Apple Dapple Cake

This old-fashioned apple dapple cake recipe is the darling of fall baking. Every moist bite is positively infused with chunks of juicy apple, toasted pecans, and an amazingly sweet and buttery brown sugar glaze.

Apple Dapple Cake hero image

Mama has been making this old-fashioned apple dapple cake for as long as I can remember. It’s always signaled the arrival of apple season for us! So this apple season, pick some fresh apples and bake this easy apple cake recipe. All you need is typical baking ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, milk, and butter), plus some chopped pecans for extra crunch.

The wonderful thing about Mama’s vintage apple dapple cake recipe (and I do mean WONDERFUL) is that the resulting flavor is a perfect blend of fresh apples and buttery brown sugar. With the special caramel-like brown sugar soaking sauce poured over the cake and allowed to soak in before removing the cake from the pan, it is by far the moistest and densest 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 is brought on by the brown sugar. 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 get a pinch out for myself. Lucky is the day when I find a few precious lumps within the bag!

If you’ve ever wanted to win someone over through their stomach, THIS cake is a home run.

Apple Dapple Cake ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Apples
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Pecans
  • Brown sugar
  • Milk
  • Unsalted butter

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Apple Dapple Cake

Mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

In your mixing bowl, place oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until blended.

You can do this by hand or using an electric mixer. Go with your mood.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into separate mixing bowl.

In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt.

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Add this to your wet ingredients and mix until blended again.

The cake batter will become a thick dough.

Like this.

It’s a nice thick dough at this point.

Peel and chop apples into little chunks. 

Peel and chop apples into little chunks. 

Add chopped apples and pecans to the apple dapple cake batter.

Add chopped apples and pecans to the cake batter.

Apple dapple cake batter all mixed together.

Stir those together until they are fully incorporated. 

Prepare your pan either by greasing with shortening and flouring or by using one of those handy, dandy cooking sprays.

Press batter into bundt pan and bake.

Spoon your apple dapple cake 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.

Place milk, butter, and brown sugar in a saucepot.

Making the Brown Sugar Sauce

About 10 minutes before your cake is done, you need to make this AMAZING sauce to pour over the cake while it is still hot in the pan.

Place milk, butter, and brown sugar in a saucepot.

Boil sauce on stovetop.

Stir this together on the stove eye at medium to medium-high heat, bringing to a gentle boil.

Once it starts boiling gently, keep stirring and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove hot delicious cake from the oven.

Baked apple dapple cake

Look at that beauty!

Pour sauce over hot cake.

While the apple dapple cake is still piping hot in the pan, pour the sauce over it and let it all sit until it soaks it up.


Let cake completely cool in the pan.


The sauce will soak up, just be patient. 

Leave the cake in the pan until it has cooled completely.

Apple Dapple Cake

Have you ever seen a more beautiful apple cake?

Apple dapple cake slices.

I hope you get to make it soon! 

Might oughta make two 😉.


  • Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
  • You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Double wrap them in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to avoid freezer burn and thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • For extra flavor, add 2 teaspoons of your favorite seasoning. That might be 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of nutmeg, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice. All work well with this apple cake recipe.
  • If you want to add more texture, some apple dapple cake recipes include 1 cup of flaked coconut and 1 cup of raisins as well. Fold them in when you add the chopped apple and pecans.
  • Speaking of, feel free to substitute the chopped pecans for chopped walnuts instead. If you like, toast them for about 5 minutes in the oven beforehand for extra crunch and texture.
  • Another substitution you can make is to swap the milk in the glaze for heavy cream.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of apples should I use?

As pictured, I always use Granny Smith apples due to how the tart flavor combines well with the sweetness of this dish. You can also use Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Jonathan, Jonagold, or even Golden Delicious works.

Where does apple dapple cake originate?

The origin of apple dapple cake is unknown, as Amish, Southern, and Jewish cultures all make their own version that are very similar to this recipe.

Apple Dapple Cake

This old-fashioned apple dapple cake recipe includes chunks of juicy apple, toasted pecans, and an amazing buttery brown sugar sauce.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 612kcal


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups fresh apples, peeled and finely chopped


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks)


  • Spray a bundt cake pan or a tube pan liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl.
    1 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups granulated sugar, 3 eggs, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking soda. Then add this to the wet ingredients before folding in the pecans and diced apples.
    3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup chopped pecans, 3 cups fresh apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
  • Place sauce ingredients into a small saucepot over medium-high heat. Stir constantly and bring it to a gentle boil. After it begins gently boiling, continue to stir and allow to cook for about 3 minutes.
    1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup butter
  • Pour the sauce over the hot cake while it's still in the pan. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.


Calories: 612kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!



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  1. Somebody put a bullet in my brain please. I attempted to make the Coca Cola cake.. one problem.. I had everything but the cake mix..I had cake flour however. Simple fix, right? Not fer me..

    Ok, I pondered,, what do most cake mixes have you add.. eggs, milk, oil? Eggs and milk are in there already.. I’ll just add oil. 4 tablespoons in fact.
    I sifted it and stuck it in with all the rest and I tasted.. YEEGADS! Oh yeah.. sugar might be nice.. so I add a cup of sugar too.
    Well.. it was on its way to baking I thought.

    I only had large marshmallows so I cut them up.. apparently NOT small enough though.. there were large craters left in the cake. Cool..I thought..holes for the icing to pool up in.. if I had paid attention on how to make the icing that is.
    I dumped the powdered sugar in with the butter and chocolate before it boiled.. that IS a no no. It did not thicken.

    Anyway.. long story somewhat shortened.. I have a GREAT recipe for Coca Cola bread with marshmallows and a chocolate drizzle.

    Good news however.. even though it had The consistency of a soft bread.. the taste was great. I may try to duplicate it in my bread maker.

  2. The cake looks amazing Christy. Especially the brown sugar glaze. I so wish i could pick some apples that would be so much fun.

  3. Oh yes! This looks yummy!
    This whole grounding thing sucks! I have a whole bunch of apples that are not going to get consumed..and this would have been perfect!!!!

  4. Stephanie: How precious! I can imagine your children clamoring for the brown sugar! when I was little, I used to open the fridge and take the lid off the margarine and dip one pinky in it! Mama said there were always tiny finger marks in her margarine!

    I really want to try out those apple recipes from Beverly and Bill, too!

    Betsy: Thank you so much for reading Southern Plate! I really am so grateful to everyone. It just thrills me to death to have readers!

    Bill: Bless your heart! Oh well, the bundt pan will be a treat when you do get it. Maybe you can make a special trip!
    I always make Coke cake when I make that chicken for the same reason you are doing it! I don’t normally have coke in the house so while I do might as well!

    Pam: I have so enjoyed reading your blog. It makes me long for a farm!! I actually used to have a pet goat as a child, honest! His name was Punjab and we used to tie him up to our wagon and make him pull us. Punjab got mean after a while…

    I am honored that you’d make this cake for your mother! Please do let me know how it turns out. If you get a chance, read my story on the yellow cake with the old fashioned peanut butter icing. Hearing that about your mother made me think of my great Aunt Red.
    The story is here, if you have time!!

    Thank you!!

  5. I just love this site! Everything sounds (and taste like home).
    Apple cake is my Mother’s favorite. She is 85 now and this recipe reminds me so much of her cake.
    I am going to save this recipe and make the cake for her.
    Thanks for the recipe and your entrecard ad today.
    Have a great day.

  6. I decided to make the coca cola chicken today. I got the regular kraft sauce. I had a half bottle of Country Bob’s sauce left over from the pork chops I made the other day so I dumped that in too. I’m sure it will add to the taste without too much of a change. I’m gonna go ahead and make the coca cola cake too since I had to buy the pack of cokes.

    Danged if I didn’t just go to Walmart and forgot the bundt pan. What can I say, I’m a guy, we don’t need no stinkin list or directions…sigh..

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