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.
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.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Granulated sugar
- Vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
How to Make Apple Dapple Cake
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.
In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add this to your wet ingredients and mix until blended again.
It’s a nice thick dough at this point.
Peel and chop apples into little chunks.
Add chopped apples and pecans to the cake batter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Look at that beauty!
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.
I mean, LOOK AT THAT CAKE!
The sauce will soak up, just be patient.
Leave the cake in the pan until it has cooled completely.
Have you ever seen a more beautiful apple cake?
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.
- 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.
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.
You might also enjoy these appetizing apple recipes:
- 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.