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Moist homemade apple fritter cake made with fresh apples with a brown sugar glaze. This is the best apple cake recipe and a perfect Fall dessert.

Apple Fritter Cake. Moist homemade apple fritter cake made with fresh apples with a brown sugar glaze. This is the best apple cake recipe and a perfect Fall dessert.

As the leaves begin to change and the crisp, cool air signals the arrival of autumn, there’s no better way to celebrate the season than by indulging in delicious, homemade desserts.

The dessert that captures the essence of fall is the Apple Fritter Cake. Combining the comforting flavors of apples, cinnamon, and a sweet brown sugar glaze, this is the perfect Fall apple cake recipe.

Apple Fritter Cake. Moist homemade apple fritter cake made with fresh apples with a brown sugar glaze. This is the best apple cake recipe and a perfect Fall dessert.

Why you will love this Homemade Apple Cake:

  • This apple cake recipe calls for fresh apples so there are bites of fresh apples throughout the cake.
  • There are three different apple ingredients — fresh apples, apple cider, and applesauce to make it the star ingredient in the cake.
  • The brown sugar glaze just puts it over the top. By poking holes in the baked apple cake, the glaze soaks into the cake to give it a caramel butterscotch flavor.
  • It is so moist and tender. Since this recipe calls for both oil and applesauce, it has such a tender texture.

Apple Sheet Cake

I love easy sheet cake recipes because they are so much easier than layer cakes. No worries about stacking the cakes and hoping they are perfectly even and frosting each layer. This is such an easy apple sheet cake recipe!

Apples and Applesauce in apple cake recipe.

Apple Cake Ingredients:

This fresh apple cake uses chopped fresh apples to be the star ingredient on the cake.

Fresh Apple Cake:

  • Oil — use a neutral oil such as canola or vegetable.
  • Sugar + Brown Sugar — always pack down the brown sugar in the measuring cup. This recipe calls golden light brown sugar for or richer molasses flavor, you can use dark brown sugar.
  • Applesauce — this adds moisture and helps to make the cake extra tender while adding more apple flavor throughout the cake. Only use unsweetened applesauce.
  • Eggs — use large eggs in this recipe
  • Vanilla + Spices — add pure vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg to bring out the warm flavors in the cake. If you love cinnamon, add 1/2 teaspoon more to the cake.
  • Apple Cider — this adds more fresh apple flavor while adding moisture to the cake.
  • Fresh Apples — use a firm yet sweet apple in this recipe and chop it into small bite-size pieces. See below for more details on the types of apples to use.
  • Flour — use all-purpose flour or cake flour in this recipe.
  • Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt — gives the cake the perfect amount of rise once it bakes in the oven.
Brown Sugar Glaze for Apple Cake.

Brown Sugar Glaze:

This brown sugar glaze has butterscotch and caramel notes and is so easy to whip up.

  • Butter — use salted butter for a salted caramel taste.
  • Brown Sugar — use light golden brown sugar or dark brown sugar.
  • Heavy Cream — use heavy whipping cream for the thickest glaze.
Apples on tree

Best apples to use in Apple Cake:

When baking, you want to look for firm, sweet yet tart apples. I like to use a combination of honeycrisp apples, gala apples, fuji apples, and if I want to add more tartness, I will add a granny smith apple.

For this apple fritter cake recipe, I used honeycrisp apples.

We went apple picking in Vermont and I came home with a suitcase filled with honeycrisp apples to make homemade apple cake, the best apple pie, and apple crisp.

Tip: Use firm apples!

Avoid mushy apples. Use firm apples for the best texture in this cake.

Apple Fritter Cake. Moist homemade apple fritter cake made with fresh apples with a brown sugar glaze. This is the best apple cake recipe and a perfect Fall dessert.

How to make Apple Fritter Cake:

See the recipe card below for more details and exact measurements.

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13 baking pan. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set this aside.
  2. Mix Oil and Sugars: In a larger mixing bowl, stir together, oil, sugar, and brown sugar together. Add Eggs and Vanilla: Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Make sure to mix well after each addition.
  3. Add Dry Ingredients: Add the dry ingredient mixture and fold together until just combined.
  4. Fold in Apples: Gently fold the diced apples into the batter, making sure they are evenly distributed.
  5. Assemble the Cake: Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake to Perfection: Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Prepare the Glaze: While the cake is cooling, prepare the brown sugar glaze. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 minute longer. Allow the glaze to cool.
  8. Drizzle and Serve: Once the cake has cooled for a bit, using a toothpick or fork, poke holes throughout the cake. Drizzle the brown sugar glaze over the top, allowing it to soak into the cake. Allow it to soak into the cake and set for a few minutes. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
Apple Fritter Cake. Moist homemade apple fritter cake made with fresh apples with a brown sugar glaze. This is the best apple cake recipe and a perfect Fall dessert.

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Apple Fritter Cake. Moist homemade apple fritter cake made with fresh apples with a brown sugar glaze. This is the best apple cake recipe and a perfect Fall dessert.

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4.95 from 51 votes

Apple Fritter Cake

By: Modern Honey® – www.modernhoney.com
Moist homemade apple fritter cake made with fresh apples with a brown sugar glaze. This is the best apple cake recipe and a perfect Fall dessert.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 20

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup Oil
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 3 cups Peeled Chopped Apples (about 3 large)

Brown Sugar Glaze:

  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, stir together, oil, sugar, and brown sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Make sure to mix well after each addition. Add applesauce and apple cider.
  • Add the dry ingredient mixture and fold together until just combined. Gently fold the diced apples into the batter, making sure they are evenly distributed.
  • Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Since this cake can brown on the top before it is fully baked through, place a piece of foil on the top of the cake after 25-30 minutes of baking time.
  • While the cake is cooling, prepare the brown sugar glaze. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 minute longer. Allow the glaze to cool.
  • Once the cake has cooled for a bit, using a toothpick or fork, poke holes throughout the cake. Drizzle the brown sugar glaze over the top, allowing it to soak into the cake. Allow it to soak into the cake and set for a few minutes. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Mom’s church cookbook.
When baking, you want to look for firm, sweet yet tart apples. I like to use a combination of honeycrisp apples, gala apples, fuji apples, and if I want to add more tartness, I will add a granny smith apple.
For this apple fritter cake recipe, I used honeycrisp apples.

Nutrition

Calories: 357kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 171mg, Potassium: 137mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 32g, Vitamin A: 284IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: german
Servings: 20
Calories: 357
Keyword: apple cake, apple fritter cake
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Hi, I'm Melissa Stadler!

I am an Award-Winning Recipe Creator. Cover of Food Network Magazine. Two-Time Pillsbury Bake-Off Finalist. I am passionate about sharing the best recipes so you have success in the kitchen!

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51 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday and it was absolutely amazing. So moist, I am in love with this and it will become a staple in my home.
    The only change I made was that I made a vanilla glaze, the brown sugar one just didn’t sound as good to me as just keeping it sample🥰

  2. 5 stars
    My daughter and I made the APPLE FRITTER CAKE today. And we are please to say that it is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!😃 Our Family loves Apple Fritters, and this recipe will get passed around for everyone to enjoy.

    1. 5 stars
      I am so happy to hear this, Kathleen! So glad you and your daughter loved the apple fritter cake. I appreciate you trying out the recipe!

  3. 3 stars
    We were all looking forward to this cake. I love sweets, but this recipe has only one overwhelming flavor, and it wasn’t apple. Sugar, sugar, and more sugar with greasy sugar poured over the top. NEVER thought I’d hear myself say, “whoa”, too much sugar!” 😆 This recipe sadly was the one. It was also sadly a gooey sticky mess.

    1. So sorry to hear that, Jeana! The beauty of this recipe is you can reduce the sugar in the sauce and it will still be wonderful. Thank you for trying it out!

  4. Could I add a bit of ACV to Apple juice to make Apple Cider???
    Since I only need 1/4 c I did not get Apple cider because it was so expensive…
    I thought a bit of ACV added to Apple juice could make a great sub for Apple Cider but can find Nothing online indicating this.
    Thoughts Please???

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Dawn Marie! You can just swap out apple cider and use apple juice instead. No need for the apple cider vinegar. I hope you love it!