Baking/ Christmas/ Dessert/ Recipes/ Snack

Easy Apple Cake with Cinnamon

07/07/2022

A deliciously easy apple cake recipe with just 10 minutes prep! Infused with juicy apples and warm toasty spices to fill your house with warmth. Perfect as an afternoon treat alongside your cuppa, or with a dollop of cream for dessert!

Cinnamon sugar apple cake cut into slices and ready to serve.

Why We Love This

This easy apple cake is our favourite treat to bake whether it’s on a lazy sunday afternoon or for a spontaneous sweet after a busy day. 

The super simple cake batter comes together in minutes! No need for a stand mixer or special equipment, just a regular mixing bowl and a trusty wooden spoon or whisk.

All you need is a fresh, tart apple, a few baking staples, and you’ll be rewarded with a moist cake bursting with spices and sweet apple flavour.

Related: Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake / Pain d’epices Cake / Aussie Weetbix Loaf

Top down view of the finished cinnamon apple cake.

What is an Apple Cake? 

This simple spiced apple cake starts with a basic cake batter infused with brown sugar, vanilla and spices along with finely chopped apples. 

We add sprinklings of cinnamon sugar and sumac (a tangy Middle Eastern spice) for a hint of citrus in the middle and over the top of the cake for extra flavour. 

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

The aroma of warm toasty spices will fill your house with that cosy holiday vibe. Serve your fresh apple cake with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, custard (or all three!) for an extra decadent dessert.

What You’ll Need

  • Apple – Granny smith apples are a great choice for this recipe because of their tart flavour. Sub with honeycrisp or pink lady apples as the next best options, or just use whatever apples you have on hand. Chop finely, but no need to peel.
  • Sugar – We use light brown sugar in this recipe for a more caramelised flavour, but you can also use regular white sugar.
  • Butter – We use salted butter in this recipe to bring out the flavour in the apples and spices. You can use unsalted butter if you prefer, and add salt to taste. 
  • Eggs – Warm temperature eggs work best for baking, but we’ve used them straight from the fridge plenty of times and the cake has still baked perfectly. 
  • Milk – Can sub with buttermilk for a richer, buttery flavour in the cake. 
  • Vanilla Extract – Can be labelled as vanilla essence in Australia.
  • Spices – In addition to cinnamon, we love adding sumac (pronounced soo-mak) for its deliciously tart citrus flavour. If you don’t have sumac, you can use a splash of lemon juice or a 1/2 tsp of freshly grated lemon rind, or just leave it out.
  • Self Raising Flour – This gives structure and lift to the cake without need for extra baking powder. If you only have plain / all purpose flour, add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder.
The first layer of cake batter topped with cinnamon sugar, sumac and chopped apples.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Cooking Time – Different ovens and baking dishes can affect the final cooking time for this cake. Keep an eye on it as you bake and test at the 40 minute mark. 
  • Check For Doneness – Press a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done! If there’s any batter left on the skewer, bake for a few more minutes and then test again. 
  • Greased Baking Dish – You can use butter or vegetable oil, or line with baking paper if you prefer. This will help the cake come out clean and keep the sides looking their best for serving. 
  • Storage – This cake will last up to a week when stored in an airtight container, assuming it doesn’t get eaten well before then!
  • Leftovers? – Crumble up into chester squares!

FAQs

Can I freeze apple cake?

Yes you can, it should last a month or two in the freezer. Store in an airtight container to preserve the flavour and avoid the cake drying out. Slice into portions first to make it easier to take out exactly what you need for a quick and easy treat. Defrost at room temperature, or pop it in the microwave in 30 second bursts until defrosted and heated to your preference.

Can I use canned apples?

No, we don’t recommend it, as canned apples won’t give you the same moist texture or rich flavour in the finished cake as fresh apples do. 

Could I make this batter into muffins?

Yes you can. Although we haven’t tested this to give specific directions, you’ll need to reduce the cooking time to around 20-25 minutes as muffins cook much faster than full size cakes. Keep an eye on them as they bake, and test with a skewer to make sure they’ve cooked through.

What size baking dish should I use?

We usually use a 23 x 13 cm / 9 x 5 inch baking dish to make this into a loaf cake for easy slicing. For a taller cake, use a 20 x 10 cm / 8 x 4 inch dish. However, any moderately deep baking dish, circular or even square, will do the trick.

Can I ice this cake?

Sure, if you want to! You could make a simple icing with powdered sugar / icing sugar, citrus juice and milk. It would also be excellent with a cream cheese frosting.

Variations

  • Add Texture – Add a handful of raisins, currants or your favourite chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts etc).
  • Add 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.
  • Pumpkin Spice – Swap the cinnamon and sumac for a pumpkin spice blend: 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
  • Optional Topping – Sprinkle with icing sugar for a sweet and gorgeous appearance.
Two apple cake slices showing the sweet apple cinnamon layer inside.

Try these delicious cake recipes next:

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

Sliced apple cake loaf on a wooden board.

Easy Apple Cake with Cinnamon

A deliciously easy apple cake recipe with just 10 minutes prep! Infused with juicy apples and warm toasty spices to fill your house with warmth. Perfect as an afternoon treat alongside your cuppa, or with a dollop of cream for 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

  • 1 granny smith apple finely diced, sub pink lady apple
  • 160 g brown sugar divided into thirds
  • 125 g butter softened, plus extra to coat the baking dish
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml milk full cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar sub with 1 ½ tbsp sugar and ½ tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sumac
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 170˚C / 340 ˚F. Grease a medium rectangular baking dish with butter (or line with baking paper) and set aside.
  • Add 2/3 of the brown sugar and the butter to a large bowl. Mix for a minute or two until creamy using a wooden spoon.
    160 g brown sugar, 125 g butter
  • Add eggs and vanilla essence and mix until well combined.
    2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 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 .
    1 1/2 cups self raising flour, 125 ml milk
  • Pour half the batter into the greased baking dish. Top with half of the diced apple, cinnamon sugar, remaining brown sugar and sumac.
    1 granny smith apple, 160 g brown sugar, 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar, 2 tbsp 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 – Granny smith apples are a great choice for this recipe because of their tart flavour. Sub with honeycrisp or pink lady apples as the next best options, or just use whatever apples you have on hand. Chop finely, but no need to peel.
  • Sugar – We use light brown sugar in this recipe for a more caramelised flavour, but you can also use regular white sugar.
  • Butter – We use salted butter in this recipe to bring out the flavour in the apples and spices. You can use unsalted butter if you prefer, and add salt to taste. 
  • Eggs – Warm temperature eggs work best for baking, but we’ve used them straight from the fridge plenty of times and the cake has still baked perfectly. 
  • Milk – Can sub with buttermilk for a richer, buttery flavour in the cake. 
  • Vanilla Extract – Can be labelled as vanilla essence in Australia.
  • Spices – In addition to cinnamon, we love adding sumac (pronounced soo-mak) for its deliciously tart citrus flavour. If you don’t have sumac, you can use a splash of lemon juice or a 1/2 tsp of freshly grated lemon rind, or just leave it out.
  • Self Raising Flour – This gives structure and lift to the cake without need for extra baking powder. If you only have plain / all purpose flour, add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder.
  • and test at the 40 minute mark. 
  • Check For Doneness – Press a skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done! If there’s any batter left on the skewer, bake for a few more minutes and then test again. 
  • Greased Baking Dish – You can use butter or vegetable oil, or line with baking paper if you prefer. This will help the cake come out clean and keep the sides looking their best for serving. 
  • Storage – This cake will last up to a week when stored in an airtight container, assuming it doesn’t get eaten well before then!
  • Leftovers? – Crumble up into chester squares!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Apple Cake with Cinnamon
Amount per Serving
Calories
460
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
20
g
31
%
Saturated Fat
 
12
g
75
%
Cholesterol
 
101
mg
34
%
Sodium
 
190
mg
8
%
Potassium
 
160
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
65
g
22
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
41
g
46
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin A
 
650
IU
13
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
74
mg
7
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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
Easy Apple Cake with Cinnamon

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Tone Kjølberg
    15/05/2022 at 3:54 pm

    Hi! Is there not supposed to be any flour in this batter..??
    Tone

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      16/05/2022 at 10:50 am

      Hey Tone, not sure what you mean. There is 1 1/2 cups of self raising flour added to the batter in step 4. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Mary-ann Gargan
    07/05/2022 at 3:32 pm

    I am a little confused, in recipe it says 160gr of sugar, one of the comments and reply says 250gr of sugar. I want to try this cake but want to check ingredients first, thank you Mary ann

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/05/2022 at 4:17 pm

      Hey Mary Ann! We recently updated the recipe and changed the amount of sugar, so please use 160g. 🙂 Happy baking!

  • 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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