Apple Cinnamon Cake

Apple Cinnamon Cake

Six fruit trees arch and bend near the last place I stood before I became a wife. Steve and I planted them the year after we were married. We intended no significance, it was just a flat spot at the bottom of the hill.  Now that we are years into this rural existence, I realize we picked a terrible spot for a grove of trees, but such is life — we learn as we go along.

The trees, five apples and one pear, are all that remain of the original grove. We had another pear and a couple of cherries, but they didn’t survive the hail storms, winters and late frosts, or the deer, the damn deer who nibble away at the tender branches in spring and fight to rub against the bark to mark territory and destroy trunks during the rut. When I agreed to shed my urban skin and move to the country nearly a decade ago, Steve agreed that the land we lived on would be a “no kill zone.” Contracts like that happen when a hunter falls in love with a vegetarian. Though my vegetarian days are long gone, I still protect those frolicking menaces while my hunter husband sits waiting anxiously for me to say, “Forget it, get the gun and let’s have venison for dinner.”

This year marks the first that our apple trees have produced. Rather than being a not so young bride standing in my front yard waiting to marry my not so young groom. This fall I stood in the middle of the trees as a fully indoctrinated wife and mother of two. The four of us hauling wagons of apples to the house where I made honey cinnamon applesauce, apple pie, apple crisp, and, the much awaited apple cinnamon cake. A few months ago, I wrote a post about a chef who made a cake for us when my husband was hospitalized just before Christmas a few years ago. Many of you asked for the cake recipe. I didn’t have the chef’s exact recipe, but I wrote my own and it’s close to the taste I remember on Christmas morning when my family and I indulged not only in its flavor but in the respite it provided us. I can’t think of anything more true to the taste of home than making it with apples from a tree my husband planted, when we were not so young but not as old as we are now.

Apple Cinnamon Cake


  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cinnamon (divided)
  • 2 apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter the bottom and sides of a spring form pan. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of sugar with 2 tsp of cinnamon. Take half of the mixture and sprinkle the bottom of the buttered pan with it. Save the rest for later.
Peel, core and thinly slice the apples so they are ready when you are.
In a medium-sized bowl, use a spoon to stir together the remaining 1 1/4 cup of sugar, oil and applesauce. Make sure it's mixed-in well. Next add the eggs and extracts, mixing it in thoroughly as well. In a smaller bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until almost all the dry ingredients have been dampened, but you still see pockets of flour. Add the apples and stir until coated. This step will make or break the texture of the cake. If you over mix, it will be tough. So take your time, fold a little here, stir a little there until everything is coated. Pour it into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture. Pop it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the Apple Cinnamon Cake cool on the counter for about 15 minutes, before removing from the pan, cutting and serving this warm (its good at room temp too). If you want to get fancy, loosely whip some heavy cream and serve a dollop on top and dripping down the side.




  1. Crystal

    The vision of a family hauling wagons of apples to the house makes me want to try this cake. It sounds and “smells” amazing…

  2. Jenn

    I made it. My family looooved it. I baked it in a cast iron skillet and the sugar/cinnamon carmelized beautifully! Was very yummy. Take the advice and do not over mix.

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