This Apple Cake with Cinnamon Sugar Topping is perfect for fall! The cake is super moist, loaded with tender fresh apple chunks, and topped with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping.
Why I Love It:
- Moist and Tender – The cake batter is easy to mix up but results in such a moist and tender result.
- Cinnamon Sugar Topping – Not only does it compliment the apple flavor perfectly but it adds a slight crunch.
- Apple Season Favorite – A perfect way to use some fresh apples in the fall!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Brown Sugar – either light or dark works!
- Oil – I prefer using canola or vegetable oil since they are mild tasting.
- Buttermilk – You can make your own using milk and either vinegar or lemon juice. See tip below!
- Baking Soda
- All-Purpose Flour
- Vanilla Extract
- Chopped Apples – Use your favorite baking apple. I like using Granny Smith Apples. You can chop the apples as big or as small as you’d like. I recommend slicing them thin (I use a mandolin) and then chopping those slices up. See picture below for reference.
- Cinnamon Sugar Topping – Butter, White Granulated Sugar, and Ground Cinnamon
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe is written for a 9×13 sized pan. You can use either a metal cake pan or a glass/ceramic baking dish. A metal pan will lead to crunchier edges (yum!) and will cook a little faster than a glass or ceramic dish. There is a range of bake time so you can adjust depending on the pan you use.
If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own! Take 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and add enough milk until it reaches 1 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes until it is somewhat curdled. The buttermilk is very important for this cake. The lactic acid reacts with the baking soda which helps it rise.
- Use Toothpick to Test for Doneness – Depending on your baking pan and oven, the bake time will vary. It’s best to insert a toothpick in the center. If it comes out with some moist crumbs, no wet batter, then it’s done. Don’t overtake it or it will be dry.
- Size of Apple Pieces – It’s up to your preference on how big or small you chop up the apples. If you like chunks of apple then chop them like the size shown in the pictures. But you can also very finely chop the apples to have less noticeable bites of apple.
Leftovers and Storage
Leftover cake can be stored in the fridge for about 4 days. Cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap or foil before storing. The cake can be kept at room temperature but it will dry out faster.
- A Different Fruit – This recipe would be awesome with another fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, peaches, or even pears!
- Make it into muffins – Fill a muffin pan lined with paper cups with the batter, about 2/3 full. Top each one with some of the cinnamon sugar. Reduce the bake time to about ~15 minutes.
Other Fresh Apple Recipes
- Individual Apple Crisp in a Mug – An easy single serving dessert! Top a chopped apple with a simple oat-based crisp topping. Microwave, maybe top with a scoop of ice-cream and enjoy!
- Chicken Apple Sausage Jar Salad – An easy apple cider vinaigrette dressing topped with chicken sausage, apples, dried cranberries, pecans, and lettuce. Making a salad in a jar lets them last in the fridge for the week.
- Easy One Bowl Apple Crisp – Mix up the oat crumble topping in the same bowl that you prep the apples for a one bowl recipe with less clean up.
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This Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake is perfect for Fall. It’s extra moist and loaded with fresh apple chunks. And don’t forget about the crunchy cinnamon sugar topping.
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, light or brown
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk, see note for substitute
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups peeled and chopped apples
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Prep – Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 pan or baking dish.
- Mix Batter – In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oil, egg, buttermilk, baking soda and vanilla extract. Once mixed, stir in the flour and then fold in the apples. Pour into greased pan.
- Cinnamon Sugar Topping – For the topping – mix together the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Using your fingers, sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake batter.
- Bake – Bake for 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven. The cake is done when it is set and a toothpick comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs.
- Enjoy – Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
Buttermilk Substitute: Take 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and add enough milk until it reaches 1 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes until it is somewhat curdled.
Leftovers: Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Breakfast, Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake, Apple Cake, Fall Dessert, Breakfast Cake, Cinnamon Sugar Cake