slice of fresh apple cake on a plate

One of my all-time favorite fall activities is going apple picking. Is there anything more satisfying than hopping on a hayrack ride out to an orchard, pushing aside the leafy branches of a tree, then plucking a perfectly ripe apple from its perch?

The only think I love more than picking apples is making Fresh Apple Cake with them. Not only is this one of my favorite apple recipes of all time, it’s also one of my favorite recipes of all time. Spiced with lots of cinnamon and studded with fresh apple pieces, this apple cake contains a special ingredient that makes each slice over-the-top tender and apple-y: applesauce!

Photo of plate with slice of apple cake

I developed the recipe for Fresh Apple Cake a few months ago for a freelance project, then took the leftovers over to my parent’s house (I can’t be trusted will full-sized cakes in the house) where it was promptly devoured. After said devouring, my Mom and Dad asked if I’d bake them another one…they wanted more! I just cannot tell you how delicious and cozy it is!

closeup photo of fresh apple cake with slice cut out

Tips for Making Fresh Apple Cake

  • What apples to use: I prefer using Granny Smith apples in baking recipes. They hold up well to baking, keeping a little tooth to them vs turning to mush. That said, use whatever apples you already got in the fridge to get this cake on the table as fast as you can!
  • To peel or not to peel? I always peel my apples before baking – it’s a texture thing for me. If you’d rather not peel your apples, Slice them very thinly, or even shred, vs dice.
  • How to store: Fresh Apple Cake will keep well tightly covered on the counter for 2-3 days, though you can extend it’s life by refrigerating for up to 4 days.

Alrighty, let’s bake!

closeup photo of slice of fresh apple cake

How to Make this Recipe

Start by peeling then chopping 2-3 Granny Smith apples to equal 3 cups chopped apples then set aside.

Next add 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 2 cups sugar to a large mixing bowl then beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce, which keeps the cake extremely moist and adds to the fresh, yummy apple flavor of the cake, then beat to combine.

Add 3 eggs then beat them in one at a time.

Followed by 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, stir together 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove 2 Tablespoons this flour/cinnamon mixture then add it to the chopped apples and stir to coat.

The flour will coat the apple pieces then suspend them in the batter so they won’t sink to the bottom while the cake bakes!

Mix the remaining dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three batches.

Last step is to fold the coated apples into the batter.

Spread the batter into a bundt pan that’s been sprayed VERY well with nonstick spray, then pop it into a 350-degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

TIP: Check on the cake about 20-30 minutes in. If the top is browning too fast, place a sheet of non-stick sprayed foil on top of the pan. This will allow the insides of the cake to finishing baking without burning the top.

Let the cake rest for 10 minutes then run a sharp knife around the inner rim of the pan and invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

I cannot describe to you how delicious this cake smells right out of the oven… Sugar, spice, and everything nice!

Sprinkle the top of the cooled cake with powdered sugar, then slice and serve with tea or coffee for the ultimate, sweet fall treat!

overhead photo of slice of apple cake

More Apple Recipes You’ll Love

Fresh Apple Cake

5/5 (3 REVIEWS)


Fresh Apple Cake is unbelievably tender and perfectly sweet. Put your apple haul to good use in this irresistible fall dessert recipe!


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup no-sugar added applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Granny Smith apples (or other baking apple), cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups total)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a Bundt pan with nonstick spray then set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat butter, vegetable oil, and sugar until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add applesauce then beat to combine. Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined before adding the next egg. Add vanilla then beat to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Remove 2 Tablespoons of flour mixture then toss with cubed apples. Add remaining dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch, then fold in apples.
  4. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Check cake at 20 minutes - if top is turning too brown, place a sheet of non-stick sprayed tin foil on top. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then run a knife along the inner rim and invert cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Garnish cooled cake with powdered sugar.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

photo collage of fresh apple cake