This delicate apple cake is so light and fluffy with bits of chopped apple throughout and topped with slices of fresh apples coated in cinnamon sugar syrup!
I used my very old spiced apple upside-down cake recipe as a starting point for today’s apple cake. I make this cake every year and it’s always a huge hit.
It’s perfect for apple season when you have plenty of extra apples to use up.
Also, the recipe is easy to prepare and the cake freezes well!
Here are the changes I made for this simple apple cake version:
- I cooked the apple slices in syrup so they were softer and had more flavor.
- I added cinnamon and nutmeg to the syrup to flavor the topping.
- I left the cake batter plain with the exception of vanilla extract.
- I used sour cream for a richer, moister cake.
- I used all white sugar since the sliced apples are coated in a syrup made with brown sugar.
- I also used less baking powder and a little more salt.
The ingredients are all very basic: cake flour, sugar, butter, eggs, sour cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, and loads of apple. It’s so easy and tastes amazing!
Can you make apple cake with sour cream?
This moist apple cake recipe uses sour cream. The sour cream is what gives it a rich flavor and a moist, delicate crumb.
Can apple cake be frozen?
You can freeze this cake for up to 3 months. Once baked, cool it completely then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Bring it to room temperature before serving!
The printable recipe card with full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.
How to make apple cake?
Step 1: Cook apples in syrup
Cooking the apples first will bring out their flavor and reduce the juices that could make the cake soggy.
Once the apples are tender, arrange them in the bottom a round cake pan but leave the juices behind.
I suggest lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper so the apples don’t stick.
Step 2: Make the apple cake batter
The cake is a basic sour cream cake with loads of fresh chopped apples.
I mixed all the wet ingredients together first then mixed the dry ingredients and combined the two. Once combined, fold in the chopped apple.
Step 3: Bake the cake
Spread the batter over the apples in the cake pan and bake it for 25-30 minutes.
Use a toothpick to check for doneness. It should come out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Step 4: Invert the cake
Cool the cake in the pan for 5-10 minutes then invert it onto a serving platter. If you lined the pan with parchment paper the cake should release easily.
Let the cake cool completely before slicing.
Tips for making this easy apple cake recipe
- Take the extra step to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to prevent the apples from sticking.
- Granny Smith apples are perfect for this recipe. They hold up during baking and offer a lovely tartness to balance the sweet syrup and cake.