Apple Dapple Cake


Don’t you just love the taste of brown sugar? I mean, all on its own, I just love brown sugar. Whenever I am baking with it, I can’t help but to get a pinch out for myself. Lucky is the day when I find a few precious lumps within the bag!

The wonderful thing about this cake (and lord, I do mean WONDERFUL) is that the resulting flavor is a perfect blend of fresh apples and buttery brown sugar. With the special sauce poured over the cake and allowed to soak in before removing the cake from the pan, it is by far the moistest cake I’ve ever baked. As if the flavor (and smell!) were not enough, the slices are gorgeous, too. Thick slices showcase bits of apple and the slightly granular texture around the edges of the tender crust brought on by the brown sugar. If you’ve ever wanted to win someone over through their stomach, THIS cake is a home run.

You’ll need: Apples, Flour, Salt, Baking Soda, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Vanilla, Eggs, and Pecans!
(This cake gets me so excited. You are going to DIE of happiness when you taste it, I swear!)
In your mixing bowl, place oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until blended.
Sift together flour and….
Baking soda and…..
Add this to your wet ingredients and mix until blended again.
Peel your apples.
And dice them up into little chunks, like this.
Add chopped pecans.
and your apples. Blend.
Until it looks like this!
Prepare your pan either by greasing with shortening and flouring, or by using one of these handy, dandy sprays.
(This is the easy way)
Pour your batter into your pan. My mother uses a tube pan but whenever I bake this I just use a bundt pan. Either one is fine.
Bake this in the oven at  350 for one hour.
Now we are going to make this AMAZING sauce to pour over the cake while it is still hot in the pan.
You will need: Dark brown sugar, milk, and margarine (or butter).
Place milk, margarine, and brown sugar in a sauce pot.
Sir this together (on the stove eye of course!) and bring to a gentle boil.  Once it starts boiling gently, keep stirring and cook for about three minutes. Remove from heat. Remove hot delicious cake from the oven.
While the cake is still piping hot in the pan, pour the sauce over it and let it all sit until it soaks it up.
Oh dear lord, look at that cake!
I mean, LOOK AT  THAT CAKE!!!!
Leave the cake in the pan until it has cooled completely.
Apples, meet the ultimate recipe for which you were intended!!

Apple Dapple Cake
  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups raw apples, peeled and chopped fine
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (for sauce)
  • ¼ cup milk (for sauce)
  • ¾ cup margarine(1 -1/2 sticks) (for sauce)
  1. Mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt, soda. Add to first mixture. Fold in pecans and apples. Bake in tube pan at 350 for 1 hour.
  2. For the sauce, mix and cook ingredients 3 minutes after it begins to gently boil, stirring constantly. Pour over hot cake while cake is still in pan. Let cake cool completely before removing.


“Joy is what happens when we allow

ourselves to recognize how good things are.

Joy is not necessarily what happens when

things unfold according to our plans.”

Marianne Williamson. Submit your quote here.


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  1. Sybil says

    Honestly Christy, this is one of the BEST cakes I have ever made. Baked it for the first time last Fall for a ‘hen party’ and then made it again for Thanksgiving to take to Mamas’. It has that rich flavor of an ‘ole timey’ cake! Best made at least a day ahead because it just gets more luscious with age! Oh my, thank you so much for bringing this into my world!

  2. Janet says

    Just took this out of the oven and poured that delectable sauce over it and just stood there and admired it in all its glory ! Taking it to work tomorrow to share with my co- workers. Paula, I noticed that my batter was pretty thick too so I hope it will taste o.k. . Kind of worried me, so I read over the ingredients again to ensure I hadn’t forgotten anything

  3. Myra Hammond says

    Made the Apple Dapple Cake this week-end. It was wonderful!! The batter wasn’t too dry as some have posted. Poured the hot, almost still boiling, sauce over the cake right out of the oven. It soaked in pretty fast and I let it cool completely. Then, it came out of the Bundt pan PERFECTLY!! It had a great taste, but was somewhat “crumbly” and almost too dry. It wasn’t moist as you described in your post!! I did notice after it came out of the pan that you could almost see a line of where the sauce only came about half way up from the bottom. Also, I did poke holes in the cake before pouring the sauce over it. I WILL make this again!! It was super easy!!

  4. Diana says

    I was so happy to see this recipe! We’ve made this cake in our family for years, but we take the cake up first & then pour the sauce over it, (let the sauce cool, just slightly, as not to break the plate), slowly pour it over, letting it soak in & go back over it a couple of times & it will ‘puddle’ a little around the bottom of the cake. We call it ‘Dutch Apple Cake’ or ‘Fresh Apple Cake’. When we’ve got them we use black walnuts, from the old home place. <3 to all!

    • AGNES STROUD says

      Diana, how do you crack the black Walnuts and how do you get the meat out of the walnut? The black Walnut is really tasty but so difficult to crack and extract the nut meat. We have a Walnut tree in the back yard.

  5. Mitzi says

    My batter was thick also…stuck to my mixer paddles. It was much thicker than cookie dough. It was so thick that I had to pat dough in pan. Followed the recipe exactly. Anyone have any idea what went wrong? Christy.. Do you have any suggestions?

  6. Debbie says

    Christy, this is almost similar to a bread I make that has a praline sauce on the top. I also top the bread with toasted pecan pieces. But, I was wondering what your take would be on poking a few holes around the cake before adding the sauce so that some gets IN the cake for added flavor! What effect do you think it would have on the cake as a con?

  7. Sue Hogan says

    Christy I haven’t made this cake yet but I certainly am going to. Also I love everything I have tried that I got did you get so smart so young? ha ha What I wanted to tell you is how surprised I was when I saw the address for your mail was in Rogersville Al. I live a ways up the road in Elkmont. Had no idea we had such a celebrity in our area of the state. ha ha ha. I used to come to Rogersville all the time to shop for shoes when ya’ll had all those shoe shops.( I still love shoes.) Just thought I’d give you a “holler” Keep up the good work.

  8. Cathy says

    Yikes, my batter ended up like cookie dough, too….didn’t look at all like yours, Christy! I had made this before from a newspaper clipping and checked to see if it was exactly like yours. It was, but I don’t remember the batter being so thick before the apples and nuts are added. Very puzzling… you have any idea what is going on? Thanks, Christy!

    • Nancy says

      Cathy this is a heavy dough similar to cookie dough but if it is way too dry just add water a little at a time. Your moisture content depends on how juicy the apples are. Since I have made this for over 40 years with all kinds of apples I know what I am talking about. I always make it when the apples in the apple bowl start to dry out so as to not waste them. I always mix this by hand. Dry ingredients in a large bowl then add apples and nuts, stir to coat so they won’t float as your cake cooks. Then in a smaller bowl mix sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla then combine the two bowls. If too dry add water small amount at a time. Check with toothpick to be sure inside is done. Frrezes well as whole cake or pieces. I’ve also made muffins and sheet cakes for coffee cake. Recipe handed down from my mother-in-law.

    • Brenda says

      I just got this Apple Dapple Cake into my oven and wished I read the comments beforehand about adding a little water to the batter. It was like a heavy dough. My Granny Smith apples were very dry. I sure hope that after all the delicious sauce is poured over the cake that the cake will turn out all right. :)

      • Brenda says

        Dear Brenda,
        I have been making this cake for 50 years, I have used different type of Apples, I have found that Red and/or Yellow delis this works best for me, I chopped them with a Chopper I used to chop Cabbage..(I was younger then,)did not have food prosser, the cake I made has the same ingrients..( I was living in Virginia at the time) was called Mountain Apple Cake…the first time I saw a recipe called Apple Dapple Cake,I realized it was the same cake…….the batter is a little thick…but I have learned that my HummingBird cake is too…but it should turn out ok but you mat just have to experienced with different apples..hope your cake turns out ok.. Or you could make a little more sauce..and poke holes in the cake and pour sauce over cake…
        My name is Brenda also…

  9. Pam says

    I just made this cake today. My question is, how do you wait until it is completely cool before eating??? I couldn’t do it! I had to have a piece while it was still warm.
    It is wonderful!

  10. Anna Mae Kantor says

    I just love all your recipes and ideas. You are so down to earth with them. I just stumbled onto your website a short time ago and recently bought your Southern Plate Cookbook–what a nice book –I’m looking forward to getting your new cookbook soon and also subscribe to your magazine. Have to wait tho’, as I am now unemployed and funds are very tight.
    Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

    • rachel plevin says

      I like the creative recipes you have planned. My only concern is that you use a great deal of products that are not very healthy. Delicious desserts that are truly memorable can be made with all organic or some people say natural, which is not the same, as fresh fruit or fresh cooked fruit etc.

      Perhaps you would consider this.

      May you day be filled with warmth and happiness.


      • says

        “Healthy” is a very relative term nowadays. In my years of blogging I’ve had people tell me carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, milk, and wheat were unhealthy. Always as a blanket statement that seemingly applied to everyone universally regardless of health, lifestyle, age, etc.:)
        This cake, when eaten at each meal, is very unhealthy. One piece a month (or week, or day depending on lifestyle), can be a perfectly fine part of a healthy diet. Its not up to one person to judge and decree the best for everyone, especially without wisdom of the individuals themselves (note to U.S. gov;).
        Also, organic is a debatable term. Many foods are healthy but farmers can’t pay the huge fees to be certified and therefore not labeled as such. Then there are the cases where unregulated food from other countries comes in, pays, and gets the organic label.
        My readers are very intelligent folks, capable of thinking for themselves and with full knowledge of the many recipes I offer here. I encourage you to make the best decisions for your family as we all go forth making our own decisions based on our own bank of wisdom.
        Freedom is a wonderful thing :)

  11. Kathi says

    Christy, can I use self rising flour and leave the salt and baking powder out, I am like you and hate to have to buy something I will not use for any other recipe? What type of apples did you use in this recipe?

    This sounds so much like a cake my grandmother used to make us when it apples harvest time.

  12. Jane Ann says

    My mother always made this cake when I was a little girl. I hear people talk about an Apple Cake but it is not the same as this Apple Dapple Cake. The oil makes it so very moist. Soooo good then as now. It’s been around a long time because I’m almost 67. Thanks for sharing!!!

  13. Debbie says

    I made your Apple Dapple Cake & it was sooooo good. We live in a small town had to share with friends at the post office & an elderly neighbor. They loved it. Lol, I had to explain to my husband where the rest of his cake went. Another is on the way. Thanks for sharing such a really great recipe!

  14. Val says

    Every time I have made this cake (3 or 4 times) it collapses once I pour the sauce on, any thoughts as to why? I made it for a gathering tomorrow and am now worried it may not be good.

    • says

      Hey Val, It sounds like the center isn’t getting fully cooked. The center cooks last so even though it will look like the cake is done, it may not be. I would add about 10 minutes to the cooking time, all ovens cook differently and sometimes we just have to adjust to make it work :-).

  15. Vonnie says

    Last Friday, my school had a Bake-Off as a fundraiser. I made your Apple Dapple cake with a few additions (two different kinds of apples, coconut, raisins, pecans AND walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg). I didn’t win, but I’ve already received two orders for this cake. Thanks Christy!

  16. Chris Betts says

    I just ran across your Apple Dapple recipe. It sounds delicious. My son just moved to a
    house with 2 apple trees. He gave me a huge bag full of apples to make some sauce. I have some left and am baking your cake right now. I bake for my church. We have coffee and treats after services. I’m using a 9 X 13 to make it go a little further. I just know they will ooh and ahh. Thanks for the yummy recipes!

  17. Heather says

    I have just made this cake today as my contribution to a 50th birthday kitchen tea tomorrow.
    It looks and smells delicious, and the glaze is amazing. I am not the best baker by any means, but this cake was so easy to make. I am sure it will be a hit at the party.

    Thanks Christy for all the fantastic recipes

  18. Alice says

    My husbands favorite cake. It stayes moist for a long time, compliments of the apples and oil.
    Christy, I love your posts and look forward to each and every one. You tell it like it is!

  19. Deirdre Henry says

    With the difference in time my post is only in but first thing tomorrow P.G., I am going to make the Apple Dapple cake. Have all the ingredients even the Pecan nuts so roll on tomorrow.,
    Again a big thank you for all the wonderful recipes you share with everyone. God Bless

    • says

      I make mine in a bundt pan and I don’t flip it except to get it out of the pan, so mine is served top down, but the caramel absorbs and stays in there like a sponge. If you want yours to look like this one you’ll need to use a tube pan like my mother did. Either way the sauce, once soaked in, stays :)

  20. Ruth says

    Christy, I first saw you on the Paula Deen show and fell in love with your recipes and stories! I am 68, born and lived in NC all my life. I was cooking at a young age due to Mom and Dad working different shifts in the cotton mills of NC. We always had a garden and saved fruit and vegetables by canning and freezing. I have gotten some wonderful ideas from your books and blog!! I had looked everywhere for a Pear Preserves recipe and yours is exactly like my grandmothers!! This is a cake that our family has had for years and I LOVE it!!! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and family with me!!!

    • Nora says

      I put a large serving platter over the pan and then invert it. If you sprayed with a non-stick spray, it should come out fairly easily. I’ve also ran a butter knife along the edges before inverting to help release the cake. The sauce ends up being pretty much soaked in the cake with a bit on the top.


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