Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Pinch of Yum's Cinnamon Sugar Apple CakePinit

I like this little tradition that I’ve established.

Apple-desserts-and/or-breakfasts posts on Fridays.

The only person complaining about this tradition is my ambitiously slim pencil skirt, which I might add was probably the worst purchase of 2011.  It’s greyish, pinstriped, adorable, and I love it in theory.  But in reality, I love cinnamon sugar apple cake and looser-fitting clothes.

There went $35 I could have spent on more apples.  Sigh.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple CakeI need to stop talking about clothes and money and how I waste them both.

So, the apple cake.

It’s delicious.  Bjork and I ate the. whole. thing.  As in, the whole cake.  A little piece here, and a little piece there, and three more pieces after dinner.  It adds up quickly.

This cake was the perfect weekend breakfast (not to mention Monday snack and Tuesday 2nd dinner), and guess what’s right around the corner?  That would be my good friend The Weekend.

I’m hoping with my fingers crossed that your weekend includes this cake.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

4.9 from 34 reviews
Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you can sub milk+vinegar, or plain yogurt+milk)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1½ cups chopped apples (I used Wealthy heirloom)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Mix ingredients in order given (except the last 3 ingredients).
  3. Pour batter into a 9×13 greased pan.
  4. Combine last 3 ingredients to make a topping and sprinkle it evenly over the batter.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes. It’s delicious when served warm!


In keeping with tradition: TGIF! Those little 4th grade buggers sure know how to wear a girl out.

How are you going to relax this weekend? I wouldn’t be mad if you said by making this cake.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - A fresh, warm, and delicious dessert |
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  1. That’s one great looking cake! It sounds absolutely delicious as well. And I’m exactly the same when it comes to clothes – I have so many skirts like that in my closet.

    • At least I’m not the only one! :)

      • Davis Priest says:

        OMG ladies get it together rock that skirt and eat that apple cake like a boss I am 170 pound women who wears bikinis and slim fitting dresses I bet you can work it. BTW I also ate this whole cake…….. in one sitting enjoy!!

  2. I love the combination of apple and cinnamon! You’re making my mouth water :)

  3. My parents are coming into town this weekend – and I recently realized I have never had the opportunity to cook for them in my own home. But they love apples, and cinnamon, and cake…

    Fate? I think so.

  4. Apples + cinnamon + sugar > pencil skirt. Besides, there’s fruit, so it’s healthy.

    Also, I would be all about having this cake for dinner, and second dinner. And maybe mid-afternoon tea, as well. (I have the eating schedule of a hobbit. [Nerd reference])

  5. Pencil skirt, schmencil skirt. Can it show you love like cinnamon, sugar and apples? I don’t think so.

  6. Gorgeous cake! I won’t have the time to bake this weekend, but this cake will definitely be made here…soon!

  7. A cake that doesn’t require peeling apples? SOLD! :)

  8. PS pencil skirts be damned… it’s almost winter anyway :) Who wants to wear a skirt in winter? :)

  9. I really don’t think I’d be able to resist this – it looks delicious! Perfect cake for autumn too :)

  10. soooper tempting cake…gorgeous pics makes me craving..
    first time here…love your space..
    very interesting posts..
    Am your happy follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  11. I agree that money spent on food is money well spent! Loved your post and love the photos of the cake- if I was here this weekend, I would surely be baking some. For now, I’ll just look at the photos and day dream about eating it! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Apple cake is one of my absolute favorite sweet snack/desserts. These photos have me drooling!

  13. Soo @ Little Miss Fitness says:

    I like this apple tradition, too. Keep it up! :)

    This weekend, I’m doing my last long run before my half marathon next weekend! J and I just finished a not so successful tennis match with our good friends and I’m going to open my good friend, Haagen Daaz. It’s a good night. :)

  14. You can’t go wrong with a combination of cinnamon, sugar and apples! Happy apple Friday! Love it.

  15. “Happy apple Friday” – love it!

  16. when you say soda, do you mean baking soda? I dont want my cake to taste like cola :)

  17. After performing my weekend ritual of making your granola recipe, my sister-in-law and I are about to bake this amazing cake! Thanks for my daily dose of inspiration to take time for the things that feed my soul. And by the way, I had to give my pencil skirt to aforementioned sister-in-law, due to a few too many of your recipes. :)

    • Arg those pencil skirts! I saw your list of items that you were making last night on facebook. You are one motivated cook! :)

  18. Umm, yes please! I could eat the whole pan…

  19. says:

    This would be amazing served warm with Pioneer Woman’s “Hard Sauce”…

  20. Don’t you just love the wide variety of fresh apples in the Fall? Yummy sounding recipe!

  21. Can’t believe how easy this recipe is yet it looks so delicious!

  22. Looks amazingly delicious, my only wish is if you could share a bite with me :)

  23. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

    I love cake that can double as breakfast. And apple cake is a huge favorite – yours looks amazing!!!

  24. This looks so delicious! My mouth is watering right now.

    And after getting married, I have a handful of skirts that don’t fit me anymore.

    Whatever… I just love cakes way too much :)

  25. I just went apple picking and have an entire bushel of apples waiting to be made into this very thing!!

  26. I made this at work for my clients but only had dark brown sugar. It was good but seemed more like a spice cake. I also made it today but instead of oil I used applesauce. It turned out so delicious. Now I just need to bust out the will power. I am already wanting another piece. Thanks for your awesome recipes!

  27. Ok so I gave in and had a second piece….yum!

  28. I can’t wait to make this cake! I’m so glad to see so many apple lovers on your blog. I’m from NY but have lived in FL for 30 years and we don’t get that many apple varieties down here and they generally don’t taste as good as from NY. I can get bags of NY McIntosh apples during the Fall though, which makes me soooo happy!

  29. Wow! I want a piece of that cake – it looks so good. I’ve been on a huge apple binge lately and this fits the bill perfectly. Thanks for sharing!!

  30. Hello Lindsay! I love cinnamon and I love apples. I’ve only ever made apple cake once before, and I really liked it, but it didn’t have the topping like your cake. I love the topping, I think it makes the cake look elegant and rustic at the same time. I’m often given to reducing sugar in baking, would you say this cake is sweet enough as it is, or would it be all right if I wanted to put in less sugar? Oh, and by the way I love purple, so I totally approve of the layout of your blog, it’s lovely!

    • Haha – thanks! Purple is my favorite. And I think you could get away with less sugar if your apples were pretty sweet. Although I would say you should keep the topping because it’s a nice little crumble/crisp texture on top!

  31. I made this the other day, subbed the cinnamon sugar with a maple glaze, for the teacher blessing at my son’s school. I went in at the end of the day to pick up my cake pan hoping there would be some left so I could sample it and there were few pieces! We tore them up the minute we walked in the door. SOOOOO good! I’m making a second one this weekend and I might have to hide half of it for myself 😉 Everyone needs to make this! Like now.

  32. This cake looks amazing. I’ve never baked before but it looks simple enough for me to try! I probably sound very stupid (as I say, I’ve not baked) but what kind of flour do you need? And for oil is it just vegetable oil, or..? Thanks!

    • I used vegetable oil and regular all-purpose flour. I’m a teacher, so for me, no question is a dumb question! I’d be honored if this was your first baking experiment – I hope you like it! :)

  33. I might just work my way through your blog. YUM YUM. I made this cake and it’s SO good. Didn’t share it with the babes, though. I’m keeping it to myself!

  34. I made this cake this morning and it is delicious. It’s a lot darker than pictured, but I think it’s because I used dark brown sugar. (All I had on hand) Even my kids like it and they are the pickiest!

  35. This cake was amazing, my family devoured it! I have already made it two times in the past couple of weeks! In a gas oven I only had to cook it about 30 minutes and I added about 1/4 tsp of cinnamon to the batter as well.

  36. Wow, this looks delicious, you’re giving me a Sugar Rush just looking at it!

  37. Mmmmm!!! Love that crunchy sugar top!

  38. Yes, I am a boy and will make this cake for my mother’s 56th birthday, so thank you already!

  39. I just made this cake, and I have to say even the dough itself was amazing, I just ate at least a spoonful of it and was really trying to behave! The cake itself was GORGEOUS and delicious. Thank you so much, great recipe!

  40. Fred F Kailer says:

    The pcture could my Eye, for i am always looking to take to my Friends at Saturday morning Prayer meeting and i will surely try this one.
    Thanks and God bless your Untertaking

  41. 50 questions; get to know your fellow bloggers better.
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  42. If I were to sub plain yogurt and milk for the 1 cup of buttermilk, would I do half a cup of each or is there a different ratio to produce similar results to the buttermilk? Thanks!

    • Sometimes I use milk with a teaspoon or two of vinegar added to replace buttermilk! If you did yogurt, I’d do more like a 3:1 ratio of milk to yogurt.

  43. Saw the pic…had to try it!! Added 1/2 cup sour cream…….yuummmm.

  44. Chasata Rodriguez says:

    This cake was sooo good. Just like you said I think i’m about to eat the whole thing. A piece in the morning with coffee, a piece in the afternoon with coffee, some after dinner for dessert! Totally addicting!

  45. Hey!
    I’m wondering about the flour… do you have any idea where I can get it… how it should look like and if it’s specifically important?

  46. Daniella says:

    I’m eating it as I write :) ….so simple yet so delicious! Thank you very much for the recipe. Greetings from Peru!

  47. If you substitute the buttermilk with yogurt and milk, what are the measurements?

    • Probably 3:1 milk to yogurt ratio (it’s been a while, I can’t remember, but that would be what I’d usually do). So 3/4 cup milk with 1/4 cup yogurt.

  48. I just came home from work. I popped this in the oven and it it smells like heaven!

  49. Tiffany Pederson says:

    Cake is in the oven while I’m typing this and it smells AMAZING!! Does it need to be kept refrigerated due to the fresh apples in it or is it okay to leave out at room temperature? We won’t be eating it until tomorrow for my dads birthday so I didn’t know what I should do with it tonight/tomorrow until it’s eaten!

  50. Do you peel the apples?

  51. Do u use an electric mixer? Should the butter be melted?

  52. My stomach is now growling!

  53. This looks lovely. I can imagine its fragrance.

  54. Came across your blog yesterday while looking for an apple & cinnamon cake recipe. Made this yesterday and it is AMAZING!!! And have been reading your blog ever since and loving it!

  55. Emilee Lucas says:

    For the toppings, do you melt the butter or just soften it?

    • I think I just softened it. It kind of melts anyways when you bake it (see how it has that flat crispy layer on top?) which tastes awesome!

  56. Someone pinned this and I’m so glad! It’s almost done baking and it smells amazing in my house! I wish I could candel this smell ;). The topping looks beautiful on top. I found some purplish apples from a farm store (Paula reds) recently, and tried those out in here-I can’t wait ’till it cools and I can grab a slice!

  57. I made this last night and I just can’t stop myself from eating it. I melted the butter till brown and used it for the topping. This recipe is a keeper! Thanks for sharing.

  58. I just made this tonight and it is DELICIOUS!!! I kinda tried a bit of the batter when mixing this and it was yummy, I just couldn’t go to bed without having a piece of this cake. Amazing! Thanks for sharing this recipe!!!

  59. Hi Lindsay! Two quick questions–do you peel the apples? And, in addition, do you melt the tablespoon of butter for the topping? Or do you combine it into small crumbs?

    Can’t wait to make this! Went apple picking this weekend and need a way to use up some of those yummy apples.

    • No, I did not peel the apples, but you could if the peels bother you. And the butter is just crumbled in with the other ingredients to make a crumb mixture over the top. it bakes down into a pretty flat and crispy layer anyways (which I Loooove), so I’m not sure if it would matter one way or the other. :)

  60. omg. I made this last night and I think it was the best cake I’ve had in a long time!!

  61. Hi! I Just made the cake and its not as sponged as yours.. I think one teaspoon baking powder is not enough for this cake to rise enough.. Or did I make something wrong? :(

    • Where do you live? I was just in Montana this week and found out how much altitude can affect the rising of baked goods. Other than that you could try adding a little flour to keep it fluffy, or reducing the amount of oil. For me 1 teaspoon of baking soda was enough.

      • It seems that my mistake was to use baking powder instead of baking soda.. anyway I thought that one teaspoon was not much, but didnt want to change the original recipe.. Maybe baking soda would have done it right.. Anyway the cake has a really nice taste, I added a little of clover also.. I will make this again, for sure, using baking soda 😉 Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe.

  62. Made this last night. Turned out great. For some reason 1 cup of buttermilk didnt seem enough. I used 1 1/2 cups. My kids and husband have been feasting on this. Thank you

  63. Just made this cake. It absolutely delicious. Sent half of it to my elderly neighbor so she can enjoy it as well. So easy to put together. Will definitely make again and again. Thank you for sharing!

  64. I love this. . . great rainy day treat for my boyos. I did tweak and use apple pie spice in both the batter and in place of cinnamon on the top of the cake. Happy Mommy!

  65. This cake was delicious! I did add a little salt and was wondering if there was a reason it was not in the recipe? Will make it again, definitely!

  66. Just made this & it’s a hit at this house!
    Like other writers, mine turned out a bit darker than the picture but it’s still delicious. I made a second batch and tried using 1/2 white & 1/2 brown sugar, but it’s still the color of a light wheat bread. Whatever color it turns out, it’s a great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  67. You said to chop the apples can you slice them instead And when you chop the apples how small must they be

  68. I changed up a few things the 2nd time I made this: used unsweetened applesauce for the oil, only 1 cup of brown sugar and added 1 t. cinnamon to batter, and 2 cups of apple. Added 1/4 c of oatmeal to topping, using coconut oil instead of butter. It’s crispy and has a great flavor! Everyone loves it. I store on counter with a loosely placed piece of wax paper, so it doesn’t get soggy

  69. Was looking for a simple recipe to make a school snack for the kids as they go back to school tomorrow. Felt like apple something or other and this recipe fulfilled the task…it was SO easy to put together and tasted so delicious…will be making this again! It was a hit with the kids…it’s only been out of the oven for 1 hour and it’s over half gone!

  70. Very yummy and easy to make. I added alittle extra apples to mine and it was perfect.
    Although I love my desserts, I found it to be alittle too sweet for an apple cake, I will probably try using 1/4 cup less brown sugar next time. But all in all, this recipe is a keeper.

  71. Thank you so much for the recipe! this cake is awesome! everybody at work and at home loved it

  72. Delicious!! I subbed whole wheat flour, coconut oil, and almond milk as well as reduced the brown sugar a little and it was AMAZING! Love your blog! :)

  73. How do you think it would turn out if you mixed it the night before and baked it in the morning?

  74. WHOA!! This just came out of the oven, and the entire house smells divine. The crispy top is unbeatable. Can’t wait to try a slice. Thanks for the recipe.

  75. Hi, I just made this for my dad! I’m not going to have any but it does look amazing. If I tried a bite I might be headed to the ER for a heart problem it looks so good. I can’t wait for him to try it! Thanks so much :)

  76. Michelle says:

    I made this cake for a friends bridal shower. I used coconut oil and added some oatmeal to the topping. I also added about a teaspoon of ground chai tea to the batter and it was delicious! A nice little twist on the classic apple cake. Thanks for the recipe :)

  77. This cake is SO SO SO GOOD! And the house smells absolutely wonderful while it’s baking. I used vanilla Greek yogurt the first time I made it. It was a hit at work. I got several compliments on it and requests for the recipe. One co-worker said it was just SO moist, she loved it! I told her “I bet it’s the yogurt” and we both got to thinking that this would be really good with other fruits….so I made it for Mother’s Day today, this time using blueberry Greek yogurt (I mix it in a 1C measuring cup and just mix in skim milk enough to make 1C and it works fantastic. The batter is thick, but the cake comes out perfect). Instead of apples, I added raspberries, blueberries and chopped strawberries. And again, it was a hit. My family loved it! SUPER simple recipe! This one is a keeper! Thank you!

  78. Roughly how many apples and can I use granny Smith?

  79. Hi, im going to try this its looks delicious!!
    Do the butter for the topping need to be cold or a room temperature?

  80. Just made this, and I had to comment. Amazing! I used 4 granny smith apples, and butter because I didn’t have oil, and it turned out SO fluffy. Perfect! I was going to share with friends but I kind of want to eat the whole thing. I am definitely going to save this recipe. Thanks :)

  81. Tammy A says:

    I have this in the oven right this very minute. 10 more minutes til the timer goes off! I wish everyone could smell the aroma in my house! PURE HEAVEN!! I will enjoy some today then I will take it to work and share with my co-workers. They are going to love me!! Update…just took it out of the oven. I hate this waiting time! LOL. I WANT SOME NOW!! I’ll be back with an update once it cools off

  82. Tammy A says:

    Update. This cake is A-MAZING! So moist and wonderful flavor!! I was concerned about the 1 1/2 cup apples because it ended up being only one apple. Thought that might not be enough. It was!! I used Granny Smith apples as recommended by the guy stocking the fruits and veggies at the grocery store. Everything about this is wonderful! Thanks Lindsay!!

  83. Making this right now and the house smells so gorgeous and comforting Lindsay!

  84. My mouth is watering! The recipe you kindly share is what I was looking for! It’s delicious, very easy and adaptable, so I’m excited about baking it tomorrow. I loved your blog, hopefully you can visit mine! Probably you’ll like my photos of the Mexican Caribbean. Regards from Cancun, Mexico!

  85. I just made this and it’s delicious. Thank you for noting the possible substitutions, because as I went to make this I found I only had about 2/3 cup of milk so I subbed sour cream to total a cup. I used State Fair apples fresh from our tree. Thank you for the great recipe.

  86. Oh. My. God. I’m going to make this on Sunday… even though I’m already doing a super ‘low n slow’ beef stew and I doubt there will be much room for cake.

    Though I’m sure we’ll make it work.

  87. Got up at 8am searched the web and came across this cake this morning, had it ready to go at 9am. Made it for my Bible study group it was very easy and baked in 35min at 350 because I didn’t check the temp until it was already in and I wanted it quick anyway. Delicious, everyone loved it. I used vanilla yogurt and soy milk, cause that’s all I had and it worked fine. I would change the sugar mixture on top though, too sweet. All in all this is a great quick easy cake that will make you look like a pro. Thanks for sharing.

  88. Deb Lindemann says:

    I have made a similar recipe for 20 years using 3 cups rhubarb cut fine, white sugar and margarine. First started using the recipe because that was what I had in the house! Never thought of using apples! Sometimes I double the recipe, put in foil 8×8 pans and freeze. Oh, and no butter in the topping

  89. This recipe sounds like it would freeze very well, too… Thank You>>>

  90. This cake was so good! My Grandmother used to make a great Apple Cinnamon cake but this one just took over it’s spot in the “favorite recipe collection” (sorry Granny!). I used dark brown sugar which caused the cake to come out darker than your picture but it was so delicious. I will definitely be making it again! Thanks for sharing it.

  91. I should have listened to your warning. I made this cake for “breakfast” (air quotes) and told the kids that they definitely couldn’t cut into it… But then, I thought, it’s my first time making this, so I should probably test it, just to make sure it’s ok. Quality control is important right? So I had one smallish square….at first….then I sneaked a little chunk off the cut edge..which caused it to look uneven…so I had to slice it to make it even again…and so on… Now I am at the point where I’ll have to cut the whole pan up into servings and put in a container, so no one knows how much is missing… I should have listened to you…

    By the way, what is the best way to store this? I don’t want the crunchy topping to get soggy, and I am worried that if I cover with foil or plastic wrap, it may soften. Any suggestions?


    • Great question, Chris! I would tend to put something like this into a tupperware or another airtight container. Unfortunately, the topping will likely soften a little after a couple days no matter how you store it. Basically – just eat all up right away so you don’t have to worry about storage or soggy topping. 😉

    • Brooke schudlich says:

      Hi Lindsay- Thank you so much for all your fabulous recipes. I’ve been enjoying making lots of them. I have a couple of questions regarding this apple cake. I used a hand mixer and I’m thinking I beat it too much, it doesn’t look like your pictures:( it doesn’t have the spongy texture that yours appears to have, mine seems denser. I appreciate any input:)) Brooke

      • Hi, Brooke! A cake that turns out too dense often has too much liquid or too little leavening. Make sure you measure liquid ingredients carefully in liquid measuring cups. Also, make sure your baking soda is fresh. Old baking soda won’t work! :) You may also be right that you over-mixed the batter. Just mix until all the ingredients are combined. Good luck!

  92. I made this cake, had it with custard and it was delicious. Thanks so much for this and all the other lovely recipes!

  93. Thank you, Lindsay, for this wonderful cake!!!
    Kisses from Romania :)

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