Old Fashioned Warm Apple Cake


I know I know. This time of year of totally get carried away with the pumpkin desserts and I don’t make near enough apple desserts. I’m just a little crazy about pumpkin I guess. But then I go and make apple desserts like this seriously dreamy Old Fashioned Warm Apple Cake and it makes me realize I should be making equal the amount of apple desserts!

Old Fashioned Warm Apple Cake | Cooking Classy

Old Fashioned Warm Apple Cake | Cooking Classy

This cake will totally remind you of a cake your grandma made. I love that it tastes like the apple cake my grandma made. One of these days I’m going to track down her recipes but until then I just have to imitate them. This cake starts with a really thick, buttery spiced batter and itty bitty chunks of juicy, sweet and tart apples are mixed in. Then it’s baked up to perfection and served warm with a sticky, warm brown sugar sauce (which some of you may refer to as the classic easy caramel sauce). Yes indeed, this cake is what fall is all about!

Like I mentioned before this makes a really thick batter so don’t be alarmed when you are mixing it together and you’re like “ahhhh, seriously where is the liquid in this cake? This seems more like a cookie batter or something.” The liquid will come from the apples and the juice in them will seep into the cake as it bakes, and you will end with a deliciously moist wonderfully appley cake (no, appley is not a word but it should be). Make this cake at least once this fall. It will likely become a yearly autumn must! I think it will be one of my new go-to sunday desserts. I love old fashioned stuff like this!

Old Fashioned Warm Apple Cake | Cooking Classy Old Fashioned Warm Apple Cake | Cooking Classy


Old Fashioned Warm Apple Cake



  • 2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 cups (468g) peeled, cored and 1/4-inch diced apples*
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup (210g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (58g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans , for topping (optional)

Sticky brown sugar sauce

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1 cup (220g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt (or sub table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 by 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves for 20 seconds, set aside. In a separate medium mixing bowl toss apple cubes with lemon juice, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip together granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until combined (batter will be really thick). Add apples and mix just until combined (batter will still be thick). Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out free of batter (a moist crumb is fine), about 33 - 38 minutes (prepare topping around last 5 - 10 minutes of baking so they'll both be served warm). Let cool about 5 minutes then cut into squares and serve warm topping each slice with sauce and optional pecans.
  3. For the sauce:
  4. In a medium saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, milk and salt (you can add a little extra if you like more of a salted caramel/toffee flavor). Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to boil 1 1/2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let sauce cool slightly. Serve warm over warm cake (note that as the sauce sits and cools the brown sugar will begin to crystalize. Simply microwave it, in a large microwave safe bowl, until it bubbles, about 1 minute and whisk well).
  5. *I highly recommend using a blend of tart and sweet apples for this cake. I used granny smith, golden delicious and gala.
  6. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Alyssa: This cake looks amazing! October 11, 2016 at 9:23am Reply

  • SUSAN HALL: Love your site and recipes. Would the consistency of the cake stay the same if using a sugar substitute (Splenda) for both white and brown sugar? Thanks again for all your delicious recipes. October 11, 2016 at 9:52am Reply

  • Sara @ Last Night’s Feast: I can tell you my family would flip over this! Thanks so much for sharing October 11, 2016 at 11:24am Reply

  • Paige Flamm: This cake looks amazing! I need it in my life!

    Paige October 11, 2016 at 12:48pm Reply

  • bob toovey: Lovely looking dessert! I like the colours and the bits of apple inside the cake itself. Reminds me of the kind of baking my mum used to do.

    I’d love to try out your recipe but I’m not sure I could eat just one piece though! October 11, 2016 at 2:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yeah just one is tough! :) Thanks Bob! October 18, 2016 at 11:10am Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: This looks so comforting! I’ll take an apple dessert over pumpkin any day. October 12, 2016 at 10:51am Reply

  • Mommyof2boys: My husband and I made this last night and today there’s only one piece left ;). The apples add flavor and make the cake so moist! Very yummy dessert…perfect Fall dessert :) October 13, 2016 at 2:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family liked it! Thanks for your comment! October 13, 2016 at 5:13pm Reply

  • Lynne: I am totally out of apples but have 7-8 ripe pears I need to use. Do you think pears can be substituted for the apples? October 17, 2016 at 10:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I can’t say for sure since I haven’t tested, my guess is that it would be okay though. November 22, 2016 at 9:52pm Reply

  • Scott: Will the cake still be ok if all the sauce is put on at once and then cut and eaten later? Sounds like it will crystalize but I am OK with that as long as it doesn’t otherwise affect the cake. October 20, 2016 at 7:59am Reply

  • Dawn Berube: Delicious cake even with whole wheat flour! October 20, 2016 at 8:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad it worked with wheat flour for you thanks for your feedback Dawn! October 21, 2016 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Jennifer Larson: This was fantastic, my whole family loved it! Great way to use the apples on our tree. The brown sugar sauce was amazing! October 26, 2016 at 12:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family liked it Jennifer! Thanks for your review! October 26, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Kim @ The Baking ChocolaTess: Whoa! I love old-fashioned apple cake recipes and this one looks absolutely yummy! I can’t wait to make it. I love your blog and all your recipes on Pinterest. You are amazing and inspiring! :) November 4, 2016 at 11:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thank you Kim! November 4, 2016 at 12:28pm Reply

  • cheryl: Ingredients for the sauce list vanilla, though did not find it in the directions.
    Did I miss something?
    I put the vanilla in at when the sauce was boiling. but wondered if I should have removed from heat first?
    I was delicious. The cake is not sweet, and the sauce adds a nice touch and both warm is best!! Thanks for another great recipe. November 4, 2016 at 3:32pm Reply

  • Jessie: I made this last weekend and we’ve added it to our Thanksgiving dessert menu. Delicious! We actually liked it better the next day. I think the flavors had a chance to develop a bit more and it was even more moist. The sauce reheated easily. My husband may have had a piece for breakfast! :) Thanks for another great recipe! November 11, 2016 at 2:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear your family enjoyed it enough that it will be a repeat on Thanksgiving :). Thanks for your comment Jessie! November 11, 2016 at 7:01pm Reply

  • Kathy: This cake looks absolutely INCREDIBLE and exactly what I feel like making today!! Any ideas for vegan egg substitutes at all? December 16, 2016 at 10:41am Reply

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