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close up of the inside of an apple layer cake

Apple Cake

This spiced apple cake is easy to make and full of autumn flavor. Step-by-step photos help you make this delicious fall layer cake. Topped with a brown butter cream cheese frosting you will fall in love with this apple layer cake recipe.

  • Total Time: 36 minutes
  • Yield: 10-14 Slices 1x


Units Scale
  • 375 grams (3 Cups) All-Purpose Flour/ Plain Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 8oz (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2oz (1/4 Cup) Vegetable Oil
  • 300 grams (1 1/2 Cups) Granulated Sugar
  • 100 grams (1/2 Cup) Brown Sugar
  • 8oz (1 Cup) Applesauce
  • 3 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups Shredded Apples
  • 4oz (1/2 Cup) Buttermilk
  • 1 Batch of Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C and grease three 8-inch cake pans
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. In another large bowl whisk together the melted butter, vegetable oil, sugars, applesauce, and eggs. Making sure to whisk until fully combined. Ina small bowl mix together the shredded apples and buttermilk.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mix until just combined, add the apple and buttermilk mixtrue, then finally add the remaining flour mixture. Mix until just combined, over mixing can create a tough cake batter. 
  5. Pour apple cake batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 22-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or if you gently press the top center of the cake it gently bounces back. Let cool in cake pan for 10 minutes then invert into a wire rack.


  1. Add about 1 scant cup of frosting to the center and use an angled spatula to spread it in to an even layer, bend down to eye level with the cake to make sure the frosting is in an even layer. Repeat with the second layer.
  2. Add the third cake layer bottom side up, the bottom side of the cake is generally straighter than the top so this helps create an even top of the cake.
  3. Using a straight icing spatula press and gently spread chunks of the brown butter frosting on the side, about 8 times, then you can evenly spread the frosting together creating a crumb-free coat of frosting. For the top layer use the angled spatula to spread the frosting into an even layer then use a cake scraper to scrape some of the frosting off to create the naked cake look. If you prefer more frosting feel free to skip the cake scarper and use an angled spatula to swirl the frosting for a rustic look.
  • Author: Elizabeth Waterson I Confessions of a Baking Queen
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 26
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: apple layer cake, apple spice cake, apple cake recipe

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