This simple, crowd-pleasing apple cake has a moist and tender texture and is made from scratch with fresh apples. The recipe features classic apple spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, and you can taste juicy apple chunks in every bite! Serve it warm, with a scoop of ice cream, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Easy enough to make as an everyday cake on busy weekdays - fancy enough for a special occasion. And, you don't even need to pull out a mixer to make it! Quick and easy!
Moist apple cake with juicy apple chunks
This light and moist apple cake comes together quickly using basic ingredients, such as flour, butter, Greek yogurt, eggs, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. It's a great way to use lots of fresh apples in a delicious way. You can use sweet varieties (such as Gala, Honey Crisp, Fuji, or Cosmic Crisp), tart apples (Granny Smith), or a mixture of both. Always choose apples that are firm in texture and not soft to the touch. Softer apples will turn into mush once baked in a cake.
Quick and easy dessert
This moist apple cake is my go-to recipe when I want to have a quick dessert for my family and friends. You can bake it in a variety of baking pans: in a 9x3 inch springform pan, a 9-inch round pan (make sure it's at least 2 inches tall), or even in a 10 or 11-inch cast iron skillet. Serve it for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, or eat a slice as a snack. Make it year-round like these delicious apple squares with cinnamon and brown sugar and apple skillet cake.
Why you'll love it
- The cake is packed with fresh apples. If you bought too many apples at the grocery store, this apple cake is a perfect use for them! It has a moist and tender texture with juicy apple chunks in every bite!
- Simplicity. This recipe uses simple ingredients and you don't need to use a mixer. The preparation time is minimal.
- Beautiful presentation. Cutting apples into chunks instead of shredding them creates a stunning presentation.
- Practical recipe. There is nothing complicated about this apple cake. It can be made on autopilot on a busy weeknight or as a quick dessert for when you have company over. Spend more time with your family and friends enjoying this quick and easy dessert and not in the kitchen!
- Perfect for sharing with a crowd. Serve it as a simple breakfast, a luscious weeknight dessert, or a crowd-pleasing treat for special occasions.
Best apples for baking
I used as many apples as I possibly could so this cake is literally stuffed with fruit.
Pick apples with a firm texture that will hold up well when baking. Avoid apples with a soft and mushy texture. You can use sweeter varieties, such as Gala, Fuji, Honey Crisp, or Cosmic Crisp. Or, use tart variety, such as Granny Smith. Or, a mixture of both. Core the apples, peel them and cut them into chunks.
- Flour. Use regular all-purpose flour.
- Baking powder and baking soda. Make sure both are fresh so that the cake rises.
- Vegetable oil. I use vegetable oil - it really keeps the cake moist! I also used olive oil in this recipe, and it worked great, as well! Other cooking oils, such as walnut oil, and avocado oil would work as well.
- Sugar. Use regular granulated white sugar.
- Eggs make the cake moist and fluffy, as well as help its texture.
- Greek yogurt works great in cakes and ensures a nice, smooth texture.
- Apples. Fresh apples not only add natural sweetness but also add texture. I like to use Fuji, Gala, or Cosmic Crisp apples. Or, use a mix of sweet and tart apples.
- Brown sugar is used to mix with apple chunks.
- Spices include vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Baking dish. I used a 9x3-inch springform pan. Or, use a high-sided 9-inch regular round cake pan (make sure it's at least 2 inches tall, or taller, not the short kind).
- Greek yogurt adds a tender, fluffy, moist texture to the apple cake. You can also use buttermilk, kefir, or sour cream instead.
- Use a scale to measure flour or aerate the flour well. Aerate the flour by fluffing it with a spoon and adding it into your measuring cup with the spoon instead of just packing the flour into the cup. This will prevent the flour from overpacking. Using too much flour as a result of overpacking will produce a denser cake texture.
- Add nuts, such as chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds for a crunchy texture.
- Confectioners' sugar. Make sure the cake is completely cooled off. Lightly dust it with confectioners' sugar right before serving as the sugar tends to get absorbed by the moist texture of the cake.
- Ice cream. Serve a warm slice of apple cake with a simple plain vanilla ice cream. Brown butter or pecan ice cream is delicious, too. Add chopped pecans on top of the ice cream.
- Caramel sauce. Drizzle the cake lightly with caramel sauce and then top with chopped toasted pecans or walnuts for a Fall-inspired presentation!
- Dulce de leche is a caramelized milk that creates a beautiful and delicious drizzle.
- Whipped cream is another way to elevate this simple cake.
- Store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Loosely cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap. If your room temperature is on the warmer side, refrigerate it.
- Fridge. Place the completely cooled apple cake in an airtight container or tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate it for up to 5 days.
- Freezer. Once the cake is completely cool, freeze it within 2 days of baking. Wrap the cooked and completely cooled cake tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Or, freeze the cake in an airtight container.
Other apple cakes you might like
If you love apples as much as I do, don't miss these vibrant and delicious apple desserts:
- Cranberry Apple Pecan Bundt Cake
- Apple Pumpkin Cinnamon Vanilla Bundt Cake
- Easy Apple Squares (Cake Bars)
- Apple, Blueberry, Peach Coffee Cake
Simple Apple Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
- Use a 9x3-inch springform pan or a 9-inch round cake pan (at least 2 inches tall).
- Grease the side and the bottom of the springform pan with butter or cooking spray. Line the bottom of a 9x3-inch springform pan (or 9-inch round cake pan) with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper too.
- Core, peel, and slice apples into chunks. In a medium bowl, toss apple chunks with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.
- In a separate, medium mixing bowl, combine together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another, large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of white sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, and vanilla until very smooth. Add eggs and whisk until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients (flour mixture) into wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour half of the batter into the greased pan, top with two-thirds of the apple chunks, then pour the remaining half of the batter on top of the apple layer.
- Bake the cake for about 45 minutes or 1 hour total. Halfway through baking - after the first 20 minutes - remove the cake from the oven and top it with the remaining one-third of the apple chunks. Return the cake to the oven and continue baking until the cake is done, for about 25 minutes or longer (when the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.