional to the brown sugar listed (250g) or is it 2/3 of the 250g? If it’s additional, is it white sugar or brown?

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      09/01/2020 at 2:32 pm

      Hi Janiece,

      The 2/3 cup is part of the 1 cup (250g) of brown sugar listed. 🙂 We’ll update the recipe to reflect this for you. 🙂

  • Reply
    JP
    06/02/2017 at 9:47 am

    Hi! This recipe sounds great and I’d love to make it, but a quick question. The recipe says to preheat to 170 degrees. Is that correct? That seems super super low, so I wanted to check in.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/02/2017 at 9:51 am

      Hey JP, thanks for stopping by! Yep it’s 170 degrees celsius, which if you’re used to working in fahrenheit would be 338 degrees. Hope that helps and you enjoy the cake! Let us know how you go. 🙂

      • Reply
        JP
        06/02/2017 at 12:28 pm

        Ha! I obviously should have thought of that. So silly. Thanks so much for getting back to me!

        • Reply
          Wandercooks
          06/02/2017 at 12:33 pm

          No problem that’s totally fine! 😀 I’ve updated the recipe to include that info now. We usually specify celsius but obviously missed this one so thanks for letting us know!

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    17/03/2016 at 10:46 am

    Oh Yum!
    I wish I was having a slice of this with my morning cup of tea 🙂
    Looks so good
    Thanks so much for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      17/03/2016 at 12:05 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Julie! We can definitely say from personal experience that this cake goes amazingly with a good cup of tea. Haha 😉

  • Reply
    Peter @ Feed Your Soul Too
    16/03/2016 at 11:52 am

    Love the look of this cake. The sumac is a great spice to work with.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      17/03/2016 at 10:20 am

      Thanks Peter, we’re looking forward to more sweet and savoury experiments with sumac too!

  • Reply
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    16/03/2016 at 10:56 am

    Oh wow this looks incredible!! I have only had sumac with meat dishes but I will have to try this one!! Thanks

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      16/03/2016 at 11:36 am

      Thanks Sam, sumac IS awesome with meat dishes but equally fun to try with sweets too. Bonus 😀

  • Reply
    Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction
    16/03/2016 at 10:00 am

    5 stars
    I love the apple and cinnamon combination! This cake looks so delicious! Awww, look at Bonnie, how cute! 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      16/03/2016 at 11:38 am

      Haha we love her so much. Right now she’s snoozing in her bed while we’re working. It’s a tough job trying to stay on task and not keep running over for puppy cuddles! Haha 😀

  • Reply
    Marianne | Basil & Bubbly
    16/03/2016 at 9:54 am

    5 stars
    I just saw a recipe using Sumac for the very first time this week ( with shrimp ), and now another! I feel like it’s a sign that I MUST try Sumac soon, and what better way than with the delicious and familiar flavor of apple.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      16/03/2016 at 10:02 am

      Oh wow, sumac would go amazingly with shrimp, it’s almost guaranteed to go well with anything you’d normally add lemon to! If you try it, let us know how you go!

  • Reply
    LindySez
    16/03/2016 at 9:50 am

    This sounds absolutely delicious. I love a good cake to have a slice of in the afternoon, and this one sounds perfect! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      16/03/2016 at 9:58 am

      Thanks Lindy, this one should go perfectly with a nice cuppa in the afternoon! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah
    16/03/2016 at 9:19 am

    5 stars
    The flavor combo in this sounds ridiculously amazing!! I MUST try it asap! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      16/03/2016 at 9:35 am

      Thanks Sarah, it’s definitely a nice addition to spice up those apple and cinnamon flavours. Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Martin @ The Why Chef
    15/03/2016 at 7:54 pm

    Sumac! 😀 I’m looking forward to finally cracking out this spice mix again! I think dust has gathered on top of it…

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      16/03/2016 at 9:34 am

      Martin, dust!? Tsk tsk. Haha. 😛 Definitely crack out that sumac again, if not for this cake then for fish, chicken, fruit, hummus, bread, corn… We had no idea before this that sumac is SO so versatile!

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