There’s something about fall that brings out the baker in me. I want to gather up all the seasonal produce and make delicious treats for everyone to share!
And this old-fashioned fresh apple cake is an excellent example of that. When apples are in-season and abundant, it’s the best time to bake some old-fashioned goodness.
All the deliciousness of cinnamon and “pie spice” type flavors mixed with apples and pecans. Baked in a Bundt pan for a fuss-free, easy cake.
The frosting choice is up to you, but I love it with a rich cinnamon glaze to really make the flavor complete. It’s a marvelous way to celebrate fall!
Why You Will Love this Cake
An old-fashioned cake like this has a certain nostalgic charm. Warm and cozy, it is delicious with coffee, tea, or a glass of milk.
Even more important, it’s an easy cake to make. There’s no special timing for creaming some ingredients before adding others. You don't even need an electric mixer to combine the batter, I’m pretty sure this recipe pre-dates such conveniences. So, mixing by hand will work just fine!
**Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for detailed quantities and directions**
How to Make Old-Fashioned Fresh Apple Cake
To prep, spray a Bundt pan with baking spray (the kind with flour in it) and preheat the oven to 350F.
Peel, core, and finely chop the apples. Chop the pecans and measure the rest of the ingredients.
💭Top tip: use a variety of apples when baking. I like to combine Granny Smith with Fuji or Gala to get a combination of sweet and tart in my baked goods. Heirloom varieties of baking apples are also fun to use.
In a mixing bowl, combine the oil and sugar, then add the eggs and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the other dry ingredients: baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Add the vanilla and stir well.
Now add the apples and pecans and stir to evenly distribute throughout the batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared Bundt pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 70-75 minutes.
Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a plate and remove the pan.
To Make the Cinnamon Glaze
In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter to melt (about 1 minute). Add one cup of powdered sugar and the cinnamon and stir to combine.
Continue adding powdered sugar a cup at a time, alternating with milk or water, until the desired consistency is reached. Most glaze is very thin, but I wanted a thick glaze that would still drizzle but also be closer to a frosting-like consistency. You have complete control over this. 😃
This cake is yummy when still warm, so go ahead and add the glaze right away so you can cut a piece or 2! A scoop of vanilla ice cream makes a lovely accompaniment.
If the glaze or frosting is too much for you, a simple dusting of powdered sugar would be a nice finish to the cake.
It would also be delightful with a dollop of whipped cream – so many choices! You might want to try them all! LOL
To keep this cake fresh, store it in an airtight container.
It can stay at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Freeze individual slices for longer storage, up to 3 months.
Many apples available today have been developed for consumption rather than baking. The Granny Smith was developed for both, and one of the few heirloom varieties still widely available. I prefer to mix Granny Smith with other varieties (Fuji or Gala) to get a balance in qualities, specifically sweet and tart.
I always peel apples to make cake. In theory you could include the peels, but it would result in a rougher texture to the cake, which most do not want.
More Delicious Ways to Celebrate the Flavors of Fall
If you have a bunch of apples, you can make a batch of Instant Pot Apple Pie Filling to be canned and enjoyed for months!
And a variety of apples are recommended to make delicious homemade apple butter that tastes like caramelized apples.
Old Fashioned Fresh Apple Cake
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs large
- 3 cups flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups apples peeled, cored, and chopped fine (about 1½ pounds)
- 1 cup pecans chopped
For the Glaze
- ½ cup butter 1 stick
- 2-3 tablespoons milk or water
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a Bundt pan with baking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the oil, sugar, and eggs until well combined.1 cup canola oil, 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs
- In a separate bowl. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.3 cups flour, 1½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and stir well to combine. Add vanilla and stir.2 teaspoons vanilla
- Fold in the apples and pecans and stir just enough to evenly distribute.3 cups apples, 1 cup pecans
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated (350F) oven for 70-75 minutes.
- Remove the cake for the oven and allow it to cool in the Bundt pan for 15 minutes. Then, invert onto a plate and remove the pan.
- Melt the butter, then add one cup of powdered sugar and the cinnamon. Stir well, then continue adding powdered sugar, alternating with a little milk, until desired consistency is reached. A very thin glaze will need less sugar, thicker will need more.½ cup butter, 2-3 tablespoons milk or water, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3-4 cups powdered sugar
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.