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Spiced Apple Cake

Spiced apple cake with cinnamon. A deliciously moist fruity cake with a hint of warming spice. A perfect afternoon tea treat!

Spiced apple cake is a favourite Autumn bake of ours. Sweet apples, in season right now, combined with warming cinnamon and all wrapped up in a sweet cake. Delicious!

Over the years we have experimented with various apple cakes, some looking for the apple to be grated through it, which at times can lose the apple. Others which use multiple layers of sliced apple and end up not baking quite right due to the amount of moisture in the cake.

Here we have our recipe for spiced apple cake which has the perfect balance of apples and spice wrapped up is a moist cake.

What type of apple should I use in this cake?

You can use any apples in this apple spice cake recipe, however, I sometimes find Bramley cooking apples too sour and they also have a tendency to break up. Instead I suggest a firm dessert apple, something like a pink lady.

Of course those with apples growing in their own gardens should make good use of those. Picking them fresh off the tree and using them when they are full of flavour.

How to make apple spice cake

Sliced apples tossed in cinnamon sugar.
In a bowl mix together the lemon juice, cinnamon and sugars, add the sliced apples and stir gently to combine, coating the apple slices in the spice mix.
Apple cake batter in a stand mixer
In a bowl or stand mixer add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, mix to combine. Blend oil, eggs and vanilla in a bowl then add to the dry ingredients, mixing gently to combine thoroughly.
Pour half the cake batter into the bottom of a line baking tin.
Cake batter poured over top of spiced apples
Gently add a layer of the spiced apples on top of the cake batter, before pouring the remain half of the cake batter on top, completely covering the apples.
Sprinkle on a layer of demerara sugar on top of the cake batter and place in the oven at 160CFan for 50 minutes to bake.
Moist apple and cinnamon cake out of the oven.
Test the cake to see if it’s cooked, it should be firm and springy to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack. Rest the cake for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Why does this cake use 3 types of sugar?

The spiced apple cake batter uses a combination of caster sugar and light brown sugar. Both can be used in the cake as caster sugar has a light texture and dissolves easily. Whereas light brown sugar is added to give colour and a richer caramel flavour to the cake, which works well with the apples.

The demerara sugar is added in a layer on top of the uncooked cake batter, before being popped into the oven. This layer of sugar is to added to achieve a crisp cake top once cooked. However, this step is entirely optional and you may leave out if you wish.

Serving suggestions

This beautiful cake is delicious sliced and served with a cup of tea, a perfect afternoon tea treat. However, warm a slice of this cake and serve it with some custard and you have a splendid pudding to heat you up from the inside on a crisp Autumn day.

Apple and spice also work with sticky caramel. For another great recipe idea serve this cake with a salted caramel sauce on the side and a drizzle of cream to cut through the sweetness.


Apple and cinnamon is a flavour match made in heaven, they go hand in hand and for me remind me of Autumn. That’s not to say I don’t make this cake at other times during the year!


This cake contains ground cinnamon, however, if you don’t want just cinnamon you could substitute the same quantity of both for some mixed spice blend. Just bear in mind that this will change the taste slightly.

Ginger is also a fantastic pairing with apple. Add some ground ginger to the cake batter or grate in a little stem ginger for an added hit of spice.


If you like adding dried fruit to this cake then you could substitute some of the fresh apple. Sultanas or raisins would both work with the apple. Take care not to make the cake too heavy though, as it will not rise! Ensure the fruit mix you are adding equates to the same weight!

So, for example, this cake uses 350g of fresh apple so if adding dried fruit add 250g of apple and 100g of say sultanas.

How long will this apple cake stay fresh?

Once baked and cooled store this apple cake in an airtight container. This cake will easily remain fresh for 3-4 days. The juice from the apples will seep into the cake and it will become more pudding like in texture but still taste delicious.

Can I freeze apple cake?

Yes, this cake is easily frozen so you can enjoy some now and some at a later date. Simply allow the cake to completely cool and decide how much you want to freeze. Do you want to freeze the whole cake, or eat some now and freeze half for later?

Place the cake on a sheet of parchment paper and gently wrap it around the cake. It’s great to portion up and freeze so you can remove only what you need. Then either pop it into a freezer bag or suitable box for the freezer.

When you are ready to eat the cake, remove it from the freezer and allow it to defrost at room temperature. Ideally eat within 3 months of freezing to enjoy this cake at its best.

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Additional recipe suggestions:

If you like this simple cake recipe then try some of our other great bakes:

For some other great ideas for baking through the year, have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Baking with Kids or our Best Cake Recipes post . These guides are full of hints, tips and recipes for kids and adults alike!

Spiced Apple Cake

Spiced apple cake, with cinnamon. A deliciously moist fruity cake with a hint of warming spice. A perfect afternoon tea treat!
5 from 12 votes
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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 616kcal


  • 20cm x 20cm deep sided baking pan (8in x 8in)


  • ½ lemon (juiced)
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 300 g light brown sugar
  • 4 medium apples (approximately 350g in weight once prepared)
  • 350 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250 ml sunflower oil
  • 4 eggs (large)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp demerara sugar (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan (180° Non Fan)
  • Line a 20cm x 20cm deep sided baking pan with baking parchment.
  • In a medium bowl, add the lemon juice, cinnamon, and the light brown and caster sugars.
  • Peel and slice the apples and add them to the lemon, sugar and spice bowl. Mix well to incorporate. Set aside and prepare the batter.
  • In another bowl (or a stand mixer bowl if using) add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix till combined.
  • In a measuring jug, add the oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gradually until fully incorporated.
  • To the prepared baking pan add half the cake batter and spread.
  • Add the spiced apple slices in a layer on the cake batter, including any juice from the apples. Top with the remaining cake batter and spread. Don't worry too much if some of the apples are showing. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and place in the oven to bake for 50 minutes.
  • Test the cake to see if its cooked, it should be firm and springy to the touch. As there is a layer of cooked apples in the middle the skewer test may not work properly.
  • Remove from the oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes then remove from the pan by lifting the lower piece of baking parchment.
  • Serve warm with a dollop of whipped or pouring cream or ice cream or a toffee sauce for a Sunday pudding.


If you would prefer the apples scattered throughout the cake rather than a layer in the middle then combine the sliced apples with the batter before pouring into the prepared tin. Just be aware they may sink into the cake slightly under the weight so may not be evenly distributed.
Nutrition Facts
Spiced Apple Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 616 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 290mg13%
Potassium 264mg8%
Carbohydrates 82g27%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 48g53%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 149IU3%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Baking
Cuisine : British
Keyword : apple cinnamon, cake
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Recipe Rating

Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

Monday 7th of September 2020

Love spiced apple cake! It's like the essence of autumn in cake form :-D Eb x


Monday 7th of September 2020

Thank you Eb, it's a lovely cake - apple and cinnamon really does say Autumn to me. Lesley x

Helen - Cooking with my kids

Monday 7th of September 2020

This looks like the perfect autumnal cake. And i think i'd would't be able to resist making it a proper treat with the extra caramel sauce!


Monday 7th of September 2020

Thank you Helen, yes the addition of the caramel sauce transforms it from cake to proper pudding very easily! Lesley

Cat | Curly's Cooking

Sunday 6th of September 2020

What a delicious Autumnal cake. All flavours that I love and it looks great too.


Monday 7th of September 2020

Thank you Cat, it's certainly a favourite bake with us both. Lesley

Beth Sachs

Friday 4th of September 2020

My apple tree is fully laden and I'm saving this recipe to make soon. Looks delicious. #CookBlogShare


Saturday 5th of September 2020

Thank you Beth, I’m glad you like our recipe. You are lucky having a ready supply of apples as there’s so much to make with them at this time of year, from cakes and scones to apple jelly. I planted 2 trees 3 years ago. I’ve been sacrificing the apples in early Spring so the trees put on healthy root growth. However I’m very excited to think that next year I may be harvesting my own. Lesley x


Friday 4th of September 2020

This looks delicious. Apple and cinnamon is such a good combination. I love the idea of adding the caramel sauce and having it as a pudding too!


Friday 4th of September 2020

Thank you Joanna, it's a lovely cake to enjoy with a cup of tea, but equally good warmed up and served with a pudding. Lesley x